We must learn to control the thoughts that enter our minds. Otherwise, the spirit of rejection will cause us to be fruitless.
I recommend a brief opening prayer to you…
Lord Jesus, you know the battles I face everyday in my mind. Teach me Lord how to obey your word and take captive every thought that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. Teach me how to make my thoughts be obedient to you and to cast down every imagination that is keeping my salvation from being fruitful.
Hopelessness is the fruit of a mind filled with more ungodly thoughts, reasoning, arguments and pretenses…than a mind filled with the hope that comes from the Word of God. The same principle holds true for any atmosphere. When God’s people stop praying and meditating on the Word of God, feelings of hopelessness will increase in a home, a church, a business, a government, etc…
Ephesians 6:17 commands us to TAKE the helmet of salvation. This means that, unlike the first three pieces of our spiritual armor, we don’t just have the helmet by default. Action is required on our part to receive the benefits of the helmet of salvation. I Thessalonians 5:8 gives us a bit more insight into the reason Paul used the imagery of a helmet when describing this piece of the armor. The idea is that the HOPE OF SALVATION is designed by God to protect the MIND of believers. Then Ephesians 2:12-13 and Colossians 1:27 goes on further to explain that Jesus Himself is actually the Hope of our Salvation. Finally, since John 1 clearly tells us that Jesus is the Word of God, it makes perfect sense that the way to battle hopelessness in the mind is by filling the mind with the Word of God and then quoting it whenever we need to take control of thoughts that are contrary to what we know is true about God and are not in line with obedience to Jesus. This is exactly how Jesus resisted Satan in the wilderness, so it’s the perfect pattern.
Taking the helmet of salvation means simply this. Every time an ungodly thought enters your mind, you challenge the thought by presenting an opposing argument. Your opposing argument consists of promises you can stand on as a benefit of your salvation in Jesus Christ. This is one of the reasons why the Word of God commands us not to forget all of the benefits we receive in Christ. We need to know how to respond to the lies of the enemy.
I have a practical example of this. Say you love Jesus and have a reverential fear of God. However, you know that your son or daughter hasn’t given their life to Jesus. They are always out partying, and the enemy is tormenting your mind with thoughts of your child dying and going to hell. How do you stop these thoughts? Here’s how you do it, you find a passage of scripture that is God’s perspective on the situation and you quote it every time a contrary thought comes to your mind. For example here’s a passage perfect for this situation…He who fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a refuge Proverbs 14:26 (NIV). This will work every time to shut the mouth of the enemy. Now, until you get to know the scripture well enough, you may have to get help from someone more familiar with scripture.
The promises of salvation found in the scripture are designed to protect our minds against hopelessness as we endure the hardships of being ambassadors for Christ in a sin saturated fallen world.
Now, the Church of Jesus Christ has been given an assignment, by Jesus himself, to build disciples unto the Lord and destroy the works of darkness. Building and Battling, if you will. I invite you to take a look at the following passages of scripture.
As you come to him, the living Stone–rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him– you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ
1 Peter 2:4-5 (NIV)
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete
2 Corinthians 10:4-6 (NIV)
While the five-fold ministry office gifts do their level best to birth, equip and mold disciples into the likeness of Jesus Christ, it should be painfully obvious to us all that something is working against these efforts.
The spirit of Baal and the spirit of Rejection are two of the spiritual forces attempting to sabotage and undermine the very Church that Jesus said he would build. The spirit of Baal is the ruling spirit of perversion revealed in the old testament as the dominant influence in the life of Jezebel and her false prophets. We see this spirits influence as Israel constantly provokes God’s anger by practicing syncretism; an attempt to worship the only true and living God and Father of Jesus Christ, while also seeking to serve the mute God Baal. The spirit of Rejection is under the authority of Baal. This post will deal with the works of these two spirits in the Church.
As I understand it, these spirits have three main operations all with the common goal of provoking God to reject his own people because we are violating the Word of God.
Avoiding relationships that challenge our growth and maturity. Avoiding people that don’t agree with us because it feels like rejection. Preferring to be around people that have the same issues we do because they always agree with us. Proverbs 1:5 & Hebrews 10:25. The ultimate goal of isolation is to cultivate hopelessness.
Trusting more in people than we do in God Jeremiah 17:5, Self Love II Timothy 3:1-4, doing what people want us to do, in an effort to avoid rejection, as opposed to doing what Jesus has commanded us to do Acts 5:29
Attempting to avoid the God ordained discipline and suffering designed to shape and mold us into living stones Hebrews 12:4-8 & I Peter 2:18, Preferring to become attached to things as opposed to people…attempting to avoid rejection Romans 1:25-27 & I John 2:15, calling the people God put in our lives evil Proverbs 17:13, blaming other people for our lack of maturity as opposed to taking full responsibility for what we’ve done wrong Proverbs 14:8
Consider the following passage of scripture. Jesus is playing the role of Jesus, the “certain man” is playing the role of a member of the body of Christ and the temple is playing the role of the local Church.
After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath. The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed. He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk. Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk. And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place. Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole. And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day
John 5:1-16 (KJV)
The story of this man’s life is the end result of a life that has been destroyed by the spirit of Rejection. You can extrapolate the inference into the life of a family, a church, a business, etc… Let’s take a look at this passage verse by verse.
V1 – There were tons of people in Jerusalem for the feast.
V2 – This story takes place at the sheep market because this was the place were animals were sold on their way to be sacrificed. Jesus is making a proclamation to the impotent man that as the Lamb of God, Jesus himself would be the sacrifice so that this impotent man could be forgiven of his sins, no longer be considered worthless and, unlike the sheep at the market, would be given a chance to go into the temple and come back out again John 10:9. Jesus was also demonstrating to this man that, even though many people regarded this man as worthless, his life had value. The five porches represent the grace that surrounded this man even though he rejected God in his mind. The problem, as we’ll soon see, is the negative thought pattern, brought on by the spirit of Rejection, this man has yielded his mind to for the past 38 years.
V3 – The impotent man is surrounded by people that are sick just like him. Neither one of them are able to help him make his way into the pool. This is very important because if we’re going to mature in the Kingdom of God, we must surround ourselves with people that can urge us on to maturity and not keep us stagnant because they don’t have the ability to help us.
V5 – The Greek words for the phrase “an infirmity” tells us that the man was in a fixed state of weakness for 38 years. A fixed position essentially means this man was not growing or developing or maturing for 38 years.
V6 – Jesus’ question to the man is designed to do two things. First, it’s designed to reveal to us what’s in the heart of this man. Second, it’s designed to reveal whether this man understands and is willing to acknowledge the state he’s in. Consider this thought, if you’ve been sick for 38 years and someone asks you if you want to get well, wouldn’t the logical answer simply be YES, NOW PLEASE? Well, I agree, unless you’ve spent that last 38 years blaming someone else for a condition that’s the result of the thoughts that have actually been flooding your mind; finally taking a toll on your ability to mature. This is my opinion (take it for what it’s worth), I truly believe this man’s physical weakness was the direct result of his mental condition.
V7 – Now we get a peak into this man’s heart Luke 6:35. Now we see the operation of the spirit of Rejection. The man’s answer to Jesus’ straight forward question is, I keep getting rejected every time I try to get healed! The part of this story I find so amazing is that the man was so busy blaming everyone else for his condition that he never bothers to ask Jesus to help him in. I mean think of it, there’s no doubt that many people passed this man without a second thought, but here is a man talking with him. It’s also very clear that he has been putting his trust in people instead of God. This is another reason it’s clear the spirit of Rejection is at work. Finally, isn’t it clear from this verse that this man has reached a place of hopelessness concerning his condition?
V8-9 – Jesus, in his compassion, doesn’t even address the man’s mental condition, the condition of his heart nor the absence of hope, He simply brings an immediate deliverance to the man. Immediately the man was made whole. The phrase made whole in the original Greek means to Rise to Growth or to mature quickly.
V10 – Please make note of the fact that even though this man spent 38 years right outside the temple (the church), without the possibility of entering in because of the strict regulations of the religious people, when Jesus heals him it’s such an awesome miracle, he’s able to pass the close inspection of the religious authorities to the point where he’s allowed to enter the temple. This also makes it clear that he was Jewish. Due to the rules of the temple and being labeled unclean, he probably went straight to the priests to have them confirm he was healed and could be welcomed back into the temple. It’s a clear picture of someone hoping for restoration, but looking to people to provide what only God can provide. Here we see the spirit of Rejection returning to tempt the man that was healed. Isn’t it funny that the so called religious people totally ignored the miracle this man received at the hands of Jesus. They’re concern was not for this man, but their allegiance to the demonic spirit of religion. They are more concerned about this man keeping the rules than celebrating that a brother has been restored to health.
V11 – Here we go, instead of the man resisting the spirit of Rejection and this religious spirit, in an attempt to avoid being rejected by the religious leaders, he blames the situation on Jesus. Please note, his answer was accurate, however, please remember that the spirit of Rejection is at work in this story. So even though his statement was correct, his heart is not right. Plainly, if the God that just healed you told you to carry the bed as a demonstration and declaration of your healing, you should, without reservation, do it with joy and thanksgiving. However, when the spirit of Rejection is operating in the mind of a person, they are more concerned about what people think about them then what God thinks about them. This is the first sin this man commits right after being healed by Jesus. Remember, Jesus asked him whether he wanted to be made whole. Growing up spiritually will require you to obey God even when people around you don’t agree with what you’re doing.
V14 – Jesus, no doubt aware of the verbal exchange that had taken place between the man and the religious leaders, confirms the miracle the man received. However, Jesus is also aware that this man has just sinned and warns him to sin no more lest a worse thing come on him. Now, to my logical mind, if Jesus says sin no more, that means the man was sinning up to that point. Second, when Jesus says a worse thing may come on this man, that means that something had already come upon this man. As we have seen, this something is the spirit of Rejection. According to Matthew 12:43-45 the worst thing mentioned by Jesus is the spirit of Rejection returning and bringing additional spirits more wicked than himself. Now, I have a simple question, can you explain to me why the scripture never records this man praising and worshiping God for his healing? In addition, once Jesus locates him in the temple, why hasn’t he said thank you to Jesus? You see, the spirit of Rejection will always try to cause the person they’re influencing to reject people sent by God to help them. If you think about it for a second, it makes sense. The spirit of Rejection wants to remain in this mans life and wants to open him up to additional demonic influence if possible. One of the ways the spirit of Rejection does this is by causing friction in relationships that are God ordained. Let’s see what the man does after Jesus warns him to sin no more.
V15 – The word departed is the key word the Holy Spirit used to reveal to me the operation of the spirit of Rejection in this story. The word tells us that this man, after hearing the warning of Jesus, decided to go back or walk away from the commandment Jesus gave him. The man that Jesus just gave an eye popping miracle to, allows the spirit of Rejection to convince him that Jesus was now an enemy. Why do I say that, read the verse carefully in as many translations as you can. It is crystal clear that this man intentionally went right back to the religious leaders and rejected the very person that had just gave him the most loving, affirming and accepting miracle he had ever received. Even in all of that, he thought it appropriate to reject Jesus by provoking Jesus’ enemies. Dear loved one, if you battle rejection, you need to be aware of something. Since God will not allow His people to worship other people, if you spend your life seeking the approval of people and not God. God Himself will allow the very people you’re seeking approval from most to be the ones that reject you the most. God doesn’t allow this because He likes seeing us in pain. On the contrary, He allows it to happen this way because of the power the spirit of rejection has in many peoples lives. This exact type of suffering is the only way to ultimately rip the blinders off of the eyes of the people oppressed by this spirit. We’ll see the full manifestation of this decision in the next verse.
V16 – Now we see the full manifested workings of the spirit of Rejection. Instead of this man rejoicing in God for the miracle he’s just received, he’s responsible for and right smack dab in the middle of a bunch of mess. He has just unleashed a flood of demonic forces against Jesus. Thank God Jesus was full of the Holy Ghost and could withstand the onslaught. Many of us could not withstand such an attack. In your free time, read on in John 5 and you’ll see what I mean. It is crystal clear in my mind that even though this man was touched by the hand of God, his actions were nothing short of demonic.
Now that I’ve shared all of that, if you battle the spirit of Rejection, here is the deliverance Jesus wants to give you today.
1. Deny Yourself – Humble yourself by confessing the sin of yielding to the spirit of Rejection, Pray – it’s impossible for you to be subject to the spirit of Rejection and remain faithful in prayer for other people and yourself, Fast – even though many people find acceptance and comfort in food, choose to deny your stomach so that you can hear Jesus as He talks with you, finally ask Jesus to deliver you.
2. Take Up Your Cross – Do not attempt to avoid difficult relationships and God ordained suffering, they have been ordained by God to yield a peaceable fruit of righteousness in you. Jesus is never going to stop people from offending you or rejecting you. You must mature to the point where it does not cultivate more rejection in you. On the contrary, it must drive you to love those who have hurt you and pray for them. Until you can do that, you are tying God’s hands from delivering you (read the book of Job). Job went through all that he went through so that God could birth an intercessor!
3. Follow Jesus – Enter the flow of the Spirit…not observing from a distance. This following of Jesus means COMPLETE OBEDIENCE to what Jesus commands you to do. This is the most important part of all. Jesus is no longer in the earth realm. So, to follow Him in complete obedience, two things are required, YOU MUST MEDITATE ON THE WORD OF GOD NIGHT AND DAY! I don’t know exactly how that will play out in your life, but I can tell you that without filling your mind with the Word of God, you will not be successful at resisting the spirit of Rejection. Secondly, you MUST join yourself to people that are NOT battling the spirit of Rejection and CHOOSE to submit to their love, correction, reproof and encouragement. This may mean you have to stop watching so much television. It may mean you need to come away from social media for a year or two. It will definitely mean you will have to deal with additional feelings of rejection. However, as I’ve laid out in this post, it will ultimately bring about the fruit of righteousness in your life if you agree to do it.
The question is – DO YOU WANT TO BE MADE WHOLE?
I pray this post has encouraged you to resist the spirit of Rejection.
I recommend a closing prayer to you…
Lord Jesus you know how I have battled rejection my entire life. Jesus you also know I don’t know how to control what enters my mind. Lord Jesus please forgive me for yielding to the spirit of Rejection and come into my life and teach me how to yield to you instead. Jesus I also ask that you heal every relationship that has been damaged by the spirit of Rejection. Lord help me to love others and teach me to receive love from you and people. In Jesus name I pray.