Monday, January 18, 2010

Religious Spirit (Part III)

By odon Bulamba (28 February 2003)

It’s a joy for us to meet again tonight, I thank God personally because He’s so good and He continues to provide the gift of life for us. I will ask you all to come and concentrate so that we can pray to our Lord Jesus Christ.

Father we thank you because you are among us tonight, we ask for your presence once again to be among us, oh Father Lord, we need your participation in everything that we’ll do here, forgive our sins, touch our hearts, purify us so that we can be pure in front of you, we need the Holy Spirit to lead us in everything that we’ll do, Father we want your hand to cover the time that we’ll be together while we are sharing your Word, oh Lord Jesus we need your participation in everything that’ll we’ll do, Father our Lord we hope that you are among us and will continue to act. We are praying in Jesus name, Amen.

Last time we were talking about the religious spirit, we will carry on with this tonight and maybe finish it. As I said last week the religious spirit is a spirit which leads many Christians who think, they are working for God but they are led by a power, which is the power of darkness. I gave quite a few examples, but I can not go back to them, however, I will remind you that as Christians we are called to open our eyes and to have a memory which is clear so that we can identify easily the religious spirit in our lives.

It’s not a matter of accusing each other, it’s not a matter of saying Michelle is the one who has that spirit, it’s a matter of checking inside yourself to know if you have that spirit or not. If you find that you have it, you have to ask God to help you.

I’ll give you an example; in the Bible we have a man named Judas Iscariot, he was one of the disciples of Jesus Christ. Judas played a big role in the group of disciples, but Judas did something which everybody declared was not good; Judas betrayed Jesus Christ. People today can think that Judas is not good, but for me personally I can say that if Judas didn’t betray Jesus then today we could not have salvation. It would be impossible for Jesus to be crucified if Judas hadn’t said, “oh, this is the one”. So Judas also played a role which helped the church today to be saved, although he was wrong he still did something, which helped us. We don’t have to judge Judas all the time; we have to leave that judgement to God and one day God will judge.

Last time we were reading from the book of James 4:6; God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. The religious spirit makes people proud; you’ll find a Christian who is really proud not because he’s a Christian but because of material things that he has. Sometimes these types of Christians will show other Christians that he’s a Christian but in front of pagans he’ll act as someone who doesn’t know Jesus.

In different offices here in NZ and other countries; you’ll welcome someone into your office, you won’t really know who that person is but the way that you’ll start to talk to that person you’ll discover who that person is and know if he’s a Christian or not. In NZ I discovered that there are some Christians who are working in their offices and applying the policy of their offices, they can really work and forget about their spiritual life. It’s true we have to respect the law, we have to respect our government, we have to respect our society but on top of that we have to respect the Word of God.

When we are at work and someone comes to our service I’m sure that as Christians we will really think about the problem that that person has, let’s first of all try to find a solution as a Christian, not as other human beings or managers of the company etc. If you think as a Christian then God’s blessing will be upon you, but if you think as a manager it’ll be hard for God to carry on leading you. Human beings established many rules that are used on this earth and in society, but as a Christian we have to know that there are rules that are superior to the rules of human beings.

I had a friend 20 – 25 yrs ago whom his grandfather loved a lot. When his grandfather was at the point where he could die he told my friend that he wanted to give him something before he dies. He said that if you accept whatever I will give to you I will become a Christian, this is my last chance but accept first what I’ll offer you. My friend was a Christian and his grandfather wasn’t, so he found it a good opportunity for his grandfather to accept Jesus Christ into his life, so he said o.k. I’m ready to accept whatever you’ll tell me.

His grandfather said, what I’m going to give you is something that you can only take off when your time for death is there and then you’ll give what I’m going to give you to someone else. The thing that I’ll give you will never allow you to continue to pray or to praise God, you’ll live like a pagan, but if you really love me and recognise that my soul has value in front of God then accept what I’ll offer you.

It was a talisman. That friend of mine thought that because God says we have to accept whatever people give us so that maybe they cannot be deceived spiritually, let me accept this. He said o.k. my grandfather, give it to me and I’ll keep it. In his mind he was thinking that after his death he’ll go to church and they’ll pray for me and then I’ll leave it. Satan also knew that “Oh! This is your plan, so we’ll see”. Anyway he accepted it. His grandfather changed his life and became a Christian at that moment. So a few hours later he died, my friend was now supposed to go back home and tell people that his grandfather had died, but on his way home he had a car accident and died. So, if that friend of mine did not accept the talisman maybe he could still be alive, but because he accepted it and Satan knew he had a plan to destroy that talisman better for him to die while he’s a sinner. The religious spirit pushes people to say that we are so clever we can dodge people and do this and that but down the line we will change our point of view.

Many people can come to you. For example I can come to Jessica, “what’s your problem?” Jessica will tell me, “my problem is this and that”, “what about your husbands problems?” “My husband’s problem is this and that”. Then I will tell her, “don’t worry I will pray for you”. Maybe what I wanted was just to gather information from her and to know it, it was curiosity. It was not a matter of helping her so that her life can be better. I’ve never read in the Bible where Jesus met someone and said what are your problems? Tell me what’s the problem with your mother or your husband? Never. Jesus never did that. Christians who want to pray for others, whenever they go to see people they don’t have that authorisation to interview people, what happened, who did that etc. When you start to interview people so that you can know clearly people’s problems, you are going outside of the Word of God. Sometimes the spirit of religion also works like that.

I’ll give you another example; it was in 1994 in Tanzania. A pastor went to pray for someone. That person who was sick was healed and then a few years later the pastor started to love the wife of that man who he prayed for. Many years later someone went to visit the wife of the pastor and said “my dear friend, you are at home here, but I think what your husband is doing is not good, so open your eyes”. She said, “How shall I open my eyes?” Her friend told her, “No, no you must be careful because things are worse, be careful”. For that friend who told the pastor’s wife, it was like an advice so that she could be careful and start to take precautions so that something could not happen later, and maybe it was also an accusation, telling her so that she could react.

The spirit which led the friend of the pastor’s wife was not the spirit of God because first of all she did not have wisdom, she could have firstly gone to the pastor and talked to him. Anyway, the pastor’s wife went to where her husband was and found a lady there talking to her husband. She started to attack that lady, she abused her, really it was a fight, people came and asked what was the problem. “We are fighting because my friend told me that my husband is coming here for her”. “Oh! How can an old lady like this one who is mature in the church do this?” It was a bit of a shame, to see the age that she had in the gospel and the actions that she was doing did not make sense with what she did in the church. Sometimes the religious spirit can also push us to do things that don’t really match with our spiritual lives. You can make people to be in coalition, you can make people fight and kill each other, because of our way of speaking. So finally the pastor and his wife had a serious problem, they separated. The other lady and her husband also separated and everything was destroyed because of lack of control.

Let’s read in the book of 2 Timothy 3:7-8 always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth, just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses so also these men oppose, men of deprived minds who as far as the faith is concerned are rejected. But they will not get very far because as in the case of those men their folly will be clear to everyone.

The Bible tells us about these people who used to love the Word of God but they could not live according to it. Three quarters of Christians today can go to church, they can meet and praise God, they can share the Word of God, they can even sometimes sing for God but they are not practicing the Word of God in their lives. After coming out of church they forget the message and live their normal lives in their families.

Someone can tell you, “no, no, no, this is not my normal family life I must live like this, I have to teach my children according to my culture, I have to teach my children according to my way of living.” For example; “I’m from Belgium and as Belgium people we live like this, children must live like that too”. For some people who come from other countries, they can easily tell their children that you don’t have to learn English here, you must learn my mother tongue; it’s common. They will force their culture and force their children to learn their culture so that they cannot it, which is not bad, but we are not good at forcing our children to learn God’s culture. We are not really good at forcing ourselves to learn God’s culture, we can know the truth but we don’t practice it.

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