An independent spirit is one that seeks self glory, operates in conceit and often is in rebellion to the authority established by God (and hence against the Word of God).  People with independent spirits are barriers to the works of the kingdom of God and can destroy marriages, churches, families and businesses. We need to constantly guard our hearts against it and ask the Holy Spirit to break the power of independent spirit within us, else it may drift us away from the purposes of God.

Here are five common signs of people with an independent spirit

1. They are never in complete obedience to the word of God and do only what they feel is right.
As a messenger of God, Samuel instructs king Saul to totally destroy the Amalekites and everything that belonged to them. (1 Samuel 15:3). However Saul spares the King of Amalekites and the best of the sheep, cattle, lambs etc and everything that was good. (1 Samuel 15:9). Saul was seeking the praise of his fellowmen than obeying God and allowed the independent spirit to take the better of him. Result? God rejects Saul as king.

 2. They are led by fleshly motives
Gehazi, the servant of prophet Elisha ran after Namaan to ‘get something from him’ , clearly in contrast to the nature of Elisha (2 Kings5:21-23). A man who walked so closely with God’s anointed allowed the flesh to lead. Gehazi’s end would have been very different, had he not allowed the independent spirit to take over.
Removing a Mask
3. They wear a mask of spirituality
People with independent spirits often base themselves on their partial knowledge of scripture and sometimes make erroneous doctrines out of it. What they do or say may seem spiritual, but often it is not. Because it is not based on the solid foundation of the Word of God, when they are tested they crumble and fall.

4.  They are in rebellion to the authority and will do a lot of things without telling them
Joab was one of Israel’s greatest warriors and the right hand of king David. However there were many occasions where  he displayed signs of an independent spirit. When David decided to make a peace treaty with Abner, Joab was not very happy about it for his personal reasons and kills Abner. (2Samuel 3). Again when David commanded his men to be gentle in the battle with his revolting son Absalom (2 Samuel 18:5), Joab shows no mercy and kills Absalom (2 Samuel 18: 14-15).

5. A hardened heart gives ground for the independent spirit to thrive
A hardened heart is one that lacks spiritual perception( Mark 8:17) and is not able to see and hear the things of God (Mark 8:18).  There may be various causes for this like continual living in sin, lack of word knowledge, bitterness, hurt etc. A hardened heart is the perfect breeding ground for an independent spirit. One way we can prevent our hearts from getting hardened is by always reminding ourselves of the works of God. Look at the psalms of David, he always found courage and strength when he reminded himself of the goodness of God.

Pray: Lord, break the independent spirit within me.

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