the problem with religion and the reality of the angelic

You ever meet those people that you can tell they spend time a lot of time with the Lord? Like they’re really in love, they really pursue Him and just want to spend time with Him. They take whatever moment they can during the day to steal away and spend a few minutes talking with Him. You get around them and smell His fragrance on them. When they talk about Him, its as though they had just had coffee with Him that morning. I want to be like that.

My problem is religion. Lord help me, I get caught up. I know its wrong, its suffocating to my mind and toxic to my spirit. I recall previous times in my life where I would just spend so much time with the Lord, reading His word, praying, sitting silently, thinking freely and allowing Him to speak. I then say to myself, “yeah, I want that again.” So I set up a time and begrudgingly flip through the word and space out in prayer or fall back on rote repetitions. My heart isn’t where it ought to be.

Yesterday I was feeling a bit anxious throughout the day, for no real given reason. My soul was churning within me. It felt as though my skin was just one size too big and my very being was squirming within my existence. I had allowed my religiousness, including its facets of self-righteous cynicism and empty routine, to bind my spirit and soul. I had to get out of the house so I went for a walk around my in-laws property. My soul was longing to connect with the Creator, as deep cries out to deep.

Night was falling and I walked out of the house as my anxiety persisted. As I headed down the hill towards their flower nursery, I prayed. My spirit sought the Lord in tongues my mind doesn’t understand. I eventually reached the top of a hill that overlooked the nearby highway as well as much of the property. Awake my soul, Lord. I jumped up and down, cringed and confessed. Bring freedom, Jesus. I raised my hands and my voice. Help me, Spirit. I got distracted and had to re-focus. Deliver me, Father.

And then I got quiet.

Head bowed, hands in pocket. I suddenly become very aware of my own heartbeat, pounding in my chest. My mouth begins to water as though I were preparing to vomit. I feel an angelic presence behind me to the left. In the spirit, I sense him place his hand on my shoulder and pray for me. God cares for me, He walks with me and protects me. There is an angelic assignment for my life. Its not fairy tale, its not a children’s story, its not only biblical, its beyond that, its real, right here and now in my life. I raise my hands to receive from the Spirit that which He purposed for me in this time.

Just as I felt the pressure of the gray and all the different ways to look at all the facets of my problems, then critique them and in so doing, debilitate myself from healing, so God my Rescuer went after each different problem.

My cynicism is useless. It misses the point. The problem is sin and bondage in the spirit (Ephesians 6:12). All that physical stuff that I see and critique are only manifestations of the problem in the spirit.

I think God wants to use me in one way, but He wants to use me in many.

Don’t strive to produce or be a certain person, only abide in Christ.

May the Spirit of God stir in me that desire to sit with Him, abide in Him, allow Him to use me how He wants to. Lord, save me from the bondage of self-righteousness and empty religion. May I walk in the light of Your Word and the life of Your Spirit.

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Author: Brandon Stiver

I am a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, living and working in Moshi, Tanzania. My wife is named Melissa and we have three children: Moses, Promise and Shepherd. We are directors over an orphan care ministry called Kingdom Families; advocating for the needs of orphans and vulnerable children and assisting families to welcome them into their homes as sons and daughters.

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