As a child, if you blame the authority, with bitterness in your heart, for being unfairly treated and for your hurt feelings, you’ll initiate a spirit of resistance against authority. If you allow this hurt to fester, you’ll generate a permanent pattern of defiance with an inner heart of …
“you’re not going to tell me”.
This is the pathway to being under the influence of a demon. Satan tells people what to do; he hates being told what to do. That’s why he’s trying to pull down the kingdom of Jesus. He still has to do what God tells him (e.g. destroy the firstborn in Exodus 12, & touch Job … but don’t kill him), and he loathes it.
A disciple has the freedom to question the instruction, but in his heart he must be willing to be told.
The spirit of the world doesn’t take responsibility for its sin
Satan tempted Eve to sin against God. Adam and Eve didn’t repent of their sin, they blamed the other party for making them sin, and Adam even blamed God for creating the woman in the first place.
The spirit of the world blames the other party for not doing it the way they want, or the way they believe is right. It reacts to being told, as a ‘put-down’. It reacts to being corrected as unfair or being mistreated. It’s only interested in achieving its dream of elevated status in the eyes of the world, including ranking into Christian positions; anything to achieve something that will make one feel of value.
The spirit of the world can act like a Christian; it can appear to cooperate; can act nice; can act like its submissive, but when it’s challenged or confronted for doing wrong it either openly or silently inwardly tells the authority that the authority is wrong. In other words, it doesn’t really respect authority unless the authority does it the way it thinks is right. What this really means is, it is its own authority, and any respect it seems to display is just a sham for getting what it needs from family and society. The spirit of the world acts willing but lies to retain or improve its position of favour and value.
If a pastor suggests to one of his congregation that their attitude or opinion is wrong, that person may appear to accept the pastor’s point of view, but if they are under the influence of the spirit of the world they will inwardly deduce that the pastor is wrong, or he doesn’t know what he is talking about, or he doesn’t understand. What this is in reality is actually the defence of their own self-centred spirit of resistance that doesn’t like being told anything negative about itself. The spirit of the world will take advantage of your spirit of resistance and rule over you.
While ever that parishioner holds this inner view against the pastor’s opinion, there will never be restored affinity between the two. How can there be, the parishioner won’t respect the will of God towards authority? From that point on they will have opposing spirits until the parishioner is willing to be told he’s wrong. It’s actually not an issue of whether the pastor is right or wrong; the real issue is … are you willing to be told? The spirit of the world isn’t, and that’s the defining issue.
Demons use fear to manipulate you to submit to their demands.
Spirits use fear and pride to counter-act your authority in God. Elevation and Fear are the forces that inhibit you dictating over a demonic spirit. Whenever you live for value in the sight of man you will be under the influence of the spirit of the world. That, together with whatever you’re afraid of losing, will be the door through which a demon will take advantage of you.
There are hundreds of fears that a demon can take advantage of … Fear of addressing your child in case they run away, or suicide, or pull a tantrum, or make you look bad in the eyes of other families; Fear of not standing in case a parishioner withdraws their money or support; Fear of not standing in case your secret sin is exposed; Fear of not standing on the Word of God because the majority of the church criticise your truth; Fear of your wife walking out on you, or fear of never having sex again if you righteously stand up against her emotional demands; Fear of what people will think of me; Fear of failure; Fear of loneliness.
People sing ‘Dare to be a Daniel’, but they rarely mean it. When the crunch comes they concede to their fears, and explain it away as to why it’s ok. They look for excuses and usually find someone to blame. In reality, deep in their heart they are saying, “Don’t tell me what to do”, and “you won’t tell me I can’t do it the way I want”!
To have authority over spirits you have to face your fears and trust God. In fact, genuine authority is always under the threat of spirits of fear. They’ll always be present to disturb and attack your reliance on Christ.
Why did the disciples change after the resurrection of Christ?
Before the death of Jesus, the disciples acted under the spirit of the world. Jesus said you don’t know what spirit you are of. They had the Holy Spirit but they had the spirit of the world, too. They performed miracles, they walked with Christ, but, they still argued about position and money and questioned Jesus and told Jesus what to do. Jesus consistently got frustrated with their selfishness, their lack of faith, and their envy, and their desire for elevated position. He even had to challenge Satan in Peter. What changed? It wasn’t just the Pentecostal experience of the Holy Ghost; they already had the Holy Ghost. The answer is, they gave up the spirit of the world. When Jesus died they had nothing else to lose; everything they put their hope in had gone. When you decide you’ve got nothing else to lose so you might as well stand 100% for Christ, then the spirit of the world will have no power over you.
The spirit of the world is always trying to look good.
When corrected, instead of repenting, and returning to faith in God, the spirit of the world tries to get its act together. This is proof that it lives for itself. The truth is, you don’t have to get your act together; humility faces its fear and pride by turning to the Lord and trusting whatever He places in my path.
The Spirit of Christ is only interested in surrendering to the will of the Father
In James 3: 13-18, the Word of God clearly explains that wherever there are signs of envy and contentions, then you are looking at lies, confusion and demonic influence. On the other hand, the Spirit of Christ is pure. This means … separated from the world’s influence in your heart. If you haven’t firstly decided to be ‘separate’ as evidenced by your commitment to God’s Ten Commandments when everyone else is compromising them and mocking you for keeping them, then know that no matter how you see it, your heart is really controlled by the spirit of the world; and it will be confirmed by whether you are ‘easy to be entreated’ (i.e. willing to yield to righteous persuasion), and whether you tell people what is right and wrong yet don’t do it yourself (i.e. hypocrisy).
May God open the eyes of His remnant to see the spread of the spirit of the world and its wide destructive influence, and re-commit to God’s laws and ways.
Pastor Greg Shearer