WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
AUGUST 22, 2023
TOPIC: WRONG SPIRITS (1)
BY T. O. BANSO
“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10 King James Version).
It is believed that David wrote Psalm 51 when Nathan the prophet went to confront him over his adultery with Bathsheba and the killing of his husband, Uriah. He said in verse 10, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10 King James Version). Note the phrase “a right spirit.” This means there is a wrong spirit.
The New International Version uses the phrase “steadfast spirit” instead of “a right spirit.” The Amplified Bible uses the phrase “a right and steadfast spirit.” Note that the word spirit in that scripture starts with a small letter. The phrase refers to a spirit, not “the spirit” or “the Spirit.” If there is a right spirit, it also means that there is a wrong spirit. There are wrong spirits that a Christian must not allow in his life.
Let us consider some of these spirits that the Bible talks about.
1. The spirit of jealousy. Numbers 5:14-31 talks about the spirit of jealousy. It states the law of jealousy, when a wife, while under her husband’s authority, goes astray and defiles herself, or when the spirit of jealousy comes upon a man, and he becomes jealous of his wife.
Proverbs 6:34 says “For jealousy is a husband’s fury; therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance” (New King James Version). The International Version puts it this way: “For jealousy arouses a husband’s fury, and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge.” Both husbands and wives can be jealous of each other.
The word jealousy could be used in a positive sense regarding “vigilance in maintaining or guarding something.” But the consideration in this devotional is jealousy in the negative sense. It is a wrong spirit that a believer must not allow in his life. It was that spirit that entered Cain and made him kill his brother (Genesis 4:5-8). Out of jealousy, some people or lovers have killed their spouses or those they considered their rivals. Proverbs 27:4 says, “Wrath is cruel and anger a torrent, but who is able to stand before jealousy?” (New King James Version). Get rid of this spirit in your life.
2. The spirit of ill will, hostility, or animosity that causes treachery. God allowed this spirit to cause a problem between Abimelech and the men of Shechem who had cooperated with him before to slay his seventy brothers to consolidate himself on the throne.
Judges 9:23-25 says, “God sent a spirit of ill will between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech, that the crime done to the seventy sons of Jerubbaal might be settled and their blood be laid on Abimelech their brother, who killed them, and on the men of Shechem, who aided him in the killing of his brothers. And the men of Shechem set men in ambush against him on the tops of the mountains, and they robbed all who passed by them along that way; and it was told Abimelech” (New King James Version).
The New Heart English Bible renders the phrase “a spirit of ill will” in this scripture as “a spirit of hostility.” The New Living Translation says, “a spirit that stirred up trouble” while the Berean Bible Study puts it as “a spirit of animosity.”
Guard your heart against this spirit. Don’t let it cause animosity, hostility, or trouble between you and others. This spirit could cause betrayal. Be loyal and faithful to people you have relationships with; don’t join forces with their enemies to betray them. Don’t become a traitor like Judas who went to the religious leaders to ask how much he would be paid if he betrayed Jesus. “Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, ‘What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?’ And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver. So from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him’” (Matthew 26:14-16 New King James Version). The word “deliver” means “betray” Do you have a price that the enemy can pay you to betray your friend, spouse, or any other person?
3. The spirit of heaviness. In Isaiah 61:3, Isaiah, prophesying about the ministry of Jesus Christ, talks, among other things, about giving the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness – the spirit of despair, grief, or weakness. The spirit of heaviness is a terrible spirit that makes one sink into depression which can result in horrible actions such as suicide. Hannah told Eli that she was a woman of sorrowful spirit (1 Samuel 1:15). The spirit of sorrow, despair, weakness, or heaviness will not possess you.
The antidote to the spirit of heaviness is to put on the garment of praise. Don’t allow the devil to cause your soul to be disquieted or troubled. Praise God. As you do, joy will flood your heart. The psalmist asks, “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance” (Psalm 42:5 New King James Version). Verse 11 says nearly the same thing, and this is exactly repeated in Psalm 43:5.
Praise God. Don’t let Satan steal your joy. As the Bible says in the latter part of Nehemiah 8:10, “Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength” (New King James Version). Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience (James 1:2-3).
Philippians 4:4 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” (New King James Version). Don’t let circumstances determine your joy. Be intentional about rejoicing notwithstanding your circumstances. “Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls—Yet will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation” (Habakkuk 3:17-18 New King James Version).
4. The spirit of harlotry. Harlotry could be spiritual or physical. Hosea 4:12 says, “My people ask counsel from their wooden idols, and their staff informs them. For the spirit of harlotry has caused them to stray, and they have played the harlot against their God” (New King James Version). Here in this scripture, the reference is to spiritual harlotry – chasing after other gods, idol worshipping. Hosea 5:4 says, “They do not direct their deeds toward turning to their God, for the spirit of harlotry is in their midst, and they do not know the Lord” (New King James Version).
But the spirit of harlotry could possess someone and the person would use his/her body for harlotry – sexual immorality. 1 Corinthians 6:15-16 says, “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For ‘the two,’ He says, ‘shall become one flesh’” (New King James Version).
Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and you should glorify God in your body and spirit, which are God’s because you were bought at a price, and you are not your own (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
You must not allow these wrong spirits in your heart, for if you do, they will manifest as sinful behaviour – the works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-20). Instead, let the Holy Spirit possess you and yield yourself to His control to produce in your life the fruit of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
We shall look at more of these wrong spirits tomorrow.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. I will not allow myself to be possessed by any wrong spirit in Jesus’ name. I will yield myself to the Holy Spirit to produce in my life the fruit of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
WhatsApp No: +2349081295947