Summary: 1. The Holy Spirit keeps us from becoming satisfied while trying to please people.
1. The Holy Spirit keeps us from becoming satisfied while trying to please people. The Spirit only gives us lasting fulfillment when we seek to please God. Paul addresses this problem in the Galatian church when he writes, "Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ." (Gal. 1:10) Ask the Lord to help you teach others how they can find lasting satisfaction through trying to please God instead of powerful spiritual leaders.
2. The Holy Spirit corrects people who have a distorted image of God by exposing weaknesses in their Pharisaical leaders' teaching and character qualities. Paul wrote, "I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you." (Phil. 3:14,15) Ask the Lord to make the contrast very clear between the character qualities of God and all Pharisaical leaders.
3. The Holy Spirit will humble the spiritual manipulative leaders in some way so as to use their mistakes as a warning for others. God acted swiftly to judge the hypocritical actions of Ananias and Sapphira. The Lord wanted to send a sharp warning to anyone who thought they might think they could deceive the Holy Spirit. Peter said, "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land?... You have not lied to men but to God. When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened." (Acts 5:3-5) Ask the Lord to publicly humble Pharisaical leaders in the church who think they can get away with hypocritical actions.
4. The Holy Spirit will expose Pharisaical leaders who refuse to admit mistakes, but love to judge others. Jesus said, "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. Before you try to take the speck out of your brother's eye, first remove the log from your own eye." (Matt. 7:1,2) Ask the Lord to confront Pharisaical leaders with their sins of judging others without being to confess and forsake their own sins of omission, wrong dispositions and sins of commission.
5. The Holy Spirit will refuse to bless any Pharisaical leader who is using his spiritual position to use people rather than to serve them. Jesus said, "Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matt. 5:3) Jesus knew that the Pharisees would be offended by this statement since they were proud of their religious self-sufficiency rather than their dependency on the Lord. The Pharisees used their spiritual positions to get people to serve them instead of using their offices for the spiritual service of others. Ask the Lord to help you be more of a leader like Jesus who said, "Even the Son of man did come to be served, but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many." (Mark 10:45)
6. The Holy Spirit strips Pharisaical leaders of real spiritual authority by shutting off the real demonstration of the power of God in their lives and ministries. The first century church enjoyed many demonstrations of the power of God. Dr. Luke wrote, "Everyone was filled with awe and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles." (Acts 2:43) Ask the Lord to let you distinguish the difference between genuine and counterfeits demonstrations of the Spirit of God's power in peoples' lives and ministries.
7. The Holy Spirit demotes Pharisaical leaders. David wrote, "Promotion does not come from the east or the west or from the south, but God is the one who judges; He brings one down, He exalts another." (Psa. 75:6,7) Ask the Lord to demote the abusers of spiritual power so as to make it clear who is enjoying the blessings of God's hand, support and power and who is not.
8. The Holy Spirit deals with Pharisaical leaders who are not listening to corrections. Jesus said, "If he refuses to listen to two or three witnesses, tell it to the church and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector." (Matt. 18:17) Ask the Lord for decisive action to be taken to try to restore the spiritual manipulative leader to Christlike leadership.
9. The Holy Spirit encourages people to leave fellowships led by Pharisaical leaders. When people feel stifled, judged and restricted in their liberty given by the Spirit, they eventually shift to more Christ centered fellowships and organizations. Paul wrote, "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."