Jesus’ miracles caused Him to gain a large number of followers besides the twelve apostles. Many gathered to listen to Him preach. One day, He taught they must eat His flesh and drink His blood to have life (see John 6:53-60). Upon hearing this, many were offended and turned away from following Christ. The disciples who stuck by His side learned Jesus was talking in the spiritual sense and not the literal sense, but those who turned away lost the opportunity to learn from the living God!
Have you been offended by God? Is there a Scripture that causes you to question the authenticity of the Word? Don’t turn from the living God or His Word. Taking offense is simply a spiritual trap set by the enemy to get us out of relationship with God. Choose to trust in Christ today and stand by His side. Ask for a clearer understanding. Let’s pray together, “Lord, forgive me for taking offense to You and Your Word. Help my attitude and mindset toward these offenses to match Yours. I trust You and know that You are more righteous than I am. I praise You and thank You for being a loving God who wants what is best for us. In Christ’s Name, Amen.
The Pharisees and chief priests of Jesus’ time were familiar with Scripture, but they denied the true spirit of the law. Since they had no relationship with God, they were unable to recognize Him when He appeared right before their eyes in the man of Jesus. They were caught in a trap of a religious spirit.
Someone caught up in the spiritual trap of a religious spirit is more concerned with following the rules than following Christ. He or she is quick to criticize anyone who fails to follow their own moral code, but they fail to fulfill the greatest commandments to love God and love others (see Matthew 22:36-40). Sadly, this spiritual trap fills the one caught in it with pride and blocks a genuine relationship with the Lord.
For the most part, I am painfully aware of my inability to live up to God’s standard. However, I have with much effort been somewhat successful at living up to my own set of rules at certain times in my life. It is then that I feel a self-satisfying pride that is particularly ugly, leads me far from God, and quiets His voice. When I confess my sins and humbly call on the Lord, He is eager to hear my prayer.
Are you guilty of having a religious spirit? Jesus is patiently waiting for you to get back on the right track today so He can live in a close relationship with you. Let’s say this prayer together: “Lord, forgive me for my religious spirit. I confess I have been more concerned about rules than following You. Help my heart to seek after You and love You above all else. Help me to love others instead of criticizing them. We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (see Romans 3:23). From this day forward, guide me to operate in a spirit of grace to myself and others. Thank You, Lord, for the grace You have shown me in Your great mercy. In Christ’s Name, Amen.
Since creation, men and women have been tempted to do wrong against God and others. James 1:13 tells us God does not tempt us to do evil, but we know the Enemy of our souls does tempt us. The first time we sin, we feel conviction. The second time, it is a little less. After the sin has become a habit, we no longer even think it is wrong.
Nearly everyone of us can identify with some spiritual trap. One is pursuing money as a main goal in life. Another is rebellion against authority and God. Yet another is sex outside of marriage or other forms of sexual perversion. Drunkenness and/or drug use is yet another spiritual trap. Dabbling in the occult, witchcraft (regardless of intent), and New Age practices are some others. Trusting in other religions is one more, and this is not an exhaustive list.
All of these spiritual traps lead us away from God. They are types of unfaithfulness. God has the power to deliver people from these traps if they call on Him. If you are stuck in one of these sins, confess your sin to God and call on the Name of Jesus Christ for deliverance. God is waiting for you to call on Him. Do it today!