Sunday, April 29, 2012
The Lord recently showed me something – or someone -- spiritual vampires. Yes, vampires! I’m not sure if I can take credit for coining this phrase, but it refers to those men and women who enter your life “talking the talk” and end up sucking the ever-lovin’ life out of you! Creative people, like writers, seem particularly vulnerable, but anyone can get bitten.
Do you know a spiritual vampire? Perhaps you do.
These spiritual vampires might seem in need of your help at first and, as a Christian, you set out to do your duty. Then, slowly, spiritual vampires take over your life in one way or another. Others might wonder about the frequency of their phone calls, texts or visits. If a family member says, “So-and-so is weird” ask him or her why. Define “weird.” For myself, in trying hard not to pass judgments, I occasionally lose my God-given discernment. So, my advice is to pay attention to subtle observations. If you don’t, your thoughts and very life can become consumed by a spiritual vampire.
Spiritual vampires can also disguise themselves as people in powerful positions, like therapists, priests, pastors or even popular and trusted brothers or sisters in Christ. They might appear to be serving the Lord, but if they counsel you, their drama suddenly becomes yours too (instead of them helping you deal with the issues in your life). Their personal ambition becomes the church’s mission – and it’s not the will of God. Their “special gift” suddenly causes you to feel oppressed and intimidated.
These are the warning signs. A spiritual vampire may have a word for you, but sift it through Scripture (God’s Word) before you accept it. You see, not only can spiritual vampires appear as though they are needy, but they may also appear as ones who not only know God but are as God. Um…isn’t that what got Lucifer and his host kicked out of heaven? (Ezekiel 28)
A true test to see if someone is a spiritual vampire is while he or she is speaking with authority, listen to how many times the words “I” and “me” are used. This excludes a friend who is attempting to confide in you about her troubles. This is different. Spiritual vampires will say things like “God told me thus-and-such about you.” (The truth is God doesn’t gossip, okay? God will tell you directly about you!) A spiritual vampire will say something like, “I know I’m right because I have the gift of discernment.” (So how can you argue? In their minds, they are never wrong!)
Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not insinuating that we shouldn’t help others in need or that we shouldn’t serve our local churches and respect our pastors and fellow believers. I’m not saying other believers don’t have special God-given gifts either. But the truth is we ALL have God-given gifts. My only warning in this post is that the voice of the spiritual vampire can become louder than God’s “still small voice.”
Wherever spiritual vampires are you’ll find pride is there too. Pride is different from confidence. We can be confident in God and in ourselves because of God; but spiritual vampires feel they are more special than everyone else. We don’t want to doubt folks, but don’t idolize them either. Spiritual vampires want to be idolized. Their hearts are “lifted up” because of their gifts just like Lucifer’s heart was lifted up because of his beauty (Ezekiel 28).
Another warning sign: Spiritual vampires will never apologize – because they never think they make mistakes!
If you know a spiritual vampire run. Run far and run fast! The Lord will surely bring the individual down – just like He did Lucifer. Pride always goes before a fall.
However, the Lord showed me that I don’t have to get hurt anymore. I just have to get out of the way!
And here’s the best news of all: Spiritual vampires can be transformed. But it takes the Sword of the Spirit getting driven deep into their hearts and that’s something which can only be accomplished through prayer.