Spiritual passivity and spiritual liberty
It is possible for any dedicated believer to be deceived and fall into spiritual passivity for several years without ever waking up to the reality of this dangerous condition. For this reason, the understanding of the true meaning of the believer’s consecration is of vital importance to Christians in order for them to experience the freedom that their legitimate spiritual inheritance abundantly supplies. The knowledge and practice of the truth is essential to secure and maintain deliverance from spiritual passivity. Spiritual liberty, much like social liberty, is always a result of a previous conflict and victory over the conflict. Christ won the spiritual conflict over our spiritual slavery and secured the victory that produced our spiritual liberty. The victory has been won but we as believers must stand in that victory and fight against passivity.
Spiritual passivity and knowledge of the truth
The first step to deliverance is to know the truth about how to cooperate with God, how evil spirits may operate in the life of a Christian and how we should administer the principles of consecration and supernatural manifestations. The child of God must know the truth about the source and the nature of the experiences through which God may have been testing him.
We must warn the church of the danger of supernatural experiences. We are not saying that all these experiences are bad and must be abandoned – nothing of the sort, because the Bible is full of supernatural experiences. Our purpose is to remind you that there is more than one source behind supernatural phenomena. Any believer who has failed to put his emotional life to death (one aspect of mortifying the flesh), but anxiously seeks out different kinds of sensational experiences, will be deceived.
Be careful and pay attention! When a supernatural experience has the Holy Spirit as its author, your mind is still able to play an active part. It is neither necessary nor commanded to be either partially or totally passive, before receiving such experiences. However, if demons induce the experience, the demons lure their victims into spiritual passivity by leading them to empty their minds and yield their actions to external demonic forces. We must always remember that the spirit of a prophet is subject to the prophet (1 Corinthians 14:32). Any spirit that demands that the prophet submit himself to it is not of God.
The acceptance of the truth is the first step to liberty. It can be embarrassing for a Christian to recognize that he has been used and deceived by evil spirits, but it is necessary to recognize the truth. Doubt is the prelude to the truth. This does not mean to doubt the Holy Spirit, God or His Word, but rather the experience that someone has gone through. Such doubts are not only necessary but also biblical, because God commands us to test the spirits (1 John 4:1).
Spiritual passivity and discovery of lost ground
We should recognize other elements beyond sin, which yield ground to evil spirits. Examples of this are the acceptance of demonic imitations and sudden thoughts from the enemy and a passive will. These factors constitute ground that we must not yield to demons. The principal ground yielded is a passive will.
Since spiritual passivity came in little by little, it will also be eliminated little by little. To the same extent that we identify spiritual passivity in a person, we can obtain his or her emancipation. It is always easier to go down a mountain that to climb it. In the same way, becoming passive is easy, but it takes more effort to take back the liberty after it has been yielded. The total cooperation of the person becomes necessary in order to reconquer all of the yielded ground. The child of God should call out to Him in a definite way so that His Spirit can show him where he was deceived.
Spiritual passivity and recuperation of lost ground
Any passivity in the Christian life yields access to evil spirits, and the way back is by activating the will. The Christian, from that point forward, must learn to obey the will of God, to resist the will of the devil and to exercise his own will in cooperation with the will of other Christians. The Christian should constantly declare; “I choose liberty, I want it, I refuse to be passive, and I will use my own talents. I insist on knowing the schemes of evil spirits, I choose their defeat, I will eliminate every relationship with the powers of darkness, because I oppose all of their lies and excuses”. Just as in the beginning when the believer permitted the entry of evil spirits, now he chooses the opposite: cutting away any root of any foundation of the enemy.
During this period of conflict, the will of the Christian should be actively involved in various operations. Besides solving and choosing, he must also resist and refuse. He resists by prohibiting further operations of evil spirits. He refuses by revoking any permission or concessions previously yielded to them. Evil spirits will not move even one centimeter from the ground that they occupy just because they perceive the Christian’s new found hostility against them. We must, actively expel them. The child of God must use God’s spiritual power to immobilize and remove the enemy.
The attempt to reclaim lost areas and recuperate use of his faculties can be extremely difficult for the Christian. This is due to the fact that he has allowed his own will to become so weak and since he feels that he has no power to direct each part of his being, he finds it almost impossible to contend against the evil spirits with all the strength that he possess. If for example he has been passive in the matter of deciding, now he will have to learn to cancel the ground yielded and prohibit the evil spirits from continuing to operate. He must be determined to decide for himself by resisting any interference that they attempt to throw against him. However, he discovers that he cannot decide and that the evil spirits do not allow him to decide and to act. When the Christian finally learns to refuse yielding this control and to resist them and prohibit them from occupying his faculties, the evil spirits will retreat.
In the conflict for the restoration of normalcy, the believer may think that in the initial stage of combat, the symptoms have become worse than before, as if his will had less strength and his mind had grown more confused the more that he resists. However, this is a sign that victory is near! This reveals that the resistance is producing results: the enemy has felt the pressure and is consequently mounting his last opposition. If the believer continues to offer pressure, the evil spirits will leave. During the battle, the believer should permanently appropriate the truth of his inclusion in the Lord’s death (Romans 6:11). Such a faith frees him from the authority of the evil spirits, since they have no power over anyone who is dead to sin. The believer must make use of the Word of God to combat the evil spirits not being satisfied with small gains neither ceasing to fight until normalcy has been completely recuperated.
In true guidance, the Christian is not obligated to obey God mechanically. God simply commands the Christian to obey His will actively. In the practice of obedience, the believer goes through the following steps: readiness to do God’s will (John 7:17); revelation of this will in his intuition by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:17); and the strengthening of God to desire and do His will (Philippians 2:13).
The pinnacle of the Christian’s spiritual walk is self-control (Galatians 5:22, 23). The work of the Holy Spirit is to lead the outer man of the believer to perfect obedience through self-control. The Holy Spirit leads the believer by his renewed will. Therefore, the things that a Christian should control through his will are:
His own spirit – the Christian should control his own spirit, maintaining it in its rightful state, that is, under the control of His will. The spirit needs the control of the will. All those who are more experienced agree that we must use our will to limit our spirit when it becomes too excited, or to activate it when it becomes too passive.
His own mind – the Christian should control his own mind and all of the other capacities of his soul.
His own body – the body must be the man’s instrument and not his Lord, in virtue of habits and uncontrollable desires. We must subjugate our bodies (1 Corinthians 9:27).
The Bible considers immorality or fornication as more serious than other sins, because they have a special relationship with our bodies, which are members of Christ. When a man sexually unites with a prostitute, he becomes one flesh with her and if he is a Christian, he is joining Christ to a prostitute and although God’s power is available to any Christian man, it is his responsibility to appropriate this power to bring his own body under Christ’s control and resist spiritual passivity.