The Kingdom Crier
(Chapter four) Bewitched
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The Bruised Reed by Tony Larussa
The Bruised Reed (Preface)
The Bruised Reed (Introduction)
(Chapter one) Bad Press on the Track
(Chapter two) The Symphony of Destruction
(Chapter three) Superman
(Chapter four) Bewitched
(Chapter five) Let No One
(Chapter six) Are you Thriving or Surviving?
(Chapter seven) Consider Not !
(Chapter eight) Is there anybody left ?
(Chapter nine) New Creatures
(Chapter ten) The Reckoning
(Chapter eleven) Room for Nathan
(Chapter twelve) The Bruised Reed
In Him we prosper - In Him we are complete
Thought Page


As long as we continue to judge by the outward appearance of things, we will fail to see the wisdom of God and dangerously line ourselves up with the world’s wisdom which God calls foolish. Paul was dealing with a people just like us. It was the church in Galatia. In chapter 3 he says,


Oh Foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ has been evidently set forth and crucified among you? This is all I want to know and learn about you, did you receive the spirit (with accompanying salvation) by keeping the works of the law or by the hearing of faith and response to it? Are you so foolish to believe that what you began with God in the spirit, you can now perfect or improve upon in the flesh on your own? Have you suffered so many things in vain?


The church at Galatia had a heavy duty case of religious peer pressure going on. The new life of the spirit and introduction of the Kingdom of God preached by Jesus was revolutionary. Lines were drawn in the metaphoric sand and the traditional views of man in his relationship to God were being offended by the new covenant that God had placed in the earth through the sacrificed blood of His Son.


Jesus became the rock of offense and the stone of stumbling. Those who believed and received the gift of salvation by trusting in the hope of the gospel of Christ, had to contend with those who held traditional views, and were therefore persecuted for their new found faith. These new believers became bewitched by tradition and the pressure of their peers to fall back from God’s grace and embrace the law once again. But now, true worship of God was solely based upon the finished work of the Spirit and the personhood of truth. His name was Jesus.


Because of Christ, relationally to God, all things became new for us, the old was done away with. The fact that these new believers seemed to have a new fire and fresh living joy, infuriated those who sought to keep the law and through it, keep control of the people. This contention caused these new believers to become double minded and once again observe the rules of the law because they were babes in Christ on the milk of the Word. In essence, these babes in Christ were sacrificing their new found liberties found in Him, for peace, security and acceptance with the ones who were persecuting them.


In Galatians 3 Paul reminded them, Christ had died for us all to make us partakers of His Spirit; but falling back to the adherence to the law publicly confessed that Christ had become of no effect for them. There was no way to finish in the flesh or by the law what God had done in them, because the law was done away with as far as it now pertained to them in Christ. (see Romans 10:4) The demonic melody was being orchestrated even in their day and Paul was there to confront it. Believe it or not, following rules and regulations that dictate a persons behavior or how one should think, can be quite soothing to someone who is not spiritually hungry for the deeper truths of the meat of life. Babes are told what to do and how to think. Consequently, a blind obedience to rules negates intimate interaction with the Holy Spirit who searches the thoughts and intents of everything we do.


Past hurtful experiences in the realm of religion, portray a false portrait of a God who impersonally rules through fear and judgment. Consequently, we fearfully and emotionally run from close intimate contact with Him. It is much easier to just follow the rules and believe we are doing right by what we see and feel, rather then live by faith and trust in a God we can’t see, fearing a risk of being rejected or judged by an angry God. That is why many in the body of Christ won’t take off their fig leaves and let the Holy Spirit search their hearts to be corrected and thereby empowered with the ability to walk by faith and know His loving kindness.


Allowing God to pull off our old spiritual grave clothes of religion and legalism hurts! The Galatians were seduced by the symphony I have talked about. It caused them to have a stupor over their minds and wills, robbing them of their dominion to act like the kings that Christ made them.


Mathew Poole’s commentary on bewitching states: The word translated bewitched, signifies the vitiating of the eyes or spoiling of the sight; so as that men cannot discern an obvious object in a due position. Meaning, who has seduced you, who has so corrupted your understanding that your actions are as unaccountable as the effects of witchcraft?


Obviously, we know that God is a spirit whose person cannot be seen with the physical eye unless He was to make it possible. But, this passage is speaking of the eyes of the spirit or the eyes of our understanding in the hidden man of the heart. That man, who is created in true righteousness and holiness, can see God more clearly than any physical eyes could ever hope to see Him naturally.


The vitiating of the eye in Webster’s dictionary means: To make faulty, imperfect or impure, to spoil or corrupt, to weaken morally, debase or pervert, to make a contract or other legal instrument, ineffective or invalid.


Is it just me, or is this describing the soul of our country and the church in their neglect to hold on to our foundations according to the will of God for our lives? Conversely, in the realm of the spirit, we have become faulty in our eyesight and understanding of His finished work on the cross which justified us in His blood, setting everything right between us. God reconciled us unto Himself and became our Father through the spirit of adoption.


Just like the foolish Galatians, our corrupted eyes of understanding cause unbelief that is rooted in shame, making the New Covenant that Christ established for us, null and void in our ability to experience the benefits of it. The same thing is happening in our experience as a nation with a constitutional government that at its core is based upon the same principles of righteousness that God ordained us to live by. We have become morally weakened and base, even perverse in our understanding and will to follow what is moral and right. The heart of the constitution has been stripped of its power just like the heart of the New Covenant or New Testament has to the body of Christ.


The bewitchment of leadership has filtered down to those who follow them. Why? God’s righteousness is not imparted to the core of our spirit by affirming of our new identity in Him. Even though we are related to Him as born again sons by His grace, in our experience we live as enslaved natural, carnal human beings, who live out the vanity of our own minds and wills, clinging to religion and the law as our fire insurance policy. So, our passive rebellion to the truth becomes the ignorant practice of witchcraft.


Behind the heart of this witchcraft or bewitching is a spirit of religion and shame that makes war against the righteousness of God’s Kingdom. This must be broken off of our lives or we will end up shipwrecked and disillusioned all our days upon the earth, surviving the days instead of living them. This bewitching is a powerful force that’s empowered and grows more totalitarian in its execution of the soul the longer we remain ignorantly co-operative with it and shrink back in shame from a connection to the heart of God’s righteousness and grace. Shame turns His living Word into dead letter, killing the soul and bruising the spirit. That’s why so many neglect His Word in their lives. Who wants to live in fear and judgment? When we are in religions grip, it grows stronger when we heap upon ourselves the wisdom and philosophy of men that’s passed off as doctrinal truth.


Conversely, for those who stay away from being indoctrinated with “church,” ignorance is bliss. That person has less of a crutch to pull out so that God can start to put in place a firm foundation for life. There’s less pain involved. It is quite another thing to try and break through the bondage of someone who has been indoctrinated with religious tradition or education that promotes human wisdom.


Like the apostle Paul before his conversion on the Damascus road, pride of self persuades them of a righteousness wrapped up in a college or seminary accomplishment. They believe the plaque on the wall qualifies their arrival. That person is one who apposes themselves and forsakes their own mercy as they struggle to maintain the fruit they have gathered while apposing God’s true righteousness. It is a hard thing to come to grips with. Pride won’t let us acknowledge the fact; we could have spent most of our lives building our own kingdom and never even came close to building His. Education and degrees are important, but not at the expense of humility or Christ’s righteousness and advancement of His kingdom. Unless a heart connection is made to the love and grace of God, we will end up living with a Saul of Tarsus spirit. Ignorantly blinded zealots, who hurt, wound or even kill the body of Christ with the best of intentions, spiritually unable to understand the language of the Kingdom.


There’s a saying, “The road to Hell is full of good intentions” Paul was Saul, without a heart connection. He was blinded to the fact that all of his accumulation of wisdom, observance of customs and rigor of devotion equated to a dung heap without the revelation of Christ. Upon a revelation of grace, God changed his name and changed his character because he became connected. Through his pain of being knocked off an ass and being blinded, he had a revelation of the heart of God. Consequently, Christ became his life and reflection. He was plugged into righteousness for the first time in His life, and now he considered everything he had done up until that point, a dung heap.............


Continued in The Bruised Reed

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