Section 2

Guilt Over Religious Disciplines

The following is my reply to an ODJ member (I'll call her Kelly) who was concerned she had blasphemed the Holy Spirit. There have actually been others in the past that reached out to me who thought they, too, had blasphemed the Holy Spirit. The devil seems to do well binding believers up by convincing them they committed the unpardonable sin.

Dear Kelly,

I asked the Lord to give me wisdom and insight, and then re-read your summation. The most prominent impression I have from God is He is saying the disgust you have with yourself for not being disciplined concerning reading the Bible and praying is an agreement with a lie, not truth. The dark systems that are in place in your life are good at laying guilt trips on you, making you feel guilty where you don't need to - where it's actually wrong to do so.

God has been speaking to my heart for quite some time that He is grieved how His children spend so much time being bogged down feeling horrible because of how little they read the Word or pray, etc. Yet, there is no prescribed mandate as to how much we are to read the Bible. True, we cannot become familiar with God's truth without consuming it's truth one way or another. And true, a genuine disciple (Christian) is a student of the Word. But this doesn't mean following a schedule or that reading the Bible everyday is a requirement. Every person is different. We all have our own way of being with God.

Jesus said our work is to "believe", John 6:29. Believing is faith - and faith comes by hearing the Word. So, listening to people teach the Word is "hearing the Word". And yes, reading the Word is another way of hearing it. But the point is there's all kinds of ways to get to know the truth. And yes, when we are free in Christ, we will want to consume His Word out of hunger. But the thing is God NEVER placed this yoke upon His people. Not in the way we wear it, at least. No, it's a spirit of religion that's been put around people's necks and it's adding to the defeat, not the deliverance. 

Am I saying to not read the Bible? No. I'm saying get rid of the false yoke. Get rid of the spirit of religion. Stop allowing the traditions of man to tell you how to be one with God. Be free. Know that God will inspire you to read what He wants you to read when He wants you to read it. Or He'll send you to a teaching video or a sermon or a blog or an article or whatever - to speak His Word to you. Right now I'm speaking the "Word" to you, as you know. Somebody in passing might just say or do something that conveys a truth from the Word that God wants you to hear. There's all sorts of ways God reveals His Word. Why do we have this protocol that leaves us feeling guilty if we aren't disciplined Bible readers? It's wrong. It's of the dark kingdom!

Think about it...When Jesus went to the synagogue to read the Word, it was a few lines and that was it! In fact, if you research it, you'll discover it took THREE YEARS to get through all of the scrolls (Torah/Old Testament) by how they divided up the weekly readings! And back then, you know they didn't have their own copies at home that they were required to read all week. So if Jesus didn't "read the Word" at home, why is it an unspoken requirement? 

As for praying, the Bible tells us to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). In other words, we are to live in a state of prayer. Always mindful of God and deferring to Him. Always bringing Him into the matter. Always praising Him. Lifting people up to Him as we go along and He places them on our hearts.

Surely, God didn't mean we would or even could pray in the sense of literally speaking to God 24/7, such as in the middle of a presentation at work on scuba diving, or something. It's rather difficult to carry on two conversations at once. So, what does it mean to be praying without ceasing even while doing a presentation on scuba diving? To me it means to be in a place - a state of condition in my innermost being. Though my carnal, earth person is discussing scuba diving, my spirit is prostrate before God at His throne. No, I'm not thinking about it. But it's a state of condition.

For example, I just now ran upstairs to take my probiotics. As I jumped up from my seat, without thinking, I found myself praising God, loving Him, just reacting to how great He is. As I went up the steps, I had a very quick impression that my spirit was at His feet in paradise. And that's when it hit me that this must be connected to the whole praying without ceasing. Because the moment my mind stopped working on this writing, and even though it was on getting the probiotics, my spirit was subconsciously, actively communing with God. This is what I experience on a regular basis now that I've overcome darkness. As soon as my cognitive assertions stop, I'm in this place of communion with the Lord. It's not a cognitive assertion, rather, it's a river flowing up and out as soon as my carnal mind is out of the way. It happens in my sleep, when I'm waking, when I get up to go to the restroom, when I'm leaving a store, etc. Whenever my mind is not focused on something, I'm in this place. At which time, I don't just praise God, I'll pray, too. But since this comes out of me without cognitively going there, this means my spirit is already doing it.

So, that's what I personally believe praying without ceasing means. It's our spirit being in constant communion (prayer) with God. If when your mind stops focusing on a matter at hand, what comes up out of you? Or, where do you go? What place are you in? This reveals if you are praying without ceasing. ~ By the way, I used to be in a very empty, distant place because, though I was a very active Christian and loved God, I was disconnected  from Him at my core (for numerous reasons) which means despite praying a lot through the day and night, I really wasn't praying without ceasing. I would pray, then cease to wander the dessert, then pray, then wander, then pray, etc. It's no wonder I was so defeated.

Anyway, think about how the Bible points out that Jesus would go off to pray. Note that it never said He had a system, a scheduled time, that He always prayed early in the morning or anything like that. No, the emphasis was He went off at different times. The point being He got alone with the Father when there was something He wanted to pray about. It wasn't a routine. It was out of the compelling of His heart. 

Kelly, you are disturbed with yourself because you aren't "disciplined" with these Christian practices. But did Jesus go off to pray out of discipline? Not at all! He went off out of desire or necessity.

I hope you see more now that these perceptions the Church has taken on are not from God. They are just a way for the enemy to make us feel defeated. So what you need to do, Kelly, is to shed this false yoke.
Our embracing this religious yoke is submitting to a dark kingdom policy. It's the dark kingdom that says we need to discipline ourselves to reading and praying in a "disciplined" fashion. When we agree to this notion, then that spirit makes us feel heavy and defeated...and disgusted with ourselves. I'm not going to say discipline is a bad thing. But the idea of reading the Bible or praying "as a discipline" is - at least for the most part. Because it's a program, ritual, and quite possibly legalistic if it does not also include compelling desire. If someone is systematic in these practices, this is wonderful so long as it's from the belly. Don't get me wrong. Sometimes we read the Word or pray when we don't feel like it because we are sowing to the Spirit and not the flesh. But don't confuse this with discipline. 

For those who just don't operate in such a disciplined, routine fashion who are heavy ladened over it, the Lord is grieved that we have fallen for this invasive ideal. He's heartbroken seeing us this way, God never put this mandate upon us! It hurts Him especially when we just want to give up because we concede that we will simply never get it right and "be disciplined" - such as what happened when you thought you blasphemed the Holy Spirit by telling Him to not speak to you about praying and reading the Word anymore.
Now about that and how you heard "cut off, no remedy" after you told Holy Spirit to not bother you about these anymore. It wasn't God saying that! It was a demon. See, because you had already agreed with and submitted (as so many of us have) to the false teaching that you should be reading and praying in a disciplined fashion, the spirits were able to make you feel heavier and heavier, and more and more disgusted with yourself to which you finally SUPER yielded to their suggestion to just give up and told Holy Spirit to leave you alone about it. When you went that far into their territory, you could hear them more vividly in their saying, "cut off, no remedy", pretending to be the Lord.  (Do you see... the more attuned and in agreement you are with either the kingdom of God or the dark kingdom, the more clearly you hear that particular kingdom in the moment?)

Grrrrrr!  The enemy and his systems are quite clever and they got you good, there. I'm telling you, that wasn't God. The proof is that hearing that did not help you or God's kingdom. When God scolds or disciplines us, it doesn't feel dark. One time God scolded me and then I went through a season of discipline which was extremely difficult. But it did not feel dark. It felt tough, but not dark. There's a difference. 

Kelly, you need to reject and renounce this spirit of religion. I'm telling you the truth - there's no mandate to be a disciplined prayer or reader of the Word. Get rid of this spirit, don't believe this lie any longer. Be free. And you'll find in your freedom that you'll gravitate naturally to the place where you'll read and pray far more. Not as a routine, unless that happens naturally or via the unction of the Holy Spirit for you.

The thing is - when you're free and you naturally start your day in a right spirit of freedom, joy, security, and submission to the Lord, with your spirit in the right place in constant communion with Him, you'll BE LED! You know the Bible says God guides our steps - but we must be "in" Him. Right now, He can't guide your steps very well when you're so focused on what the devil is telling you. See how that works?

And realize... God'll lead you to read the Bible one time, but you'll come upon an article another, or a teaching, or a sermon, a song, etc. GOD will often put the manna right in front of you because you're in that "place" where He can reach you! YOUR job is to believe and be submitted. When He leads you, for the most part you're going to follow His lead with zeal, because God is cool like that. He woos us. He draws us. Simultaneously, you'll get the desire to study something in the Bible or whatever the case may be. You may even find yourself getting up every night a 2:00 a.m. with this notion to read the Bible and pray for a week or two. But does this mean "Oh, God must want me to do this permanently!" No! He was just working with you on the points He wanted to get to you and happened to choose 2:00 a.m. to do it for awhile. After two weeks of that, He may get lead you to a specific teacher or something to listen to. You might spend ten hours a day listening to teachers for the week after that. Then after that maybe you'll catch wind of a Christian blogger that you read a bit every day because God wants you to know what He's speaking through them. And so on. Why do we have to be so gullible to the liar and let him lock us up in chains of religion? Why can't we just be okay with resting in God, trusting Him, and letting Him lead the way?

So do you see it clearly? That this religious spirit is a huge problem in the Church? Get rid of it. Be free to love God and let Him lead you as He so desires. And when you do, you might just see your joy return. I'm not sure what other unresolved issues may be in your soul. You shared about your family history so there's plenty that still needs sorted out. But getting rid of this religious spirit is top priority for the moment. The Lord is done seeing you bogged down in this defeat and it putting such a huge wedge between you and Him. Get rid of it.

Hope this helped!

Paula Cross