Breaking the Bondage of a Passive Spirit
By Francis Frangipane
I want to again discuss our
need, as Christians, to exercise spiritual authority. The fact is, if we
do not use the authority of Christ daily in our lives, no matter how hard we
try, we will always be harassed by the demonic realm. And while prayer and
repentance are irreplaceable stages of deliverance, they may simply not be
enough if complicating your freedom is a unclean spirit. In truth, you may
actually need to face your enemy and, in the context of your repentance, command
that spirit to depart from you.
Indeed, we have accepted the
idea that God wants us to tolerate oppression instead of conquer it. Fear,
self-pity, anger, immoral thoughts or fleshly lusts will not go away by
themselves. Your mind must be renewed through repentance and the knowledge of
God's word, and if there is demonic activity exploiting your sin nature, that
enemy must be confronted in the authority of Jesus' name.
You say, "I don't have a
problem with an evil spirit; my battle is with sin." I agree, your
frequent failure in a particular area might genuinely be rooted in the carnal
attitudes of your old nature. However, if you have repeatedly repented and still
cannot find lasting freedom, perhaps the issue is a combination of your sin and
the devil's manipulation of that sin. You see, the real power behind your
iniquity is often demonic in nature.
Even if you've embraced true
repentance and found spiritual freedom, there is a time when the enemy tries to
re-enter your life. Recall that Jesus warned, "Now when the
unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places, seeking
rest, and does not find it. Then it
says, 'I will return to my house from which I came' " (Matt 12:43-44a).
Jesus tells us that, even if
we have had a genuine deliverance from the hand of God, a time may still come
when that "unclean spirit" seeks to return to the "house from
which" it came. The "house" it seeks to re-enter is the
darkness created by your pre-repentance thought-life, and the way it seeks to
access your soul is to masquerade as your thoughts.
Jesus further warns that, when
the unclean spirit comes back and finds our souls unguarded, it comes with
"seven other spirits more wicked than itself" (Matt 12:45).
First, the enemy will infiltrate your mind, seeking to plant a thought or seed
an idea in your soul. Then, he will attempt to water that seed with a
corresponding temptation. As soon as we discern the ungodliness of this
thought, we can turn and take authority over it. However, if we fail to
use our authority, if we sit down inside and allow it to grow, the enemy
will then approach with a full scale invasion. Jesus says, "the last
state of that man becomes worse than the first" (vs 45).
At the first stage of Satan's
counterattack, we must use our authority in Christ and capture those initial,
invasive thoughts. Do not let them multiply. Do not allow them to
dwell in your soul for even a moment. Whether you are fighting fear,
lusts, anger or any other sin with its corresponding demonic strongman, you are
in a war for your soul and the primary battleground is your mind. To win, in the
midst of all you do, you must guard your heart and mind from the enemy. To
do this, we must exercise spiritual
God has called us to war.
He, in fact, has anointed us with the power of His Holy Spirit. Our
prayers are arrows in the heart of our King's enemies. Jesus has given us
authority over all the power of the enemy (Lk 10:19). Yet, the authority
of the Lord is not just for guard duty or defensive maneuvers. The Holy
Spirit desires that, as we follow Christ, we take the battle to the enemy as
well. In that same Psalm where David sings that he can "bend a bow of
bronze," he also says, "I pursued my enemies and overtook them, and I
did not turn back until they were consumed" (Ps 18: 37).
Let's make this clear: David
was first a worshiper of God. He didn't pursue his enemies without first
pursuing God. However, when the Lord led him into war, he thoroughly
defeated his foes. Unfortunately, I know many Christians today do not pursue
their enemies. They would rather secure a little temporary relief than
obtain an anointing in God that equips them as a warrior. The moment they
finally receive a little peace, immediately they begin to beat their swords back
into plow shears. They quit.
I will tell you a solemn
truth: we either pursue our enemies or our enemies will pursue us. We
must develop Christ's attitude toward evil. He came that He "might
destroy the works of the devil" ( 1Jn 3:8). The Bible says, "hate
evil, you who love the Lord" (Ps 97:10).
There can be no neutral ground.
Indeed, the Holy Spirit is
looking for something in us that, like David, pursues our enemy until he is
consumed. We are discussing spiritual authority and possessing an
aggressive attitude of heart that causes us to grow into mature Christlikeness.
Jesus could live with and forgive human failure, but He never allowed evil
spirits to influence His life. He was aggressive toward His spiritual
Future Victories And Present Attitudes
There is a story in the Old
Testament that captures well my concern with the effects of a passive spirit.
Elisha the prophet was about to die and Joash, king of Israel, came and, in an
unusual show of affection, wept over the man of God. Adding to the
intrigue, the king then spoke the very words Elisha uttered to Elijah in the
last hours of Elijah's life: "My father, my father, the chariots of Israel
and its horsemen!" (2 Ki 13:14).
It is possible that the king
sought some special power or gift-anointing from the prophet before he died.
Elisha, in fact, accommodates the king, yet he tests him, ordering the king to
take a bow and arrows. He then told Joash, "Put your hand on the
bow." Elisha then laid his
hands on top of the king's hands. He said, "Open the window toward the
east," and Joash opened it. Then Elisha said, "Shoot!" And he
shot. Elisha then proclaimed: "The LORD'S arrow of victory, even the
arrow of victory over Aram; for you will defeat the Arameans at Aphek until you
have destroyed them" (2 Ki 13:15-17).
God was going to honor the
efforts of Joash. The king had recognized the Lord's anointing on His
servant. He had come to receive, by impartation, the prophet's blessing as
it pertained to the need in his life. Elisha actually "laid his hands
on the king's hands" (vs 16). Yet,
one more test was required. Elisha said, "Take the arrows," and
he took them. And he said to the king of Israel, "Strike the ground,"
and he struck it three times and stopped. So the man of God was angry with him
and said, "You should have stuck five or six times, then you would have
struck Aram until you would have destroyed it. But now you shall strike Aram
only three times" (2 Ki 13:18-19).
Elisha was angered by the
passive spirit in King Joash. The prophet knew Joash did not possess the
perseverance to pursue his enemies until he fully conquered them. Joash
could possibly have been a great king. Yet Elisha's anger burned at the king's
passive approach to God's promises: ultimately, many Israelites would die in the
future raids of the Arameans because Joash would only defeat them three times.
Elisha's anger actually
mirrors the Lord's displeasure toward the laziness of His people today. You may
argue, "God is love. Jesus would never be angry." I beg to differ.
Consider the Lord's word to the church in Laodicea, a church that was overly
concerned with its own comfort and passive in its attitude toward
spiritual realities. Jesus said, "I know your deeds, that you are neither
cold nor hot; I would that you were cold or hot. So because you are
lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth" (Rev
Jesus would rather we were hot
or cold than lukewarm. Does He still love those He rebukes? Of
course, but He calls us to change our attitudes. It's not that passivity
or laziness are such terrible sins, like murder or adultery. It is simply
that such attitudes create an psychological prison around a believer that
actually holds us hostage to our other sins.
In our world, the spiritual
passivity and indifference of God's people is one of the most difficult things
for the Lord to accept. Indeed, we are daily threatened by the potential
of serious terrorist attacks or the advance of perversion in our cultures, yet
so many Christians remain prayerless and inactive. This is in spite of the
Lord's promise that if we will come before Him, humbling ourselves in earnest
prayer, He will empower us to pursue our enemies and defeat them. But
instead of seeking God's face on behalf of the lost, too many of us are
immobilized by the grip of a passive spirit.
The Lord is not pleased with
our spiritual laziness. Elisha could see that King Joash was a quitter
just by the unaggressive way he struck the arrows. I'm not talking about
the level of our energy, but the level of fire in our obedience. Today
many nations are at a crossroads: demonic initiatives have been successfully
advanced that not only decriminalize sodomy, but seek to legitimize the union of
homosexuals as another form of marriage. In many states and nations,
homosexuals are already allowed to adopt and raise innocent children, and we are
too passive to rise against this outrage!
Jesus gave us His authority to
"make disciples of all the nations" (Matt 28:19). Our authority
is not limited to our prayers against evil; God will help our efforts against
wickedness as well. In America we have been asked not only to pray for our
nation, but to take action. That action might be as simple (and important)
as writing our senators and congressmen ( www.afa.net ) telling them that we are
against gay marriages. Or our actions might be to reach out to someone
confused and deceived about their sexuality and seek to bring them healing.
But if we pray and do nothing more, we might actually lose the soul of our
nation, and I am not only discussing the USA, but many other nations as well.
Our defeat might come, not because God's help wasn't available, but because we
saw the advance of evil and did nothing.
Beloved, God has given us
authority, He has given us the weapons of our warfare to help us, but we need to
get up and fight. We need to repent of a passive spirit and stand with
Christ's authority in this day of war and battle.
maximum benefit, pray this prayer out loud :
Lord God, I thank You that You have given me authority over all the power of the enemy. Forgive me for allowing my voice to remain silent and my will immobilized by a passive spirit. I realize to be an overcomer I must pursue my enemy until he is consumed. You have given me authority over the plans and works of evil. You have created me to be a minister of Your righteousness. You have filled me with Your Holy Spirit and with fire. This day I confront, renounce, and take authority over the power of the enemy. I break the bondage of a passive spirit, in Jesus' name.
The other night I just happened to look up these definitions: APATHY, COMPLACENCY and SOMNOLENCE
APATHY - Etymology: Greek
apatheia, from apathEs without feeling,
1 : lack of feeling or emotion : IMPASSIVENESS
2 : lack of interest or concern : INDIFFERENCE
Main Entry: in·dif·fer·ence
1 : the quality, state, or fact of being indifferent
INDIFFERENT - regarded
as neither good nor bad
1 : marked by impartiality : UNBIASED
2 a : that does not matter one way or the other
b : of no importance or value one way or the other
3 a : marked by no special
liking for or dislike of something
b : marked by a lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern for something :ie: indifferent to suffering and poverty>
4 : being neither excessive nor inadequate : MODERATE hills of indifferent size
5 a : being neither good nor
bad : MEDIOCRE does indifferent work
b : being neither right nor wrong
6 : characterized by lack of active quality : NEUTRAL
7 a : not differentiated
b : capable of development in more than one direction;especially : not yet embryologically determined - in·dif·fer·ent·ly adverb
UNCONCERNED, INCURIOUS, ALOOF, DETACHED, DISINTERESTED ,mean not showing or
INDIFFERENT - implies neutrality of attitude from lack of inclination, preference, or prejudice indifferent to the dictates of fashion.
UNCONCERNED - suggests a lack of sensitivity or regard for others' needs or troubles unconcerned about the homeless.
INCURIOUS - implies an inability to take a normal interest due to dullness of mind or to self-centeredness incurious about the world.
ALOOF - suggests a cool reserve arising from a sense of superiority or disdain for inferiors or from shyness.
DETACHED - implies an objective attitude achieved through absence of prejudice or selfishness
DISINTERESTED - -implies a
circumstantial freedom from concern for personal or especially financial
advantage that enables one to judge or advise without bias
Main Entry: im·pas·sive
1 a archaic : unsusceptible to pain b : unsusceptible to physical feeling :INSENSIBLE c : unsusceptible to or destitute of emotion : APATHETIC
2 : giving no sign of feeling
or emotion : EXPRESSIONLESS
synonyms IMPASSIVE, STOIC, PHLEGMATIC, APATHETIC, STOLID mean unresponsive to something that might normally excite interest or emotion. IMPASSIVE stresses the absence of any external sign of emotion in action or facial expression <met the news with an impassive look.
STOIC - implies an apparent indifference to pleasure or especially to pain often as a matter of principle or self-discipline <was resolutely stoic even in adversity>.
PHLEGMATIC - implies a temperament or constitution hard to arouse a phlegmatic man unmoved by tears.