In my last post I discussed the necessity to dethrone a Jezebel spirit. I did not mention in the post (though I do address it in my books) the fact that a Jezebel spirit promotes religious performance and religious tradition. If you recall, in the Old Testament when Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal, the false prophets went into a religious rage of performance-praying loudly and cutting themselves to get their false god's attention. Today, we may not go to these extremes, but yet due to tradition are we are still depending on works,deeds, and religious rituals to "get God's attention." (Let me encourage you to read my last blog if you haven't done so as you will have a greater understanding of how to dethrone a Jezebel spirit).
So let's discuss "tradition." Let me again ask:
When we consider ourselves as new covenant believers-is it possible that man's traditions have caused the Word of God to lack power? If we examine the New Testament, I have to conclude this answer-Absolutely! If you recall, Jesus stated that the Pharisees accepted tradition and, therefore, had rejected God's Word. The New International Version says it this way:
"Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down..." (Mark 7:13.
I believe it is safe to conclude from this passage that the Pharisees’ tradition "dis-empowered" and actually caused it to be "ineffective." One might even say that tradition neutralizes God's word in his/her lives. This does not, by any means, mean that the Word of God is not true! What I am saying is this - tradition robs the Word of God from being effective in our lives. Even though the Pharisees believed that they were serving God to the letter of absolute perfection; their traditions nullified God's Word.
When we think about tradition, many of us visualize those in denominations who are "stuck" in old patterns and belief systems. Maybe we categorize those who are steeped in religious tradition as congregations that are ultra- conservative. However, if we stop and think a moment, there are present - day contemporary churches and ministries that have very strong traditions also. Yes, even charismatics!
According to the dictionary, traditions are defined as something being "delivered" into the hands of another. So, therefore, traditions can be thought of ideas, opinions, doctrines, practices and customs being transferred from father to son or from parents to children. When considering religious traditions, it is the same but includes also religious teachers and leaders passing practices and beliefs to another generation.
Actually, traditions begin when a person or group of people believe they are "right" or that they "see" more accurately than others. Their point of view becomes a tradition or even a doctrine (belief system). And, yet, if that belief or understanding is not being revealed by the Spirit of God, it is merely formed from an opinion or a point of view! Think a moment- the Pharisees heard the message of God's love and they still insisted that their doctrines were correct. They held on to their mindsets and trusted in their traditions rather than receive God's perfect love. They completely rejected the truth-and, therefore, crucified the One who brought to them the truth!
For us, today, we must consider the fact that maybe we have closed our minds to God's truths revealed in His Word due to religious mindsets and traditions. Tradition blinds us to truth- let's be open minded so that our eyes can truly be opened!
It would be beneficial to do a heart check right now. Consider the following questions:
Is it possible that we have mindsets and are now defensive concerning learning new truths being revealed? Revelation is defined as something that is "hidden" as being "revealed." The Spirit of God guides us into all truth. To receive fresh revelation from the Spirit of God means that we remain open minded.
Are we so defensive we are “crucifying” others who are attempting to reveal the hidden mysteries that are to be revealed at this time? By this I mean that we are so entrenched in our traditions and doctrines that we reject truth. Certainly, we must be on guard against false teachers, but also remain sensitive to the Spirit of God and His leading. All teachings must align with the Word of God. (See 2 Peter 2:1)
Is our self worth connected to our need to be right? Can we let go of being "religiously right" for the sake of truly experiencing freedom in Christ and the power of His Word?
Precious Believer, as I’ve said, a mindset or a tradition nullifies God's power in our lives. I have written an entire book on how to let go of mindsets and traditions in order to experience God's power in our lives. What is holding you back? If not traditions and mindsets, how about pride? In my latest book, Letting Go of Your Limitations: Experiencing God Transforming Power, I have also written about reliance on self, defeated attitudes, squelched passion and disappointments. Whatever is holding you back, I believe that God is in the restoration business! He desires to restore His power to you- in every possible way!