The second tactic of Satan if he can’t get you stuck on legalism, then he will use your pride to get you to constantly look inward. I say pride, because we don’t realize it’s our pride that makes us think that we are better than we really are.
I learned that from ‘Imitation of Mary’, when Blessed Mother chided me for my discouragement when I fall into sin.
There is a healthy place where a soul should examine their conscience daily to see where they fell short in love and then make an attempt the next day to do better by trusting in the Lords mercy. That is healthy way to be conscious of your sin when you have entrusted yourself to mercy of God, and realize you are just full of misery and it’s only the Lords merciful love that can hold you. So you’re not surprised by your shortcomings, fails or hidden sins the Lord reveals.
However, when you stumble and fall into sin and rather beat yourself up into condemnation and utterly discouraged and disappointed that you failed; that is a attitude of being self-focused and self-centered and it comes with a companion – self-pity. The enemy is clever at making souls have this attitude, so they feel so bad about themselves that they are not able to be available for those around them. You’re constantly depressed or discouraged by your inability, your weakness, your lack, your vices that comes to the surface; but it’s pride that wishes we would do everything perfectly, but we can’t and were never called to do that.
This self-focused and inward attitude always causes you to look at yourself. The enemy constantly pounces a list of all your faults, your sins, your weakness and when you fall, he heaps on you condemnation. You are often unsure of the Lord’s love for you and also thinking that he never is pleased with you and not close to you because of this pile of condemnation that stands between you and Him, so you perceive. The enemy makes you feel the way he sees you, is the same way Jesus sees you as well. A constant loser, failure, and someone unworthy of love because you are full of sin and can never get it right. This attitude works so well for those called to ministry, because it stops you from ministering. How can you encourage someone to feel good about themselves when you feel awful about yourself? How can you encourage someone to not give up and trust in the Lord’s love, when you are under condemnation and feel as though Jesus has given up on you? How can you tell someone about Gods amazing love, when you are unable to truly receive it because you feel you’re not good enough?
You see how this can send you into a rabbit hole or a turtle shell, where you easily tuck in and hide away from everyone; even God, because of the shame, discouragement, and disappointment you carry. Your joy is stolen not realizing there are no failures in Gods Kingdom. He is not concerned with judging even the littlest of your actions but rather, your motives. He doesn’t love you for what you do or don’t do – He loves you because He is love and you are His child. He has made provision for all your weaknesses, failures, and sins already, so He is not surprised by what you do or don’t do, nor is He angry with you.
What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? 33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one – for God himself has given us right standing with himself. 34 Who then will condemn us? No one, for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.
35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below –indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Now, how can a soul be set free from these spirits that come to steal their joy? It’s by trusting in Gods merciful love. Both tactics by the devil, use fear and condemnation as a stronghold. When you know the nature of Jesus, His gentleness and kindness, you can than take authority when these evils suggestions and thoughts attack your mind about your faith; what you’re doing, what you should do, about who you are and who you aren’t.
If you’re dealing with a religious spirit, I would encourage you to sit before the Lord and pray the self-deliverance prayer which we will have in the comments. After that, you will then have to fill your mind and heart with the truth of the nature of the real Jesus and reject the false Jesus who has been controlling you. The Holy Spirit is not controlling, rather He guides, nurtures, and instructs.
To be set free from the self-focused attitude, you must simply trust again in Gods mercy. He has made it clear time and time again through my messages and Mother Clare’s messages how merciful He is, and how He wants us to trust Him and run to Him when we fall. Not only that, but truly embrace our misery, our nothingness; that is the key to freedom and the key to holiness. When we truly see ourselves in the light of Jesus mirror, all you can do is to cling to His mercy, because you realize that even the best of your righteous acts will not measure up, and the closer you get to Jesus, is actually the more the darkness within will be brought to the light. It should make a soul rather more humble because you see yourself for what you truly are without any shadows. That is the beauty of drawing nearer to Jesus, you began to love His mercy and see His mercy in your life and that of others.
So, it should actually make it easier to minister to people. Because your sins are so glaring and you see how the Lord still uses you, loves you, cares for you and forgives you constantly without giving up on you. Despite your failures, you can encourage the greatest of sinners that you too are a great sinner and for them to trust in Gods mercy because your life has been a testimony of that.
You see, your sanctification cannot be done by you. The religious spirit and this self-focused attitude make you think that you can sanctify yourself by your own actions. If Satan can get your eyes off of Jesus and on to yourself, then it becomes so easy to enslave you with his accusation and condemnations. Only the Lord knows each soul thoroughly. He knows what crosses are needed to get us to the expected end He has destined for us when He created us.
A particular cross may be a suffering, A real cost to you, but for someone else it wont cost much or hurt much. That is why we must all abandon ourselves daily to the Lord. When you understand that He has lessons for all of us each day, tailored just to the degree of holiness he has for you, then you can trust His hand in your life and let go. Take each day as it comes, with whatever trials it may bring, and ask the Lord for the grace to respond in love rather than your flesh. That is how we truly grow in grace and in virtue. When we allow the Lord to carve out the path of sanctification for us then a religious spirit and a self-focused attitude can not take a hold of us.
It took me a long while to figure that out and it was through the life of the saints and the writings of Saint Therese little flower and Faustina that set me free from myself, my own will, my own way and my ambition to be holy by my ability. They both understood the high calling of holiness that calls us to love like Christ. And they also understood very well, the merciful love of God and allowed the Lord to sanctify them by seeing everything the Lord allowed in their daily lives was permitted by Him, and that He set up different situations daily for them, that they could respond in selflessness, self-sacrifice, self-denial and loving their neighbor. That is how they were sanctified and still held to the joy of their salvation.
Before, I was trying to be good on my own to do this and not that, and I fell under the oppression of these two spirits. I have great peace now and I am not quite there yet having joy in suffering or being free from anxiety when I know a trial is coming. However, what I am free from is trying to be perfect in my actions and beating myself up when I fail. I have embraced my misery truly and I have tasted the sweetness and also the protection in just trusting Gods merciful love, knowing that He has made provision for all my short comings, so am no longer surprised when I fail or fall, I know that he is pleased with me not because of what I do, but because I simply don’t give up and keep trying and keep trusting in His merciful love, even in my doubts. I know that He loves me because of who He is and not what I do. I know that He is not looking for religious strict pious acts but rather, He looks at the intent of my Heart in all I do and blesses good will.
That means you can attempt to be obedient to something the Lord has asked you to do, and fail in falling through to do it 100 times, He still wouldn’t be mad at you, nor would become less favored by Him. You can try to overcome a certain sin or vice and find yourself stumbling constantly in one area, He still wouldn’t be upset but would still be pleased that you still are trying to overcome your flesh and haven’t given up. He doesn’t look at the failure, but the fact that you attempted and keep attempting because you want to please Him, just because you had it in your mind to do something good and loving for Him or for another is accredited to you. What a merciful God we serve!
I pray that this teaching brought deliverance to your heart and mind if you have been oppressed by these spirits and had this assignment against you. Receive the joy of your salvation in Jesus name! We will now see what Jesus has to say.
God bless you family, until the next message.