In October, I had a brief yet important dream. In it, I was standing in the sanctuary of a little church that I recognized. Let me say up front that I in no way believe this dream to be specific to any particular church. I feel the Lord was giving me a birds-eye view of what is routinely being unpacked in a broad host of modern day churches- transcending denomination, location or size. I do however, believe it is a warning which the Body of Christ needs to immediately awaken to and heed:
In the dream the lights were out in the church and no one was there. It was clear that a move had just happened as the aisles and the raised podium platform were cluttered with cardboard boxes and packages, as yet unpacked. In the center of the platform and perfectly centered amidst the boxes was a large (maybe 2 1/2 or 3 ft. high), barrel-shaped pot with an ancient-looking patina that had once been white. From my point of view, this pot looked ceramic and old with what looked like worn glaze or limestone leaching blotching the surface as we often see in old flowerpots. This vessel had clearly been around for a long, long time.
In the fading light, I watched as something began to slowly rise up from this vessel. Extremely tall, and seemingly made from a black tangle of spider webs or licorice-like vines, he rose casually, unfolding as it came up from this container. Incredibly, this disturbing man stood straight up – it’s feet still in the big pot. Showing no surprise at arriving in a church sanctuary, this being began to stretch and slowly look around as though he were taking stock of his new home.
Eventually, its glance fell on me and rested there. assessing me. No words were ever spoken, no threatening moves were directed at me as I observed him from just out of the scene. In the dream, I was startled he could see me. However, I wasn’t afraid, I was mad.
Head cocked to the side, it looked me in the eyes for a long time. Eventually he smiled with a cocky look projecting his message, “I belong here, I am at home, and you can’t do a thing about it.”
At this, I abruptly woke up.
I don’t think this dream is difficult to break down. This “Church” which could be any church, had just moved in. Or, one might even say, The Church had experienced, or wanted to experience “A MOVE”. They had brought their assorted boxes of hymnals and supplies and along with them came this oversized, antique treasure front and center.
The large white pot contained a religious spirit. The oblivious congregation, thinking it beautiful and familiar, brought it along. Front and center placement indicates that it was important….dare I say, the MOST important thing. The “religious traditions, the doctrinal castles which have been built over the ages had become more precious than the Son, more valued than redeeming blood, and had eclipsed the worship due the King of Kings.
A religious spirit was the problem Jesus identified as poisoning the Temple worship and priesthood in his day. Not happy with the actual Law of Moses, Priests and Levites had built empires of doctrine, kosher strictures and boatloads of extra legalisms which eclipsed the heart of the Father for His chosen people; robbing them of their true destiny.
Traditional correctness became more treasured than actual heart righteousness or relationship with God. Jesus, confronted wrong hearts and motives, easily stripped their religiosity and called them out. He labeled their sin for what it was; and their religious “hypocrisy” as whited sepulchers. (Matt. 23)
There is a brutal lesson to be learned from the conflict of Jesus and the “Priesthood” of his day. Clearly in love with their lucrative social standing, these fellows ignored their calling and totally lost their way. These religious elites were so married to man-made traditions, so glued to the itinerary they missed the fulfillment and blessings of the Word of God -which they should have joyfully identified! Sadder still, they missed their opportunity to experience the glory of the Living God and worst of all, they totally missed their Salvation- Jesus the Messiah! It is good to remember: Rampant unchecked religious spirits equate to wholesale spiritual blindness!
In my dream this dark spirit locked eyes with me. He knew who I was and what I thought about him. He didn’t care.
Any demonic spirit operating legally in your life, that of your family or your church must be recognized and authoritatively dealt with in the Name of Jesus. It is our calling and responsibility. Until that happens this religious spirit is free to continue to sow offense among your deacons and committees. He will encourage gossip and disrespect in Christian ranks. He is accomplished at punching up discontent and fomenting rage when a sermon runs too long or teaching grows too powerful. He despises worship music and prefers those songs which merely sing about God not to Him. He is fully aware that it is true worship which will bring folks into the throne room and stirs the Spirit of God.
This creature’s primary objective is to whisper lies, “God no longer heals”, ” Don’t be silly, Believer’s can’t be demonized” Don’t preach on that, the people aren’t ready for anything too deep! He slyly insinuates that church is irrelevant and “all religions lead to heaven”. This sticky spirit loves to erode the Gospel of Jesus’ Kingdom.
All demonic spirits have only one desire: to emasculate the people. Once truly saved, he can’t destroy you. However, he wants nothing more than steal your destiny, to have your church to be an entertaining , social club and everyone inside harmless, clueless and devoid of power.
The Lord intended for me to see this religious spirit’s condescending look. In my dream, he transmitted clearly that he thought I was powerless to change his insidious mission. He was wrong.