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religious perils

Last week while in Romania, we had the most amazing time. Part of our job is to debrief with the individual teams inside a squad. So there they sat. One of my teams: mature, consistently strong, major players and life-givers…now looking and feeling whipped, stuck, hammered, wrecked (in a bad way), out of gas, out of juice, mourning over the loss of a teammate, ready for relief, ready to go home, done, spent and obviously traumatized. Hearing their story confirmed that they had been spiritually abused by so-called leaders who were their contacts in another country. Evidently their tats and piercings have them on a quick slide to hell and the lack of evidence to speak in tongues disqualifies them from the Kingdom. A mindless bombardment of religious devils can shut you down! Ask Isaiah what he thought about the demon-driven Jezebel and why he sprinted for the desert? That kind of witchcraft makes you think you are crazy. I’ve been chewing on these details for about a week. Time to burp up some heartburn.

I was reminded that the things of God are not the problem. People who mishandle the things of God are usually the problem. You do not have to look very far to find men and women who are quick to measure what true spirituality is supposed to look like. Legalistic religion is a broad pasture. You don’t have to go to Africa to find it. Cross the street. I’m pretty sure it’s alive and well in your own neighborhood. Probably even your own church suffers the ill effects. It can come in the denominational or non-denomination flavors. All of it sucks and it is hard on young men and women (old people too) who are in the passionate pursuit of God. Even more difficult when they are trying to submit to and honor leaders who blindly require certain spiritual disciplines as part of the litmus test of what is right and what is wrong for a christian. It can get pretty intense and confusing.

I was on an instant message chat with one of my spiritual daughters early this morning. This kid is special. Not like “challenged” special, but incredible and uniquely special. The girl is questioning the prophetic gifts of the Holy Spirit because, not all that she has received is edifying. I don’t blame her. Again, the problem is not the prophetic or the Holy Spirit. I’ve hung out way too long in prophetic community to blame God for this. There are some nut cases out there saying, “thus saith the Lord”. That’s why we need real spiritual authority around us. We need filters to help us strain off the foamy scum floating on top of the pool. This daughter asked a valid question: “Isn’t it better to just do the logos and nothing else? It’s just too messy out there.” I really felt like the Lord gave me an answer. I didn’t say, “thus saith the Lord”, but I did reply: “People teach some crazy shit out of the Bible! I’m not going to throw away my Bible because of immature teachers and a few loose screws. Likewise, you can’t follow what God has for you and then haphazardly throw away His voice. We need direction now…today!” Of course, we still have the responsibility to monitor what we intake, whether it is our own Bible Study, the latest hot revelation from some “apostolic” teacher or another prophetic word spilling forth from the Body. Just because someone can draw a crowd, write books or build a big church does not mean their revelation is on loan from the Throne Room! It might be better to peek behind the curtain to get a real look at the Wizard of Oz, instead of just standing there drooling on ourselves like the Straw Man.

Over the years, I have had some prophetic words that shook me to my core and I’ve also had some real doozies from well-meaning but misguided saints with “words” only fit for the nearest toilet We can’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. It is ridiculous to even consider the prospects once we have experienced the personal nature of God’s voice.

Back to my people in Romania: As one of thousands who represent spiritual authority, I repented to my team for this abuse. They forgave me (us). Tears and wailing proceeded once the Wind began to blow. A howling Wind that filled the room with the substance of God’s presence. The Lord spoke over this team with a tender vengeance that no one understood in the natural, but our spirits knew how the Lord felt about the situation my team had suffered. Ahhhh….the redemption of the Lord is GOOD! It lowers the mountain and raises the valley! Hallelujah!

There are natural perils in the pursuit of God. I get it. I hate it. But, you gotta keep pushing and choosing Him. Earnestly pursue Him! When you get there, you’ll find that He is speaking!

-MDP-

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. July 8, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    This is a good one, Mike. I’m so grateful to have you walk thru life and death with my generation.

  2. July 21, 2010 at 11:19 am

    Paschall,
    This is so good. Thanks for your thoughts and wisdom and voice! Glad to run with you!

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