Recognizing the spirit of seclusion

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(A sermon)

By Pastor Oludotun A. Idowu

The word seclusion is as old as the origin of man! It is defined as “the state of being private and away from other people”. A place, or a thing can be said to be secluded; that is, the place or thing is sheltered, or shut off from interference or contact.

Today, we want to talk about seclusion as a spirit among people. You may be familiar with phrases like, the spirit of anger. You hear people say, “that man is oppressed by the spirit of envy or jealousy”, or “the spirit of immorality”, right! Well, people also, (and believe it or not), believers included, display the spirit of seclusion. Let’s turn to the book of Numbers 11: 24-30 (show on the screen). We see here that if not for the wisdom of Moses (the man of God), two budding believers, Eldad and Medad would have been forbidden from prophesying. This would have contradicted 1 Cor, 14:39. Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak in tongues.” In fact, it says we should ‘covet’ to prophesy!

Luke 9: 49-50 And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us. (emphasis mine) And Jesus said unto him, forbid him not: for he that is not against us, is for us”. Brethren, the attitude of, “this is our own!”, or, “He/she’s not part of us”, is exclusive…” This is the spirit of seclusion in operation! Thank God for our Lord Jesus who clarified the issue to his disciples. Note what Jesus said, “…he that is not against us…” suggests that he is aware of antagonists. He is however sober, and vigilant. Having said that, Jesus still exhibits the spirit of inclusion, not exclusion or seclusion.

Before his ascension Jesus said to his disciples, And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues” (Ask your neighbor: Are you a believer?, then, you too can cast out demons!). Some Christians erroneously believe that the ‘ministry of deliverance’ is exclusive to some ‘super’ Christians or Pastors! We see in Mark 16: 17 that, it is for you and me! The scripture says, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (Jn. 8:32).

Later in Luke 9: from v.51, Jesus sent his disciples to a village of the Samaritans to make the village ready for his arrival there. The Jews and the Samaritans were however, two secluded people. They were not only theologically divided, but also socially separate! Do you remember that Samaritan woman at the well in John 4, whom Jesus asked for a drink? From their discussion you could see how different and secluded the woman was, even before her Creator! Thank God for Jesus, because he knew her ignorance, and her need for deliverance and salvation.

Now, back to our story in the book of Luke 9:in v.54, two disciples, James & John wanted permission from Jesus to call down fire from heaven and destroy the village, for refusing to receive Jesus. But let us see Jesus’ response to his disciples in the next verse 55 “But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.” What spirit was Jesus referring to here? – The spirit of seclusion of course!

Among the Jews, to call someone a Samaritan in those days, was the strongest derogatory remark of their time! But our Lord Jesus was also called a Samaritan in John 8:48. Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?”

When people disagree or oppose you, do you feel like destroying them? Oh, maybe that’s too strong a word! Don’t you feel like dis-associating from them? May God have mercy on us all in Jesus name. May we rise up and pray against the spirit of seclusion.

Altar Call/Prayers of deliverance:

Maybe you’re here, and you’ve never received Jesus as your Lord…

(Approx. 600 words already)

Other scriptures to develop: 1 Sam. 30: 21-25 David rejected the suggestion of the evil men who said that the men who were too exhausted to fight against their enemies, would not share out of the loot from their defeated enemies. – Spirit of seclusion.

.Mk. 6: 1-4 – Jesus is despised by his own people. He said, “A prophet is not without honor…,”

Acts 10: 9-15 – Peter was taught in a vision not to seclude the Gentiles from the good news.

Even Paul was secluded from the other apostles until Barnabas brought him to them Acts 9:27

2 Samuel 14: 28 Absalom lived in Jerusalem for 2 years and was secluded from King David

Matt. 28 19 – Millions are dying and going to hell, because you are disobeying the commandment to preach the good news

John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world… “ Do you also love your neighbor?

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