Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Spirit Types

.... In today’s spiritual warfare, we find specific types of demon spirits blamed for the ills of all mankind. For example, Isaiah 61:3 speaks of a ‘spirit of heaviness’; 2 Timothy 1:7 mentions a ‘spirit of fear’; Hosea 4:12 mentions a ‘spirit of harlotry’. And as traditions have formed, these passages have taken on new meanings.
.... At other times, wicked persons from the Bible are personified and made into ‘spirits’ of a similar type and power, such as ‘the Jezebel spirit’ (1 Kings 16:31). Still other ‘demons’ have been derived from the diagnosis of psychology, and morphed into demonic form. Thus we have a ‘spirit of depression’ or a ‘spirit of anxiety’, or legions of other human woes that are portrayed as demons. But is that what the Bible is really teaching?
.... When the Bible speaks of ‘a spirit of heaviness’, or a ‘spirit of fear’, etc, it is not actually talking about a demon at all. It is merely talking about a mood or an attitude within our own, human spirit. For example, when the Scriptures speak of ‘the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit’ this clearly defines a God-fearing Christian woman (1 Pet 3:4). Likewise, a ‘contrite and humble spirit’ clearly refers to an attitude within the spirit of those who have pleased God (Is 57:15). Or even on a less happy but still godly note, we might look to Hannah who said, "I am a woman of sorrowful spirit." (1 Sam 1:15).
.... Had the devil never existed, we would still have had plenty of problems simply because of the fallen world in which we live. In some cases, ascribing everything to demons can simply be a form of blame-shifting to avoid personal responsibility. In others, the devil may actually be playing an indirect role through outward situations or even through unsaved persons. So, rather than blaming everything on the devil automatically, we need to sort things out judiciously:

.... "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places."

(Eph 6:12)

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