Years ago I was laying on the floor in the living room when I was sick, resting, and had been praying.
I fell asleep and had a Vision of a huge lizard with human teeth.
When I awakened later, I asked The LORD what that was and He said, “A biting and devouring spirit.”
Also years earlier, I had gone home for the death of my older foster brother who died of AIDS, and while there, one thing that stood out as I was standing in the Family Room with a lot of the family there, was the critical spirit that was flying around, as they bit and devoured my neice’s husband who was Polish and an R.N.
I realized at that moment, THAT is where I got it… this overwhelming pride that criticizes everything and is part of a complex of spirits that make up perfectionism.
I have battled this thing for many years and don’t want to be part of biting and devouring others, yet I would find myself with critical thoughts now and then, and other thoughts I thought weren’t critical, but justified by the heinous actions of others!
I have a strong sense of social justice which I have had since a little girl. Partly because of the many abuses of childhood, but also partly because of rebellion that came with all that and the rejection.
I have heard those who advocate slamming everything in The Church that is not right and bringing correction.
So often The Church does not bring correction at all, or with the right kind of love, but more with a judgmental, perfectionistic kind of stance which is NOT LOVE, but a perversion of love. It is the “I’m-better-than-you-are” stance.
On the other hand, you have those who have a “sloppy grace” that thinks you should ONLY be loving and that loving means never to correct, which is just ridiculous, because a good Father always corrects his child for his protection and the building of selfcontrol.
Then you have the Church that in leadership never corrects their own, or demands perfection from the sheep, and hides their own faults.
Also there is an element, that in order to hold on to their POSITION in the leadership of the Church, never accept any correction from anyone in the Body, because we are ONLY to HONOR our leaders, according to them.
They preach a lot on “honoring,” but you never hear any preaching about control or witchcraft.
Think on the last time you heard Witchcraft talked about in your Church. Could that be because it’s in The Pulpit, so never touched on?
Also those demanding honoring, are not always so honoring to the poor or homeless, the single moms, etc. Honoring is a two way street, all deserve respect at the very least.
You have also have the bitter “prophets” who never say anything with GRACE in it, but only judge, judge, judge with the letter of The Law, but no Grace, which is, if you read Galatians, a form of WITCHCRAFT.
For if you still walk under The Law, you are not under Grace and Paul exhorts that you then are under a CURSE if you walk under The Law instead of Grace.
I definitely want to walk in GRACE, because when you do, you are far less vulnerable to the enemy, and closer to God and His character.
Where there is a door, or hole in the door of your soul, there is a way for the enemy to get in and twist and turn and sow lies and get you to do things you don’t want to do.
In Romans it says,
“Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” Romans 6:12-14 NKJV
“Do you not know, brothers-for I am speaking to men who know the law-that the law has authority over a man only as long as he lives? For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriage. So then, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress, even though she marries another man.
So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God. For when we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death. But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.” Romans 7:1-6 NIV.
“We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do-this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
So I find this law at work: when I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God-through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Romans 7:14-25 NIV
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.
Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.” Romans 8:1-8 NIV.
From this last scripture do you see that it is our DEPENDENCE on the HOLY SPIRIT that is necessary then to walk in a life controlled by the Spirit of God, rather than our OWN MIND and heart which is corrupted?
The soulish realm of the heart, mind and emotions is NOT where we are to live. We are to SEEK GOD in ALL things so that we walk according to HIS WILL and not our own!
We often say we know this, but don’t DO it or know how to do, or are unable to do it because of being controlled by a will that has the enemy sitting on it.
That is why SURRENDER to GOD is a daily thing, an hourly thing, a moment to moment thing, and as we GROW in The LORD, we are more and more sanctified by His Grace and Glory, and we become better and better able to follow His will and not our own.
Well, back to the critical spirit, which is no different than any other to get rid of. God has to WORK in our hearts to remove it. We have to be willing and our soul has to be altered by the TRUTH.
Now to the experience I had on Wednesday.
On Tuesday I went for prayer meeting and it was wonderful as usual; then after fellowship, I went home and since I’d not slept the night before, finally got some sleep.
The next morning as I turned on worship, the Fire of The LORD came more strongly than usual for a while, and I was SO grateful as I’ve been through a long time of dryness which The LORD told me last week is over.
I had errands to do, and on the way home was worshiping when I was overcome by The Spirit while in the parking lot before getting out of the car… so I went in and worshiped some more.
The LORD told me He had assigned another Angel to me, and I kind of joked with Him that it must be a Seraphim, as I’m getting so hot whenever I worship today, there is a Spirit of Burning.
I had a wonderment sort of about all this, and felt to go to Church that night. As the couple who were there normally do not lead worship — but only once in a while — it was interesting when the wife went to give a prophecy.
There was a powerful anointing on her Word, and she couldn’t even stand at the end of it.
At the same time I was feeling such burning again, and I felt The LORD was saying He wanted control of the whole Service.
I was asking the young man who sometimes translates for me what she said, and she had said that God was saying He wanted ALL of our attention. And then I took to write down what He told me to this young man, which I shouldn’t have.
I felt to go outside and pray as she spoke, so I went to the car, knowing I’d blown it and should have kept what He told me to myself.
I went and worshiped and as I was worshiping, I saw a Vision and in the scene we were going to Mexico with the Pastor and his wife. But at the border, the guards checked me and frisked me in a very ungodly way, and I was sorely embarrassed.
Then The LORD SHOOK ME violently and said very strongly, “I will humiliate anyone who comes against another!”
So The LORD was likening criticism of another Christian to a molestation of sorts. I was filled with The Fear of The LORD, and I knew He was shaking off from me this critical spirit I’d been asking to get rid of!
Humbled, and after some Repentance and Prayer, I went back inside.
But the effect of that Encounter left me contemplating more on all that had happened.
The understanding I came to is that The GLORY increased, because He was wanting to bring to the surface something that was a HOLE in my armor.
We women are really good at talking and sometimes what HE tells you, is not for sharing!
Sometimes He is showing you secrets that HE wants you to pray about, not talk about.
That is the nature of discernment ,you know. It is NOT for amplifying your giftedness or your ability, but HIS wanting you to PRAY for that stronghold or whatever to be brought down.
And the heart that comes to know LOVE will not take advantage of another. WE will not take advantage of The LORD and we will not take advantage of our own gifting, or another’s ignorance either!
He is teaching us how to be loving. When you have never been loved much by other human beings these are hard lessons to apprehend, to learn trust and love and to walk in honesty and integrity.
I have made every mistake there is to make in my life and with my walk with The LORD. He has assured me He allowed this, because He wants me to teach His Grace!
WOW… that means essentially, that He has withdrawn His Grace at times deliberately to allow me to be humbled, and to not allow me to walk in Pride or Arrogance, which has been another prayer of mine for a long time.
For a long time I’ve asked for all the pride inside me to be rooted out, and I’ve had a lot of it, because of all the abuse I went through and allowed also when older.
God is bringing His Spirit of Burning to come NOW that we may be Healed and Delivered from all that has beset us, and I realized I HAD to share this as A Warning to The Body of Christ, that we are NOT to say anything unless HE is telling us to say anything.
We must learn to depend on HIM for every step, and all the more as each day passes.
Do not be afraid to ask HIM to remove everything that opposes Him in your heart.
It may be painful, but not as painful as humiliation He could bring, or death even like Ananias and Sapphira, if we don’t press into walking in TRUTH.
“When The LORD has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and purged the blood of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and by the spirit of burning, then The LORD will create above every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and above her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night. For over all the glory there will be a covering. And there will be a tabernacle for shade in the daytime from the heat, for a place of refuge, and for a shelter from storm and rain.” Isaiah 4:4-6 NKJV.
First published: 2006
~ Priscilla Van Sutphin
PRISCILLA VAN SUTPHIN is the founder of Upstream Ministries, California, online at www.upstreamca.org and blogtalkradio.com/ Upstream. Donate to Upstream: via secure Paypal by sending as gift to upstream.ca @me.com or send to: Upstream, PMB 545, 14311 Newport Blvd, Suite G, Tustin, CA 9278, USA.