The things that are most neglected by the body of Christ are probably the most important ie: fellowship, grace, prayer and mutual accountability.
THE DEVIL IS CRAFTY He will let you focus on one area of the religious walk so that, although off balance and dysfunctional in other areas, you may believe that you are doing well. Others looking at your life will see your overstriving in one area and neglecting others. They will conclude that the religious life is impossible,(which it is apart from God, so they conclude “why wast the energy trying?”) or they will react to your pressured pushing of one aspect and reject the whole area of religion. (Which is what they want to do and are looking at you to find the excuse to do so.)
The devil speaks out of both sides of his mouth and lies out of both sides. (A neat little trick of his!) First he will suggest that you are fine because you do this or that better and more accurately than others:OR he will point out your imbalance and suggest that you give up because if you are not perfect in all areas you are still a lawbreaker so why try? (Make up your mind devil, which is it?). He replies “Whichever lie gets you all bound up or smug but either way useless to God but Oh so useful to me!”.
GOD IS WISE: He says that you don’t have to DO anything to earn or maintain your worth or his love for you but that, if you would walk moment by moment with him, you will discover yourself using all of his marvelous tools and gifts. Experiencing love for the enemy, joy in loss,peace in battle, patience with the impatient, gentleness with the rough, kindness to the mean. You will find yourself using the tools of prayer, study of the word, application of the word to your moment by moment reactions,application of the word to needy people, singing in your heart and out loud for emotional balance, telling others about your experiences with boldness, asking fellow believers for feedback and accountability, living in the now and seizing the challenges with gusto and the present delights with gratitude and pleasure.
This never comes from RELIGION and doesn’t even seem to come from regular church participation or from trying hard to be good. It only comes from RELATIONSHIP with Jesus. In all your ways seek to know his nature better, to ask him what he thinks what he wants to do. Tell him your realistic pains fears worries hopes joys.
I have seen demon possessed people in India, witchdoctors and their followers and even have run into some here in this country who are possessed of demons. These people do not do anything on their own. They are owned by the spirit that possesses them and it destroys their choice and personality.
When the Holy Spirit invades he never destroys our personality,(why should he he designed it?) He never robs you of choice, (why should he your free will choice is one of his most awesome accomplishments?) However you must moment by moment STOP and ask him what he thinks and feels and wants to do and how you might yield to him. Consider the hymn by Mr. and Mrs Whittle:
Dying with Jesus, by death reckoned mine;
Living with Jesus, a new life divine;
Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine,
Moment by moment, O Lord, I am Thine.Moment by moment I’m kept in His love;
Moment by moment I’ve life from above;
Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine;
Moment by moment, O Lord, I am Thine.
Never a trial that He is not there,
Never a burden that He doth not bear,
Never a sorrow that He doth not share,
Moment by moment, I’m under His care.Never a heartache, and never a groan,
Never a teardrop and never a moan;
Never a danger but there on the throne,
Moment by moment He thinks of His own.Never a weakness that He doth not feel,
Never a sickness that He cannot heal;
Moment by moment, in woe or in weal,
Jesus my Savior, abides with me still.
John 14:10King James Version (KJV)
10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. (May we follow his blessed example and let ourselves be possessed by the Holy Spirit moment by moment)