Never tolerate what God wants us to obliterate.
For a few months now, I found myself encountering this spirit anew, manifesting itself at work and even in some friends. Yesterday, I stumbled upon this photo posted on Facebook by a Pastor friend:
Upon pondering on the list above, what I noticed was that I, myself, have or had tendencies for self-importance, arrogant haughty attitudes (and behaviors at times), manipulation, lack of empathy, being defensive and combative when confronted, a bent towards jealousy and thinking that others are jealous of me, believing myself to be unique and only understood by superior people, demanding automatic compliance of expectations, and fantisizing about having unlimited success, brilliance or perfected worship in love. Ouch!
By God’s grace, the recurrences in my life are growing less frequent (from glory to glory! Praise God!); but still there are times when I am just so…(I can’t even). Seeing the above list brought to fore my last 2 weeks in the office, when I found myself repenting everyday for exhibiting these ungodly attitudes against my boss and direct report.
Thank God, though, for His new mercies everyday – indeed a chance to press a daily reset button by simply coming to Him in humility. That said, repentance here means metanoia, a changing brought about by the renewal of one’s mind in the Lord through the washing of His Word, by the power of His Spirit. God doesn’t want us exhibiting false humility, as well – appearing to be overly sorrowful when deep within we’re not or condemning ourselves unnecessarily. As His Spirit convicts us and we lift up our hearts in repentance to Him, He seems to use our Godly sorrow as a raw material to deposit that renewed joy of our salvation in Him. From this joy which comes from Him alone, we renew our strength so we can, each day, walk and not faint and run and not grow weary, as we wait on Him. It is a strength that empowers us to make a 180degree turn, so we can come running back to Him and walk in His ways (instead of resorting to these tendencies).
Here are a few recent cases in point:
1. Two Wednesdays ago, I found myself in a meeting, where my boss was again being unnecessarily critical. My usual response would have been to address her concerns head on, but for some reason, by God’s grace, I was just so tired of leaning on my own understanding and fighting head on. Two words kept ringing in my ear, “quiet confidence”, which enabled me to calmly speak up and in humility, stay silent, in perhaps the right moments. The following day, from waking up to our morning drive to my alone time with God in the parking area before entering the office building, in humility before the Lord, I asked for His forgiveness for pride and for puffed up tendencies. I admitted that I cannot walk and talk in love, I seem to be at my wits end there, and that I needed His grace. Almost instantly (whether or not ka-plastic-an lang), I witnessed a shift in the atmosphere. My boss became more cooperative and supportive of my turn-over activities.
2. There were also moments when, in the flesh, I wanted to snarl at my direct report for not getting a point that I frequently emphasized, but I felt God infuse more “mentoring” love into my heart, as He allowed me to see how she was very eager to learn. I believe He was also the one who caused her to open up about some emotional struggles. As I shared my journey with her, I realized once more how God ordained my journey in releasing control to Him, as Lord of my life. Daily release of control to Him, because anyway, His plans are better than ours, is the best antidote against that form of depression brought about by seemingly unmet expectations we have for our selves – something which I struggled with more frequently before than now (thank God that the recurrences are becoming more scant, and the bounce-back period has shortened, as well).
3. Probably after being shown those tendencies about myself, He allowed me to discern a Jezebel spirit in someone. I have been asking God what should be done about it, but it looks like, first things first, He wants me to daily repent of my own tendencies and guard my heart, by His grace. (Days later: looks like the way to best deal with it is really to pray. If that friend is a Believer who hears from the Lord, God will be the One to speak into the person’s heart, directly bringing conviction, repentance and restoration, without us lifting a finger)
4. Another friend seems to be encountering a Jezebel spirit, in someone, as well. (Well, this point may not be about repentance, but relates to how the Jezebel spirit seems more prevalent these days)
Because of #3 and #4, I felt prompted to look for a book on the topic, and ended up purchasing this on Kindle:
My cousin also shared with me an article, which outlines the following steps in overcoming the Jezebel spirit. Quoting key points below.
1. Allow God to deal with you before you deal with anyone else.
This is of extreme importance. When you come against this spirit, it is important that your heart be pure before the Lord. Ask God to guide you, lead you, and direct you. Search your heart and empty yourself of all anger and bitterness toward the person you are confronting.
2. If you are not a spiritual leader, find one.
Recognize your own potential for operating in the Jezebel spirit. It is imperative for you to walk in submission to a God-ordained spiritual leader. You must come to them first and then submit to their council. It is best if they confront the person dominated by this spirit with you.
If this leader says not to approach the person you believe to be under the control of Jezebel, then don’t approach them. Realize you have done what you could and should do, and continue to make this a matter of prayer.
3. Approach this person in humility and determination.
Pride is an incredible hindrance to any and all work of the Lord. Be led by the law of love. If you pridefully approach this person, filled with a religious spirit, you have lost before you even started. This encounter must find its very roots in prayer. Personally submit to the Holy Spirit, and come not only as a revealer but also as a healer. Be determined, but don’t be detrimental to this person’s life and walk. Your issue is with Jezebel, not the person. Meekness, gentleness, and humility will bring you the victory.
4. Pray, pray, and pray again.
Pray for the person caught by the Jezebel spirit and all Jezebel influences. Prayer binds Jezebel. Declare in faith that every chain of control that this spirit has over the lives of people is destroyed and broken. Declare freedom, healing, joy, and peace in the mighty name of Jesus.
Remember, the power of Christ is greater than the power of Satan, so do not fear! Stand against the stronghold of Jezebel, hold tightly to victory, and do not be denied!
What strikes me is the urgency of overcoming this spirit, in our own personal journeys, in keeping with repentance. Definitely, this spirit is something that should not be with us, as we enter a new season in the face of Rosh Hashanah. Here’s a timely word:
It’s a good time to go before the Lord and ask Him to search your heart and purge out everything that has crept in that could offend Him.
As we move into the next season God has for us, the position to take is that of humility, searching and judging our own hearts so that we ourselves are not judged. It is also a time to pray for God’s blessing and favor on the New Year…
I believe that as we humble ourselves before God and embrace the sacrifice of the cross in a new way in our lives, we will experience a depth of intimacy and communion with God deeper than we have ever known before. There will be no barrier between us and the glory as we embrace the work of the cross. Humility opens the way for us to go deep into a pure communion with God.
We need to have clean hands and pure hearts to overcome this spirit in prayer, especially in the coming season when we are expecting to see God’s promises to manifest. If we don’t overcome, we may end up harboring offenses and in so doing harden our hearts before the Lord. With hardened hearts, we may not be able to hear His instructions well. And how can we obey if we don’t hear His personal instructions for us? If we are unable to obey and walk in His instructions, we may not be in a posture to receive what the Lord has in store for us in the coming season.
On Rosh Hashanah, we are said to commemorate the creation of Adam and Eve. In this season, may we align our choice with our Second Adam, and not with the first, to make our hearts truly ready when the Second Adam comes anew.
This morning, as I was praying, “Lord, dami ko namang kasalanan, times when I missed the mark that need repentance (and realignment), nakaka-overwhelm”, I heard a still small voice tell me, “Do not be overwhelmed. I, myself, am not overwhelmed by them.”
And to think God has visibility, not just on my sins, but on the sins of the world. Yet, by His blood shed on the cross, though our sins are as scarlet, He can make us white as snow. Praise Jesus, the Lamb who was slain and lives forever! 🙂