Dear beloved: Another avenue of demonic entry in our lives that is very common to just about all people of all Christian denominations is that of a religious spirit, or a spirit that wants to bind us to a form or religion with not power. Paul talks about it in 2 Timothy 3:1 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. v2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, v3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self control, brutal, haters of good, v4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; v5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; and avoid such men as these. A religious spirit is commonly found among people who are very "spiritual", or "religious", they enjoy and practice religion and ritual, may be faithful in church attendance and even tithing; however, their faith and practice of it is built around works, routines, rituals, and all the controls that go with maintaining their status or position in the established patterns of worship.
In Acts 1:8 Jesus told the disciples, "but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in Judea, and in Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth." The power that Jesus was talking about came upon the apostles and those with them to such a great extent that the people watching them thought they were drunk! Acts 2:13 But others were mocking and saying, "they are full of sweet wine." And so the manifestation of the power of the Holy Spirit was so strong it made them act like they were drunk. The Holy Spirit, the manifestations of the Holy Spirit including tongues, prophecy, miracles and all the other gifts of the Holy Spirit that are poured out at each believers individual Pentecost, are the source of power for the New Testament believer in Christ. That is the only source of power, and it is not in rituals, routines, nice church buildings, or anything else that we can so easily attribute the source of power. Paul says in 2 Thessalonians 5:19 Do not quench the Spirit; v20 Do not despise prophetic utterances, v21 But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good. v22 abstain from every form of evil. If you find yourself quenching the Holy Spirit by speaking against tongues, prophecy, miracles, or any other of the moves of the Spirit, you have a religious spirit.
A religious spirit is also a critical spirit, always finding fault with something in the church service, such as the service was too long, or the music not to my liking, or the prayer wasn't the right prayer for today; it is also critical of the individuals, especially those who have the freedom of the Holy Spirit and don't want to be controlled by that religious spirit. Beloved, do you want to hold up your hands in church sometimes but are afraid what others around you will think? Or how about you would like to dance before the Lord but your feet are bound by the spirit of bondage over the congregation or you personally? 2 Samuel 6:16 Then it happened as the ark of the Lord came into the city of David that Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart. ...Michal had the religious spirit, she called David a fool in verse 20. Then in verse 22 David declares his freedom," For I will become more lightly esteemed than this (more undignified) and will be humble in my own eyes, but with the maids of whom you have spoken, with them I will be distinguished." ..And as a result, God cursed Michal with no children to the day of her death.
Confess and repent of your religious spirit if you have one, let your hair down before the Lord, humble yourself and say to Him," Lord, let your Spirit move me in any way you wish, and give me your power!" God will give you that which you ask for in faith. May God bless you this day as you more forward in power, in Christ, Jim