“We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all” (1 Thessalonians 5:12-14, ESV).
A religious stronghold is evident in someone that wants to submit to God only, but not to the leadership that has been placed over their life. God will not bless us when we fail to have a submissive attitude. A husband must be prayed for and submitted to—not talked about behind his back with your girlfriends. A pastor must be prayed for and submitted to—not talked about in your private conversations with other members. Even when God does reveal something to you that is out of place, He reveals it to you so that you can pray. Pray! PRAY!
Be careful not to be an idle bystander or a fault-finding spectator that is busy looking at what everyone else is or isn’t doing. The Bible instructs us to respect those that labor among us, to admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, and be patient with them all. When you find yourself being critical, non-submissive, and only noticing flaws, the enemy has built a stronghold in your mind. God is pulling down strongholds by His mighty power, and He is starting in the church. He is causing a shaking and a destroying of the religious mindset, because it hurts people.
It’s time to lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily besets you and to run with patience the race that God has set before you. (see Hebrews 12:1). Be about your Father’s business. Find something good to say, instead of being negative and critical. Walk in love and humility and pray for your leadership. God wants to use you in a great way, but it will begin with His great work within you.
Prayer: Father, thank You for speaking to me by Your Holy Spirit. I submit to You right now and I humble myself under Your mighty hand. I receive Your words of wisdom and correction. I ask Your forgiveness if I have behaved myself in a way that does not please You. Pull down any stronghold on my life of a religious attitude. I receive Your forgiveness and Your grace to walk in a way that glorifies You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
(Read 1 Thessalonians 5)