The spirit of Baal is very legalistic and controlling. This is the third attribute in this series of posts. By definition, any involvement with this demonic influence will bring a form of legalistic control. Jezebel, a worshiper of Baal, is a good example of being adamant in her singular commitment to Baal worship-- killing anyone who did not worship Baal (see 1 Kings 18, 19). She was a controller!!
We go back to Hosea 2:16,17 to find that our Father told the people of God that He was to be called ‘ishi’, bringing to bear the idea of relationship to people rather than control and possession of people implicit in the word ‘Baal’. This distinction brings forth our God as one of influence through relationship. This distinction is key as we discern the demonic forces that seek to control, restrict, and bind people. The demonic seeks to control and possess your thoughts, your behavior, and your life.
1 Pet. 5:8, 9 says to be self controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith. . . . Leaders, teach people to be alert for ways that their culture and or their relationships exert undue attempts to control. We all live in nations of laws. We function in civil organizations and societies with rules. However, there are subtle demonic influences that seek to bring control and manipulation thus devouring your freedom in Christ.
In the church this may manifest through teaching the Law of Moses rather than the Law of Christ. It may manifest through leaders using subtle put downs or applying intellectual manipulation that makes you feel like ‘you’re not as smart as they are’. It may even show up as ‘legalistic grace’. I know this sounds like an oxymoron, but legalism can emerge through people using the legitimate doctrine and truth of grace to stifle real debate on scriptural understanding, to shut down any questioning of doctrine, to control all musical expressions that do not align 100% with their perspective of grace. I’ve even heard people say that if you’re not aligned with this particular grace teacher or that certain denomination you are not really aligned with grace. Such behavior is religious control masked as grace. It is demonic at its source, but very human in its flow.
As 1 Peter 5:9 says, ‘resist him, standing firm in the faith’. Our Father is a father of relationship, not of control. We must stand firm in our faith in Jesus Christ, His freedom, His righteousness and not let intellectual manipulation or subtle religious controls restrict our freedom. So we declare that he whom the Son sets free is free indeed (John 8:36)! We declare the law of Christ, the Spirit of Truth, to be the victory over spirits seeking to control any aspect of our lives, our ministries and our relationship!
Click here to be taken to the next post in The Spirit of Baal Series where we will examine the fourth characteristic of that spirit - Opposition to the Truth.
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