Beware spiritually unclean objects that God detests
The Bible shows us that God does not want us to “bring any detestable objects into our homes or we will be destroyed, just like them.” Instead, we should detest the things that God detests and destroy them. How do we identify spiritually unclean items that bring curses and what should we do about them?
Deuteronomy 7:25-26,8:1 NLT “You must burn their idols in fire, and you must not covet the silver or gold that covers them. You must not take it or it will become a trap to you, for it is detestable to the Lord your God. Do not bring any detestable objects into your home, for then you will be destroyed, just like them. You must utterly detest such things, for they are set apart for destruction. Be careful to obey all the commands I am giving you today. Then you will live and multiply, and you will enter and occupy the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors.
Evaluating our possessions through God’s eyes
To understand why God should even be concerned about the things we possess, we first need to look at them from His point of view.
1. Objects related to idolatry
How would we feel if our spouse insisted on keeping gifts and belongings from ex-lovers or committing adultery before our eyes? It is only natural to get jealous and even furious.
This is how God feels when we hold on to objects associated with idol worship. To God, we are no different from “a wife who commits adultery”. God feels so strongly about this that He says,“because you have forgotten me and trusted in false gods. I will pull up your skirts over your face that your shame may be seen— your adulteries and lustful neighings, your shameless prostitution! I have seen your detestable acts … How long will you be unclean?”
Jeremiah 3:6 NLT During the reign of King Josiah, the LORD said to me, “Have you seen what fickle Israel has done? Like a wife who commits adultery, Israel has worshiped other gods on every hill and under every green tree.
Jeremiah 13:25-27 NIV This is your lot, the portion I have decreed for you,” declares the Lord, “because you have forgotten me and trusted in false gods. I will pull up your skirts over your face that your shame may be seen— your adulteries and lustful neighings, your shameless prostitution! I have seen your detestable acts on the hills and in the fields. Woe to you, Jerusalem! How long will you be unclean?”
It is for this reason that anyone who is in the business of making idolatrous objects falls under a curse because they create objects that lead people away from the one true God.
Deuteronomy 27:15 ESV “‘Cursed be the man who makes a carved or cast metal image, an abomination to the LORD, a thing made by the hands of a craftsman, and sets it up in secret.’ And all the people shall answer and say, ‘Amen.’
As believers, we should not provoke God to anger but have the wisdom and conviction to destroy all idolatrous altars, statues, artwork, and offerings dedicated to deities or the dead. It is God who created us and He will not give His glory and praise to carved idols or their images.
Isaiah 42:8 ESV I am the LORD; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols.
Isaiah 46:5-10 NLT “To whom will you compare me? Who is my equal? Some people pour out their silver and gold and hire a craftsman to make a god from it. Then they bow down and worship it! They carry it around on their shoulders, and when they set it down, it stays there. It can’t even move! And when someone prays to it, there is no answer. It can’t rescue anyone from trouble. “Do not forget this! Keep it in mind! Remember this, you guilty ones… For I alone am God! I am God, and there is none like me. Only I can tell you the future before it even happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish.
Idolatry is not limited to only physical statues of different gods or deities. It also covers the things of this world that are related to “sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness.” God’s Word refers to this as “idolatry” because these are things that gratify our cravings for worldly things and oppose the Holy Spirit.
Colossians 3:5 ESV Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
Galatians 5:17 ESV For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
2. Objects related to wickedness
Next, how would we feel if our children kept items that associated them with thieves, murderers, and rapists? It is only natural to want those things removed and all evidence destroyed, no matter how expensive they may be.
This is also how God feels when we hold on to objects associated with Satan, who “comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” The Bible warns us to “not bring any detestable objects into your home, for then you will be destroyed, just like them.” Like any good and loving father, God warns His children not to be associated with gangs and criminals that do wicked things, or we might end up being corrupted and condemned just like them.
John 10:10 ESV The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
1 Corinthians 8:6 ESV Yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
Cleaning up our possessions: “Touch no unclean thing”
God expects us to clean up our lives, because He is pure and holy. This includes cleaning up our belongings. We dishonour God when we hold on to things that He detests. By doing so, we show we don’t revere Him or take His feelings seriously.
1 John 3:3 ESV And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
We are called to “cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.” The Bible gives us some very clear instructions on how to go about doing this.
- No obligations | We should not rely on or feel obliged to go along with unbelievers (6:14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? )
- Non-compliance | We should no longer comply with idol worship, including honouring our family idols (6:16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols?)
- Clear boundaries | We should draw clear boundaries with such things (6:17 Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them)
- Abstinence | We should not even touch their spiritually defiling objects (6:17 … touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you)
2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1 ESV
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever?
What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.”
Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.
When we show ourselves to be wholehearted loyal to God by obeying His commands, He will bless us in ways we cannot imagine. The following testimony illustrates this.
Testimony 1: Removal of spiritual blindness
“In preparation for a time of prayer, I was asked to write out all the significant events that had a negative effect on me. That turned out to be 11 pages in total, including three to four pages about my family’s experiences at temples or with mediums.
Prompted by the Holy Spirit, my prayer counsellors advised me to consider deleting all my personal family photos related to images of deities, temples, altars, and mediums.
Deuteronomy 7:25 NIV The images of their gods you are to burn in the fire. Do not covet the silver and gold on them, and do not take it for yourselves, or you will be ensnared by it, for it is detestable to the LORD your God.
Going through all my pictures and deleting those pictures was hard because it sometimes meant deleting pictures of family members and I felt sad that I had to delete a part of my childhood. After all, they were only pictures.
I finished deleting the pictures on my office computer, online album, and finally, my laptop at home by Friday evening. All of a sudden, I started to realise, “Hold on, I shouldn’t be resentful of my sister and brother because they just don’t have the memories that I have.”
My mother was very abusive toward me, especially in the early years. My sister is four years younger than me and I’ve been resentful of her all this time. I thought that she and and my younger brother saw how my mother treated me and they didn’t care. But of course, as the eldest, I have far more memories of the early years that they probably don’t have. And my brother just didn’t experience the same things. My mother had mellowed out by the time he was born.
On Saturday, I apologised to my sister and she said that she came to a similar realisation on Friday night too. Coincidence? I really find that hard to believe. How could she come to this realisation at about the same time as me?
Somehow, removing those images helped to change our hearts towards each other and enabled us to see the truth. It was God’s blessing. Since that time, my relationship with my family has improved, and I continue to pray for their salvation.
I believe that keeping those photos has been a kind of yoking to the spirits behind the family idols and witchcraft and I am glad I have cleaned them up!”
Spiritual consequences of physical objects
It can be hard for us to wrap our heads around the fact that physical objects and photos can have spiritual consequences and lead to blessings or curses.
All our lives, we have been taught to only think in physical terms and draw clear boundaries between the “physical” and the “spiritual”. We are repeatedly told to only believe what we can see, touch, and explain i.e. the physical.
The Bible shows us that the opposite is true for believers, because “the things that are seen (physical) are transient, but the things that are unseen (spiritual) are eternal.”
2 Corinthians 4:18 ESV as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
To God, there is no difference between spiritual or physical things because He created them all. He can even choose to work through inanimate objects if He so desires.
Here are some examples.
Handkerchiefs or aprons | God healed the sick and expelled evil spirits through ordinary handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched the apostle Paul’s skin. | Acts 19:11-12 ESV And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them.
Bronze sculpture | God healed people through the bronze serpent that Moses made and fixed on the top of a pole, whenever they looked at it. | Numbers 21:9 ESV So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.
Wooden staff | God worked miracles through a staff He had given Moses, including turning it into a snake in front of the pharaoh in Egypt | Exodus 7:8-10 ESV Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “When Pharaoh says to you, ‘Prove yourselves by working a miracle,’ then you shall say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and cast it down before Pharaoh, that it may become a serpent.’” So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the Lord commanded. Aaron cast down his staff before Pharaoh and his servants, and it became a serpent.
Mud | Jesus healed a blind man’s eyes using a mud ball He made with His sputum. | John 9:5-7 ESV As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Having said these things, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.
God can work through physical objects to bless us. Let’s remember that God’s Spirit rested on the ark of the covenant and wherever the ark went, God’s presence went with it along with the Israelites.
Exodus 25:22 ESV There I will meet with you, and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim that are on the ark of the testimony, I will speak with you about all that I will give you in commandment for the people of Israel.
1 Chronicles 28:2 ESV Then King David rose to his feet and said: “Hear me, my brothers and my people. I had it in my heart to build a house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the LORD and for the footstool of our God, and I made preparations for building.
Evil spirits operate through spiritually unclean objects
At the same time, evil spirits can also work through physical objects to trap and trouble us and our families.
We will find that there is little peace at home, our prayers seemed blocked, we keep falling into sinful patterns, things don’t go smoothly, our minds are filled with bitter thoughts and judgements, and so on. It seems our families have come under a curse.
Here are a few real-life examples.
1. Touching spiritually unclean objects
A young lady went with her family for their regular grave sweeping ritual at her deceased elder brother’s tomb. The family worshipped idols and her brother in particular had been involved with Chinese sorcery.
After she burnt incense to “pay respect” to his soul and touched his tombstone, she immediately “heard” some evil-sounding laughter. When she asked her family members if they had heard anything, they said no. Ever since that day, however, she began to hear voices in her bedroom and feel a lot of fear. The spirits that her brother had worshipped had somehow entered her body as a result of the things she had done at his tombstone.
Thankfully, she later turned to God and accepted Jesus Christ as her Saviour. She also repented of praying to the dead and touching an unclean object associated with necromancy, which is the practice of communicating with the spirits of the dead, something that God forbids. She also learnt to command the evil spirits to leave her in Jesus’ name. As she did so, she felt a renewed peace and never heard those demonic voices again.
Deuteronomy 18:10-12 ESV There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord. And because of these abominations the Lord your God is driving them out before you.
2. Displaying spiritually unclean objects
A family displayed a sizeable collection of drums from various parts of Africa in their home as decoration.
One day, they invited a group of fellow believers to their home for praise and worship. During prayer time, the Holy Spirit prompted their friends to ask about the drums because it made them feel ill at ease and distracted. They researched online and discovered that African drums are traditionally used to call up ancestral spirits. It is also believed that spirit of the drummer will also become yoked to the spirit of the tree it was carved from and the spirit of the animal skin used.
After finding this information, the family immediately repented and decided to destroy and throw away their entire collection of drums.
3. Using spiritually unclean objects
A believer brought back several souvenirs from a famous museum, which included a key chain engraved with ancient cave carvings.
Shortly after, he began to experience different minor accidents for two weeks. Upon closer inspection, he noticed that the art depicted on the keychain was likely to be of a pagan ritual and repented before God. He also threw it away. The accidents then stopped.
The “trojan horse” evil spirits use to secretly invade our lives
All these three examples demonstrate a few things:
- Foothold for evil spirits | Evil spirits can use spiritually unclean objects to bring harm to anyone.
- Ordinary objects | These objects were ordinary every-day items that had unclean legacies or imagery.
- Entry point through possession | Evil spirits gain access to our lives if we own or possess spiritually unclean objects. Like enemies hidden in a trojan horse, they then emerge from hiding and launch an attack.
- Ignorance led to trouble | All the people involved were not aware of the spiritual significance of the unclean items they touched, displayed, or used.
- God’s warning | God brought revelation through a) teaching from the Bible, b) Spirit-led believers and c) personal alertness to unusual patterns.
- Repentance and removal | The evil spirits were removed through a) prayer and repentance and b) removal of the items.
- Destroyed | The objects were destroyed, as required in God’s Law. (Deuteronomy 7:25-26)
We should never fear evil spirits. Jesus has given us His authority over all unclean spirits in His name. This is one reason they have to resort to such underhanded deceptions in order to even stand a chance against us.
Matthew 10:1 ESV And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction.
It is only when we decide to dismiss, delay, or disobey God’s warnings that we open ourselves to defeat.
Tempted to dismiss, delay, and disobey
When unclean spirits gain a foothold in our lives, they will try to blind our minds and fill us with unbelief.
- “This applies to other people but not to me.”
- “I will deal with this later (and forget).”
- “It takes too trouble to go through my possessions.”
- “Nothing will happen to me.”
- “If other Christians don’t bother, why should I?”
- “My pastor says it’s not important so he must be right.”
2 Corinthians 4:4 NLT Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe…
Such complacency is not uncommon. We even read about it in Acts 19. The apostle Paul’s preaching had convicted many believers in Ephesus to turn away from idols, to a point that the silversmiths and craftsmen who made shrines for the Greek idol called Artemis felt very threatened. From here, we can see that the new believers no longer wanted idolatrous shrines in their homes.
Acts 19:24-27 NLT Demetrius, a silversmith who had a large business manufacturing silver shrines of the Greek goddess Artemis. He kept many craftsmen busy. He called them together, along with others employed in similar trades, and addressed them as follows: But as you have seen and heard, this man Paul has persuaded many people that handmade gods aren’t really gods at all. And he’s done this not only here in Ephesus but throughout the entire province! Of course, I’m not just talking about the loss of public respect for our business. I’m also concerned that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will lose its influence and that Artemis—this magnificent goddess worshiped throughout the province of Asia and all around the world—will be robbed of her great prestige!”
Yet at the same time, it seems that some still secretly held on to other unclean objects — books related to sorcery. It was only after that they heard how an evil spirit had viciously attacked a group of Jews that they were struck with solemn fear and finally confessed and repented. They “brought their incantation books and burned them at a public bonfire. The value of the books was several million dollars.” It look a demonic manifestation for them to finally have a change of heart.
Acts 19:13-19 NLT A group of Jews was traveling from town to town casting out evil spirits. They tried to use the name of the Lord Jesus in their incantation, saying, “I command you in the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, to come out!” Seven sons of Sceva, a leading priest, were doing this. But one time when they tried it, the evil spirit replied, “I know Jesus, and I know Paul, but who are you?” Then the man with the evil spirit leaped on them, overpowered them, and attacked them with such violence that they fled from the house, naked and battered. The story of what happened spread quickly all through Ephesus, to Jews and Greeks alike. A solemn fear descended on the city, and the name of the Lord Jesus was greatly honored. Many who became believers confessed their sinful practices. A number of them who had been practicing sorcery brought their incantation books and burned them at a public bonfire. The value of the books was several million dollars.
These Ephesian believers knew that their incantation books would give evil spirits a foothold in their lives if they did not burn and destroy them entirely. They no longer hesitated to fulfil God’s command in Deuteronomy 7. The cost of the books, which amounted to several million dollars, was a small price to pay for obeying God and purifying themselves from demons.
Deuteronomy 7:25 NLT “You must burn their idols in fire, and you must not covet the silver or gold that covers them. You must not take it or it will become a trap to you, for it is detestable to the LORD your God.
Typical arguments from Satan
Let’s look at some of the arguments that Satan may use to blind our minds.
1. “Evil spirits cannot work through objects.”
We need to remember evil spirits are not limited by our human limitations. This is why the Egyptian sorcerers in Exodus 7 were able to turn their staffs into snakes. These sorcerers were relying on evil spirits to do that. Later, Aaron’s staff swallowed their staffs in a show of God’s power over them.
Exodus 7:11-12 ESV Then Pharaoh summoned the wise men and the sorcerers, and they, the magicians of Egypt, also did the same by their secret arts. For each man cast down his staff, and they became serpents. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs.
Evil spirits cannot use any object, only spiritually unclean ones that are associated with:
- Idol worship, witchcraft and the occult
- People who practice idol worship, witchcraft and the occult
- Wickedness and sins such as murder, debauchery, bloodshed, sexual perversion etc.
Evil spirits will operate through any unclean thing they can get access to. We see an illustration of this with the two demon-possessed men in Matthew 8. The demons begged Jesus to send them into a herd of pigs, since they could no longer dwell in their two human “hosts”. Why pigs? Because pigs were considered spiritually unclean by the Jews.
Matthew 8:28-32 ESV And when he came to the other side, to the country of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men met him, coming out of the tombs, so fierce that no one could pass that way. And behold, they cried out, “What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?” Now a herd of many pigs was feeding at some distance from them. And the demons begged him, saying, “If you cast us out, send us away into the herd of pigs.” And he said to them, “Go.” So they came out and went into the pigs, and behold, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the waters.
Deuteronomy 14:8 NLT And you may not eat the pig. It has split hooves but does not chew the cud, so it is ceremonially unclean for you. You may not eat the meat of these animals or even touch their carcasses.
2. “It’s worth a lot of money.”
Our willingness to obey God is a test of our faith. Will we love money more than God?
1 Timothy 6:10 ESV For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
Let us not love the things in this world more than God.
1 John 2:15 ESV Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
3. “Let me sell it and use the money for God’s work.”
Some unclean objects can be worth a lot of money. We may be tempted to sell them for money and use that for an offering to God.
This, however, is not the way God looks at it. God does not welcome ill-gotten financial offerings. God detests sin as well as the money earned from it, as we can see from His command against offering money earned through prostitution. Spiritually unclean objects need to be destroyed, not resold and passed onto another unsuspecting person.
Deuteronomy 23:17-18 NIV No Israelite man or woman is to become a shrine prostitute. You must not bring the earnings of a female prostitute or of a male prostitute into the house of the LORD your God to pay any vow, because the LORD your God detests them both.
4. “It is so beautiful, I can’t destroy it.”
Some of us are drawn to artistically produced objects, possibly because of a spiritual gift of craftsmanship. As such, we may find it hard to destroy things we find beautiful.
This can be a trap for us, just as it was a trap for Achan. Achan went against God’s commands and secretly kept “a beautiful cloak from Shinar” amongst other spoils of war that were meant to be destroyed or kept for God’s use. Because of Achan’s wilful disobedience, God’s favour left the army of Israel and they were shamefully defeated in a battle. They even lost the lives of 36 men. Eventually, the Israelites had to stone Achan and his entire family to death to wipe out Satan’s foothold. We seldom take sin and disobedience as seriously as we should. Achan’s sin cost 36 families their sons, husbands, and fathers. Even if Achan thought he could escape, his sin had consequences beyond his own understanding.
Joshua 7:20-21 ESV And Achan answered Joshua, “Truly I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and this is what I did: when I saw among the spoil a beautiful cloak from Shinar, and 200 shekels of silver, and a bar of gold weighing 50 shekels, then I coveted them and took them. And see, they are hidden in the earth inside my tent, with the silver underneath.”
5. “This is my family heirloom and treasure.”
As believers, we are to lay up “treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal” rather than store up treasures on earth.
Matthew 6:19-21 ESV “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
6. “My family will condemn me for destroying this.”
We all have to decide whose commands we choose to obey — our parents’, our grandparents’, or God’s commands. The answer will have implications on our souls.
Matthew 16:26 ESV For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?
7. “Maybe I can reuse or recycle it.”
God calls us to destroy all spiritually unclean objects. When we defy and disobey God, we lay a trap for ourselves or other people. Take the example of Gideon.
The people of Israel had asked Gideon to be their ruler and he rightfully turned them down. God was their true Leader and God was the One who led Gideon into victory in battle. Yet somehow, Gideon decided to ask the people for some of the spoils of war from their enemies (which they were supposed to destroy) and made a golden ephod from it. Gideon thought it was okay to take the gold and transform it into something “sacred” for God. Instead, Gideon opened a foothold into Israel for Satan. We see that “all the Israelites prostituted themselves by worshiping it, and it became a trap for Gideon and his family.”
Judges 8:22-29 Then the Israelites said to Gideon, “Be our ruler! You and your son and your grandson will be our rulers, for you have rescued us from Midian.” But Gideon replied, “I will not rule over you, nor will my son. The Lord will rule over you! However, I do have one request—that each of you give me an earring from the plunder you collected from your fallen enemies.” (The enemies, being Ishmaelites, all wore gold earrings.) “Gladly!” they replied. They spread out a cloak, and each one threw in a gold earring he had gathered from the plunder. The weight of the gold earrings was forty-three pounds, not including the royal ornaments and pendants, the purple clothing worn by the kings of Midian, or the chains around the necks of their camels. Gideon made a sacred ephod from the gold and put it in Ophrah, his hometown. But soon all the Israelites prostituted themselves by worshiping it, and it became a trap for Gideon and his family.
Seek God for wisdom regarding unclean objects
It is impossible to list all the possibly spiritually unclean objects that may be in our possession. Thankfully, any one of us can ask the Holy Spirit to show us what these objects may be.
The Holy Spirit may bring our attention to the apps or images we store in our devices, toys and decorations we use at home, jewellery and keepsakes in safe deposit boxes, books in our library, souvenirs from our travels, family heirlooms, clothing and accessories, or gifts from friends, and so on.
As God leads us, we can further examine:
- What are their true origins and history? (This may take a quick search online.)
- Do they associate us with unbelievers or idols (myths, false gods, false religions, symbols of Satan, people worship etc.)?
- Do the images used represent anything that God detests?
- Do they glorify sin or lead people into sin?
(Note: For some specific examples related to witchcraft or idol worship, please refer to the list found in “2. Cleanse our homes” in Breaking off from the occult.)
We can pray to ask God for forgiveness for dishonouring Him before disposing of them permanently. This may mean that we may have to:
- delete digital apps or data
- use a hammer to break harder objects
- use a bin to carefully burn paper-based items
- melt certain things down
- go for laser surgery to remove tattoos that yoke us to evil spirits
- break or tear certain things apart, and so on
God will bless everyone who “cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God”.
King Hezekiah is one example. The young king destroyed all the idolatrous things in Israel, even destroying the bronze serpent that Moses had made because the people had began offering sacrifices to it. He was not held back by gold in the idols, the historical significance of the bronze serpent, or the opinions of other people. The king trusted fully in God. As a result, “the LORD was with Hezekiah and he was successful in everything he did.”
2 Kings 18:3-7 He did what was pleasing in the LORD’s sight, just as his ancestor David had done. He removed the pagan shrines, smashed the sacred pillars, and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke up the bronze serpent that Moses had made, because the people of Israel had been offering sacrifices to it. The bronze serpent was called Nehushtan. Hezekiah trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before or after his time. He remained faithful to the LORD in everything, and he carefully obeyed all the commands the LORD had given Moses. So the LORD was with him, and Hezekiah was successful in everything he did. He revolted against the king of Assyria and refused to pay him tribute.
Just as God rewarded Hezekiah for his devotion and loyalty, He will reward us too, just as the testimony below shows.
Testimony 2: Released into spiritual gift of tongues
“For a few years, I had been wanting and wondering about the gift of tongues.
A ministry leader had prayed for me and said that God wanted to give me the gift. Another friend had prayed for me and mentioned the same thing. I would ask God on and off about it, but as time went by, I stopped praying for it.
Then I read a friend’s testimony, where she shared how God missed her singing in tongues. The friend shared a version of the Great Commission from Jesus that I was less familiar with.
Mark 16:15-18 NIV “And He said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in My name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
Jesus Himself said that those who believe in Him, will speak in new tongues! That included me! I prayed again to God, and asked if there were any sins preventing me from having this gift, any unbelief, idol worship or wrong motives.
A few weeks later, as we were meeting as a group, a leader mentioned that God had been bugging her to pray for the group to receive the gift of tongues and asked who would like to receive it… My arm shot up!
I cried for the gift of tongues, to speak with God in a new way, to be used by Him in new ways for His glory, to have a greater glimpse of His indescribable mystery. As we prayed, two sisters-in-Christ saw visions for me. One saw notes and words of silver pour forth from me. Another saw colours and notes and beauty, streams of praise pouring out of a box. We praised God and I rushed home eager to spend time with God.
I was in the shower when I thought of the jade pendant I wear around my neck. I had worn it without fail for 12 years. It was a gift from my grandmother and I loved it. It had always seemed like a meaningful gift to wear around my neck.
For some reason, I then felt led to take it off. I had became aware that there were generational curses that plagued my maternal family: a spirit of performance, a spirit of control, a spirit of perfectionism and heart disease. I took off the necklace, and prayed to God and cut soul ties with the item and my grandmother and forbade those spirits from having any hold over me or my family. I then also submitted my grandma and our family to God.
I then glanced at my phone, and one of the sisters had just lovingly and gently messaged me, asking if I would consider taking off the jade pendant before I worshipped in tongues! She had seen a vision of the pendant “choking my voice.”
I then went on my knees and praised God! I thanked Him and marvelled at the lightness and freedom I was feeling, after cutting soul ties, removing the jade pendant and being unchained from people who had had a hold of my soul. I thanked Him for the gift of tongues and asked Him to teach me how to pray in tongues. And I waited. And then, beyond my mind and my understanding, beyond the confines of my comprehension and mind, my tongue moved and my lips moved and I was speaking words I did not understand and I knew I was not in control.
It was beautiful. I was in awe and broken. I was humbled, that the Spirit of God would manifest Himself in me, little me. What grace, that the Holy Spirit would intercede for us when we pray, when so often we know not how or what to pray or our prayers are unacceptable and miss the will of God.
1 Corinthians 12:4-7 NIV There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
Romans 8:26-27 NIV In the same way the Spirit also helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groaning too deep for words; and he who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
A few weeks later I threw the jade pendant in the ocean. I had not worn it in weeks, but was not sure if I should or how to destroy it. And then, also in the shower, I was struck by how little value I was placing on God. That I would trade that piece of created stone for a greater relationship with the Creator. That I would risk missing a deeper closeness with Him for an earthly gift.
I knew then that I had to throw it away, I could not consider gifting the item or leaving the item for someone to find, and exposing them to any spirits of curses upon the item. I threw the item away gleefully, and repented to God for the shallowness of my heart and affections for Him, and praised Him for convicting me and for His patience towards me.”
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