Early one morning while I was praying in the Spirit which is often my practice daily and out of no where the words to a song came to mind. The words were this “ I Have Seen the Needle and the Damage Done” a song penned by Neil Young in the early 1970’s. So I asked God if this was him and what was the reason? And the answer was a clear yes and he said the “needle” was religion and you have seen and felt the damage done by religion. So I sat in quiet pondering the revelation God had just given and what he had revealed, it was an aha moment where I realized I’d gone through the valley and come out the other side stronger.
It wasn’t always this way and once upon a time I had held to the more conservative views of a certain denomination. But as time went on as I studied out scripture Holy Spirit began showing inconsistencies to what was taught and what scriptures actually say. The problem was when you started asking questions about things taught the ugly side of religion would rise up quickly and try to extinguish the fire burning within believer who wanted more than a powerless and controlling faith.
Over time I began to ask Holy Spirit for the correct interpretation on such issues like prophesy, tongues, five fold ministry, etc; And as one might expect it was very much different then what I had been taught and held to over many years. But as I continued to study scripture and pray the inevitable would happen at special meeting my wife and I attended. As it was a powerful evening of worship and as the evangelist preached he asked anyone who wanted prayer to come forward to which we both did. During prayer we both continued sense a heavy presence of God in the room with oil showing up on my wife’s hands with an unusual aroma wafting in the air. As I was in prayer and soaking in the presence it suddenly happened someone who was assisting and praying over people came by and just blew a short burst of air at me. At which point a sudden bright flash of very white light and I lost all sense of surroundings and ended up on the floor next to my wife. This lasted over 30 minutes where I couldn’t get up and actually hadn’t really realized the Holy Spirit had just powerfully came over my wife and I. This was a book of Acts occurrence for sure and we cherish the night fondly.
This was start of many manifestations to come over the years, but what happened at times were the old religious doubts would creep in and try to cast doubt about what Holy Spirit had been doing and showing. So God was reminding me during the early morning hours of the day about the “needle” of religion trying to control me like heroin controls an addict and over time the addict incurs physical damage to their body. The same is true of religion it causes spiritual harm that only the great physician Jesus can heal. The scriptures speak of this in the New Testament gospel of Mark chapter 8:15 Jesus states; “ Be on your guard against the yeast inside the Pharisees.”
Okay what was Jesus saying? It was quite simple actually he was warning them and us today about the dangers of religious hypocrisy and control. And like yeast or leaven it only takes a little to effect the entire lump of dough. So like dough a group people, church or entire denomination can come under the influence of religious works and false humility which is really nothing more than pride. It’s a sneaky covert spirit of religion when it goes unchecked will and cause damage to unsuspecting believer.
So what God was showing me was beware of the “needle of religion” and the “damage of leaven” and to move on from the past of religion and embrace relationship with Jesus. As you pray and read scripture ask Holy Spirit to help you to understand and most importantly to release forgiveness over the past pain caused by the spirit of religion.
Blessings to all who may read this and may you find true freedom in Christ starting today.