During a personal awakening in my life, I was serving in a pastoral role at a fairly large church. I knew I was in desperate need for transformation, as my lack of peace was at an all time high. I also saw that most believers were in similar places. Unfortunately, they continued to jump on the same religious merry-go-round, from which they were seeing no change.
During a particular teaching series at our church, the emphasis was on the book of Romans. As I studied along with the series, I found myself having a personal revival in the eighth chapter of Romans.
It was at this point that I came face to face with the toxic mindset that was plaguing people all around me. Romans 8:15 laid it out for me. The bondage I had been carrying all my life was right here.
For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15
I nearly jumped out my chair and screamed. This is what’s been holding me back! The scales on my eyes were lifted and I began to see what held me back for so long.
Sometimes it just takes being able to see the problem to begin moving towards freedom.
Exposing the Rejection Mindset
The basis for a spirit of bondage is rejection. It’s the opposite of adoption, the love and acceptance that Abba Father extends to us. The spirit of bondage here is the rejection mindset I am exposing.
Some translations communicate it as a spirit that makes us a slave to fear. Rejection is the enemy to the adoption that Father God releases to His sons and daughters. Adoption communicates acceptance, love and identity. Rejection seeks to block God’s love and your awareness of identity in His love.
In studying thousands of believers over the years, I have found that rejection has interfered with their salvation introduction. They initially came to God on the basis of His love and acceptance, but then began to live out the Christian life trying to perform and earn every sense of love, value and acceptance. I know this because it is what my experience was like.
An Awakened Perspective
When I saw what a rejection mindset was doing, not only was my heart illuminated, my lens on life shifted almost overnight. I have never been the same since. I began to immediately see where rejection had been my way of thinking for most of my life. My understanding of this inward root system began to unfold before me and I quickly saw its impact on my generation and previous generations as far back as I could see.
It became obvious how this rejection was infecting relationships all around me and placed a cap over the potential of many. Marriages, homes, workplaces, communities and churches were exhausting their resources dealing with the weeds of relational breakdown.
Parents and children went back and forth in a toxic ping pong match that never resolved. In attempts to remedy these situations, the church would try to address behaviors that were manifesting, plucking a bad branch, only to find it quickly grow back again, because the root of rejection was never addressed and uprooted.
Stepping Out to Help People
As Melissa and I shared our heart and passion for people to be healed and free, we noticed that churches of all kinds have been deeply infested with a rejection mindset. Pastors were drained and getting burned out because of unresolved rejection issues in the congregation. At the same time, the leader’s own rejection issues were leaking into the daily activities of church life.
Counseling session after counseling session only produced more weariness and less transformation. Our hearts wept as we saw relationships with phenomenal potential crumble to the ground, usually because of a rejection issue. To top if off, I watched as unresolved rejection took out key leaders in ministry. Pastors and very influential people were taken out by struggles that went unattended to for decades, eventually exploding at the worst possible point.
During this time, I began to develop a holy anger for what the enemy was doing in the body of Christ. A fire was burning inside of me to see this meticulous plot exposed so that people could take back identity and healthy love for good!
Despite our intentions, those same people we worked with often lashed out against us. As we all know, hurting people will hurt people, even those that are tending to their wounds.
This passion further intensified as Melissa and I recognized God’s call for us to pastor a local church in addition to the teaching ministry. Here again, we watched rejection push its agenda and thwart the fruitful stages of what God wanted to do. We watched that as soon as certain relationships would show the potential to go to the next level and become long-term, covenant relationships, rejection would rise up and erode them.
A Call for Awakening
I write everything for the sole purpose of seeing other people free. I made a commitment to God that whatever He would teach me, I would share with as many people as I can.
I know this: the devil hates seeing loving, healthy, vibrant and fruitful relationships in the church. We must recognize the war against it or we may find ourselves eroding from the inside out.
Jesus warned us that the last days would be filled with relationship struggles.
And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. Matthew 24: 10-12
As part of this breakdown of our society that will occur in the last days, He is clear that many people will be more easily offended. They will also betray each other. Relationships will be filled with hate, where people will withdraw love and love less. This will give greater rise to false prophets who will deceive people.
Many perceptions and lifestyles will be based on these deceptions, being nothing more than a counterfeit. Because of this lawlessness, their ability to walk in love will grow cold. This is a serious issue that is already at work.
Eating Away at Your Love Capacity
Rejection is one of the primary tools to destroy our love capacity. Satan knows that if we feel absent or separated from love, we lose connection to the key for all personal sanity. He will create a false reality over our lives that keep us neck deep in bondage.
It is going to be important that we first deal with the struggles in our own life that keep us from bountiful relationships. In addition, it will help us gain a spiritual lens on the world around us that will equip us to delivering authentic love to those in bondage.
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