Have you ever encountered a religious spirit in a fellow Christian? I daresay if you are walking in your delegated power and authority from Christ, and know who you are in Him, then you most likely have met a fellow Christian with a religious spirit. How will you know and what effect does this spirit have upon the Body of Christ?
So, what exactly is a religious spirit? This may shock many in the Body of Christ but it is actually a spirit that comes from the Enemy to wage war against an intimate and personal relationship with Jesus in a Believer's life. And I want to take a moment to point out a fact that escapes so many people who say they believe in God .... we are made in His image, and the Bible says, God is spirit [the Source of life, yet invisible to mankind], and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth (John 4:24). So, if we are made in His image, then we are spirits, too, correct? But here is what too many people miss when considering how they live out their faith in God .... we are created as spirits who are living through a temporary physical experience. We came from Heaven where we were spirits, and after a very short life span here on earth, we will return to Heaven (which we call "home", right?) as a spirit. We are not primarily physical beings created to stumble upon an occasional spiritual experience, even though I'm afraid that this is how most Christians see themselves. When the Bible says those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth, that is the truth we must embrace as we seek to relate to Him as spirits in a spiritual realm outside of this physical world.
But back to the purpose of a religious spirit, which is in all reality, a spirit sent by the Enemy against Christians to keep them feeling distant from God and to ensure that they never meet Jesus in the spirit. This spirit can severely limit a Christian's intimacy with their Lord and Savior, and result in a life lived in virtual isolation from the One who created them and Who longs for a heart/spirit relationship.
LeStrange goes on to say, "The religious spirit fights [against] revelation; it defies prophetic insight; it hates apostolic authority; and it uses tradition to build structures of limitation". All that is just another way to say that it builds a chasm between the Believer and a spiritual intimacy with God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit.
If you have spent time with God in His Word, then you know that it is His heart's desire to lead us into new and fresh revelations of His nature and His plans for invading earth with the Kingdom of Heaven. It only makes sense that Satan would do everything he could to keep that from happening. As long as the devil can keep us entangled in our limited human reasoning, and uninterested in pursuing the spiritual realm and encountering Jesus there, then he can keep us impotent and ineffective.
You see, God wants us to be in sync with Him; to be aware of what He is saying, what He is doing, and what He is releasing in the earth -- just as Jesus was when He walked among us. We can only do that if we are tuned in to the Spirit through our own spirit. We must be aware of His presence, and the only way to do that is in the spirit! It is the devil's express desire to keep us from being transformed from our physical limitations into a spiritual awareness where we can commune and work with Jesus to bring about God's will on earth.
Satan loves it when we, as Christians, are stuck in a paradigm that is unable to experience the presence of Jesus in our lives. When we are stuck with our religious ideas and traditions, we are not able to partner with Him to bring about prophetic change on the earth. The religious spirit works to block people's minds from becoming renewed and seeing and hearing in the spirit, which is our birthright -- it is what we are created to do!
You see, God wants to reveal the deep and hidden mysteries of His Kingdom to us, so that we can help bring about the times and seasons of His plan for mankind. But the Religious spirit develops blockades that keep men from seeking those new revelations. So, as a Body of Christ, we must pray for freedom from this spirit; we must pray to break the opposition that comes against us as we share these truths with Believers; and we must pray that our Brothers and Sisters in Christ are transformed with new hearts and minds that can resist this hindering spirit and come into alignment with us and our Father in Heaven, to bring about His plans for these times. It is now time to defeat and remove this spirit's stranglehold on the Church, so that we might enter into our inheritance!
1 Corinthians 2:14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him [absurd and illogical], and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned [and he is unqualified to judge spiritual matters].