SHIFTING OUT OF A RELIGIOUS MINDSET
By Harold Williams, Jr.
Driving In the Wrong Gear: If you have ever driven a manual/stick shift vehicle you know the importance of shifting the gear at the right moment in time. If you stay driving in the incorrect gear it will literally damage the engine—the very source of movement. Your car begins to redline signifying SHIFT NOW, SHIFT NOW! If you don’t shift when necessary you literally get a good shaking up until you do shift. Anytime you speak of a vehicle in the prophetic realm, it symbolizes your ministry.
The Religious Mindset is a very dangerous thing and it can be easy to get stuck there. It is important to know that should one realize they are living with this mindset, that with it comes the discernment that now is the time to SHIFT into the right gear. Staying in the wrong gear will bring stagnation to progression in pursuing purpose, while walking in pure, undefiled truth will make you FREE!
The religious mindset is made up of several components that are mainly fear based:
Performance. This is where one feels they have to perform to every prerequisite and demand that are placed on them. In a performance mentality, personal identity and God-given purpose can be suppressed as the person begins to be a carbon copy of his/her leader. This is dangerous. Not only does he/she walk in a false identity but he/she often becomes a showboat filled with pride finding their validation in the applause and cheers of the crowd. In Matthew 6:5, Jesus says, “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men.” One with a religious mindset will do the same—always looking for someone to say how good they preached, or how accurate their prophetic flow was. If this is not received, he/she often becomes upset and begins to question his/her effectiveness in ministry. If they don’t perform to what they feel is expected or even wanted, they feel as though they have failed. They forget that the key to success is total obedience to God. Time out for messages that provoke emotionalism, but not transformation.
Acts without Purpose. One with a religious mindset has a tendency to go through the routine of religious acts without a Kingdom purpose tied to it. They will go through the motions but no fruit is ever produced; no goal is ever obtained. They do it because their religion says do it, but they fail to ask God what He says about it. In addition, in performing and following the checklist of religion, there is a greater tendency to minimize their own sin and maximize that of others. Many times, this looks like dotting every “I” and crossing every “t” that is outlined within one’s religious sect all the while flowing in perversion. One’s personal relationship with God cannot and must not be neglected in order to uphold a relationship with a religious organization or leader.
Comparison. When walking in a religious mindset, there is a great propensity towards comparison, often thinking or feeling that they/their gift is not as good as another’s. This individual feels that they never measure up and that everyone else is farther along and better than them. In addition, comparison can easily turn into competition in ministry. This leads to always wanting to mimic or outdo another’s style and/or results. As a millennial, I see this a lot in our generation in ministry. We must stop criticizing and competing with another and instead celebrate each one’s unique ministry as we share the common goal of introducing Jesus and impacting lives.
Make the Shift Today! It is time to go full force ahead in the things of God. Today is your day to shift! In order to shift you will need to break off every ounce of religion that may be on you. You don’t want to be like those religious leaders in the synagogue, performing and operating out of a realm of false identity. Religion will distort one’s identity, while relationship with God will bring identity to its fullness.
I was one who operated with a religious mindset. I thought that I was flowing with the flow of God, but really, I was attempting to drive upward in God in the wrong gear; spiritually, I was stalling out, and breaking down. Not only was I driving in the wrong gear, but I was out of alignment. Driving a vehicle with bad alignment will always be a bumpy ride. The vehicle will go in the direction that it pleases causing the driver to always try to put it back on course. However, that car will continue to flow off until you get the right alignment. The right alignments are Kingdom Alignments. Begin to receive from those who have already traveled the path that you are attempting to travel, or those who are willing to partner with you on this path. These are righteous in spirit, always looking to see what they can add to your life that will help you reach your destination (destiny).
I was under unrighteous leadership for many years. It was a performance-driven connection, and not a Kingdom Alignment. I had to perform as a carbon copy of my leader, and preach until the people would go into an emotional praise. It was all emotionally driven and not Kingdom inspired. This went on until I realized that I wasn’t progressing in my calling and what I was preaching wasn’t bringing impact to the lives of the people. I had to shift not just from a religious mindset, but from a religious church to a Kingdom Church. I shifted my mindset first, and then I connected with righteous leaders. I felt like I had just gone to the shop and had my tires on my car (ministry) realigned. I was able to drive into my purpose. So, as you are fueled with passion to do the Kingdom Work, make sure you make continuous shifts that will get you to your destination, and never ignore the Holy Spirit’s prompting to get realigned.
Harold Williams, Jr. is an apostolic and prophetic leader of this day. Harold has a heart to see his generation and generations to come move in the fullness of God while modeling Godly character and integrity. He is committed to raising voices of justice. He is the senior leader of Activation International, Inc. and has ministered on many platforms both nationally and internationally. Harold is honored to have an incredible wife by his side, Jonniece S. Williams, and from their union 3 purpose-filled children, Nasyiah, Josiah, and Sa’Ryiah.
Harold has written his story in his recently published book: Dancing with Wolves: Unexpected Abuse from Spiritual Leadership. Purchase here today.