1. The Apostolic church is always transformational (2 Cor 3:17-18)
Many of you know by now, that in an Apostolic Prophetic ministry, the keyword is transformation. For us as an Apostolic Network of Churches, 2 Cor 3:17-18 are key Scriptures. That word means to change. To change and become more like Christ is an ongoing process. Not through ‘labour & toil” but through submitting and surrender.
This means that God never leaves us where we are at, and neither does the cross of Calvery. God meets us where we are at but doesn’t leave us there, if we are open to allow the transforming power of God to heal us, and restore us we begin to move in the resurrection power of Christ to overcome all things.
This is why it’s so important to understand the things that have caused the Church of Christ, to be dysfunctional and stuck in an old wineskin, and then to know the power of God that can change us from the inside out. It is in our willingness to recognize our issues and surrender to God, that we are able to break free.
We must decree and declare as Apostolic prophetic churches, but we must also know that there is a big difference between declaring and decreeing a thing into being like in (Rom 4:17), where we pray in agreement with Holy Spirit for our inheritance to manifest, than there is to having a spirit of entitlement. They are two different things.
2. The spirit of entitlement is dictatorial & controlling
The definition of entitlement is this: the belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment.
A person with a spirit of entitlement, is usually in denial that such an oppression or spirit is present in their life, but it is easily found if we are willing to take a look at our behaviour.
A person with this spirit dictates, even though they may see themselves as caring and of course, can also be caring, even though it may not be in a healthy way but can be in an enabling way.
They may think they’re not judgemental when often, they can actually be the most judgemental of people and usually justify their behaviour based on a ‘standard’ that comes from narrow thinking which I believe often comes out of brokenness, pertaining only to what they can ‘see’ in their own narrow contexts.
This spirit, aligns itself with the mentality that, “I deserve this or that” or “Why should so and so get this? What about me? I’ve done x, y & z? ” People with this spirit see themselves as in control rather than them having a ‘spirit of control’ residing in in them, which is more often than not, the case.
3. This spirit of entitlement produces unrealistic expectations even from Christians.
Those that have a spirit of entitlement often have unrealistic expectations of others, and often think they are the most humble of all.
Yet often, this spirit can cause a person to think of themselves as the ‘self-appointed’ spokesperson for everyone, even though it is really not the case and ‘everyone’ is not included.
Envy or jealousy can also rise up in a person, when this spirit is present because of their sense of entitlement, and when someone else gets a position or receives a promotion in the church or otherwise; or they think ‘something’ should belong to them or be for them only, they can become jealous or envious. This is not a fruit from Holy Spirit.
4. The spirit of entitlement often causes a person to have an expert opinion on everything
Often this sense or spirit of entitlement can cause those that have it, to have an ‘opinion’ on everything and they’ll often think they know more than the Fivefold leader in a church, or any leaders for that matter, and they may think that they know more than everyone else about everything else. An inferiority complex often accompanies this spirit.
5. The spirit of entitlement carries with it, a lack of gratitude
A person with this spirit of entitlement will see everything as being unfair which in turn breeds resentment and a bitter root instead of a heart of gratitude.
It also stops a person from “seeing” the true promises of God for their life because they would continually be looking at the half empty glass instead of the half-full glass.
Why is this important?
Because this spirit, in turn, brings more dysfunction into our lives, often in the form of strongholds.
For example, it causes us to measure ourselves with ourselves, by our own standards instead of the standards and principles Scripture gives us to live healthy productive lives.
Which brings me to my next point:
6. We must, therefore, measure ourselves with Scripture, God’s Word, not our own standards
When we measure ourselves this way, it is impossible to be objective about ourselves and so we end up justifying how and why we’ve measured ourselves a specific way.
Our comparisons end up being from the wrong context, our own! Therefore, our own measure is not accurate. The only correct measure is to measure ourselves against what the Word of God says.
We cannot serve in the Kingdom with a spirit of entitlement. An, “I deserve more than so-and-so” attitude. Gratitude is the currency of the Kingdom, it is a grateful heart that is pleasing to God.
“Gratitude is the currency of the Kingdom.”
Christ spoke of freely giving often in his parables in the gospels.
God is interested in generous hearts before calloused ones. God is interested in sowers before takers.
(Read the parable of the Workers in the Vineyard in Matthew 20:1-16)
Heaven’s currency = Generous Givers. Those who freely give of themselves without condition. If we are not able to give freely of ourselves we still need healing.
In that case, we need to get healing from whatever stronghold or wrong mindset is blocking our giving, and become one who freely gives instead of one who continues to think that the “world” owes them something!
Freely you have received, now freely give! (Matt 10:8)
This is not just money; it’s all of ourselves. Part of our spiritual inheritance is to give ourselves to God!
7. We overcome all things as we surrender to God through Holy Spirit
Pray that God will show you the areas of your life that need healing and if it is anything of the above trust God, and be open to that healing. When we open ourselves up to allow God to have God’s way, we will find a place of healing.
Ask the LORD to show you the root/s and break these off your life. Simply put, for some, it could be and is very often caused from a deeper root/s of rejection, or perhaps some form of neglect in past years, or some form of unhealed hurt.
This is a season to birth. We cannot birth if we are distracted by anything in the flesh. Sow to please the Spirit.
(Adapted from my original article written in March 2015)
Blessings and love
Apostle Deborah Bell
Lead Apostle of the DGAN Apostolic Network of Churches & DGFC.