Sunday, January 12, 2014

Cannibalism in the Church

Cannibalism in the church. Really? It sounds odd, doesn't it? Yet, the Lord has given my husband and I several dreams on this subject recently so I know it's on His mind. And He has a lot to say about it.

God uses some pretty graphic dream language to convey spiritual significance. A cannibalistic church is unhealthy. Galatians 5:15 in the NIV says, "But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another." Other versions of this scripture warn, 'beware lest you are consumed by one another.' Gossip. Slander. Evil speaking. Suspicion. Backbiting. Blaming and complaining. This is the spiritual reality of modern day cannibalism. The warning to every person is that these ungodly habits and behaviors release destroying spirits. They also release a curse into the lives of those that partake of the table of demons. Spirits of death and hell become attached to those that allow these habits and behaviors to take hold of their tongue.

God wants to heal families, but He wants to heal church families, too. 

Not only does it effect individuals, it affects churches, too. A church that has this going on is full of dead men's bones. It is full of spiritual immaturity, death and decay. The ungodly habits of evil speaking are like vampire spirits that suck the life out of the church and it's leaders.  These things cause offense, division and discord, competition, jealousy, and brings in every evil thing, according to James 3:16,17. A church in this state will never prosper. Evil speaking will cause the death of churches and ministries. It literally has the effect of undermining unity, love and leadership to the point of spiritual decapitation. It resists and rebels against the authority of God. It is sin to complain against leaders and the body to the point of wearing people down and causing them to break. In Numbers 20:10-13, we read the account of Moses being disciplined by the Lord for his failure to uphold holiness to the people. The long and the short of it is, the people complained and blamed the leadership God had given them - so much so, their leader broke under the strain of it. Moses, in his anger, sinned. He sinned against the Lord because he was worn out and upset with the constant pressures of an unruly and insubordinate group of people. He snapped. Wouldn't you? Listen, I know how I dislike hearing my own kids complain and get an attitude, so I can't even imagine how Moses felt dealing with a million or more people! We all slip at times and lose our cool. Sometimes poor decisions come out of the stress and strain of what people feel at the moment. Aren't you glad God is so merciful? Still, God held them all accountable anyway. Moses was banned from the promise land and many of the people were bitten by poisonous snakes and died in the wilderness. A whole generation of people were so filled with unbelief that they refused to obey God and take the promise land. Disobedience is costly. Here we learn of the dangers of evil speaking once again. It produces bitterness of soul, unbelief and eventually, rebellion to the Lord. Those are guilty of this type of wrongdoing are taking into captivity and under the dominion of the enemy until they repent. God has a standard according to His word. Repentance MUST and always WILL precede restoration, healing and revival!

Your family and your church can be healed and restored.

The only way to correct and heal what has become defiled is through personal and corporate repentance. Pray for God to bring separation between those that are spiritually dead and unable to receive spiritual truth, for those influences are like leaven that will permeate the entire congregation. It is hard to tell sometimes who those individuals are. I'm not asking you to judge others. Only God is fit to judge. The right thing response is to pray. God can move those scoffers, mockers and evil speakers out of the way. Pray for God to separate those that truly want to grow and be healed from those that are planted by the enemy in order to hinder the plans and purposes of God. Pray the scoffers, the gossips, the mockers and those with unprofitable conversation would either have a change of heart and genuinely repent, or God remove them as He sees fit. These things must be confronted. "Cast out the scoffers and contention will cease." Proverbs 22:10.

The NIV says, "Drive out the mocker, and out goes strife; quarrels and insults are ended."

NASB says, "Drive out the scoffer, and contention will go out. Even strife and dishonor will cease."

The Aramaic Bible in plain English says this: "Destroy the evil one and cast out the contentious; abolish judgment and shame, lest he sit in the assembly and shame all of you." Wow. now that says it all.

A church that gossips, complains, and generally participates in destructive speech brings shame and dishonor upon themselves, and reproaches the name of the Lord. People often don't stop to consider the seriousness of these things, but it's not a laughing matter. God takes the subject of honoring His name, His children and His servants seriously. Never forget that the Holy Spirit lives inside of others! Speaking against other people is not wisdom, no matter what you may feel about them. Take heed to yourself and don't let your mouth sin and get you into trouble! God has said in 1 Sam. 2:30 that those that honor Him, He will honor; but those that despise Him will be disdained.

Disdained - Unworthy of one's consideration. Synonyms: scorn, deride, regard with contempt, sneer at, sniff at, look down one's nose at, despise.

Is that how you would want God to treat you? Hardly. I would be more that a bit frightened if I brought on that kind of response from the Lord. I would be on my knees repenting and really meaning every word of it. Only a fool refuses to get right with God! But you see, people do this sort of thing all the time and fail to understand that scorning the things of God is more serious than they may stop to think about.

I do not give this word to be harsh or hard towards anyone. Rather, this is a very clear word to those that may feel convicted by what is written here so that they can return to the Lord with an honest evaluation of their heart that leads them to repentance. The fear of the Lord must return to His church and to every believer! Not fearful of drawing close to the Lord, but 'fear' in the sense of showing honor and reverence towards Him and having a right heart towards others. I pray that you do not warrant judgment or correction from the Lord because that can be a quite painful experience. If this article has spoken to your heart, simply pray and ask the Lord to forgive you. His promise in 1 John 1:9 is to forgive your sin and cleanse you from all unrighteousness! He is so merciful and kind, even when we do not deserve it!

God wants more than anything to restore our losses and help us break free from those things that allow the enemy into our lives. He wants to help us break free from demonic entanglements and leave us open and vulnerable to the destroyer.

An individual that's been healed will bring healing to a family. A healed family can bring healing to their church, community and beyond. 

Father God,

I ask your forgiveness for anything I have said or done to participate in gossip, slander, backbiting, evil speaking, blaming, complaining or rebelling. Forgive me for speaking against You when I did not realize I had done so. Holy Spirit, forgive me for grieving You and speaking against the Spirit of God inside other believers. Please forgive my sin and let the blood of Jesus cleanse me from all unrighteousness. In Jesus name, amen.

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