For years, believers have pointed to controlling women as being influenced by a Jezebel spirit. Citing overbearing personalities or tendencies to overshadow male leadership, strong women have often been labeled and judged based on perceived aggressive speech or behavior. I can’t count how many times have I heard Jezebel’s influence come up when conversations emerge about “troublesome” women in the church. And yet in Revelation 2:20, the most prominent characteristic of Jezebel is sexual immorality:
Yes, a Jezebel spirit will dominate conversations and steer others towards false doctrines. But this demonic spirit does it through seduction. Not only mental and emotional seduction, but physical. According to this passage, it is this sexual immorality that is judged most severely, even more than any controlling personality.
Is this something God is trying to bring into the light? As immorality and sexual compromise among prominent pastors and leaders is being called out in increasing measure, is the Lord trying to get our attention concerning a much bigger issue that affects not just women, but men? How many male ministers have fallen in the past 20-30 years, not because of false doctrine, but sexual immorality? How many ministries have imploded because of underlying sexual sins that only came out after the initial spotlight on their manipulative or controlling leadership?
For most sincere followers of Christ who tend to think the best of others, this is going to be a hard pill to swallow. The idea that any charismatic and well-loved minister knowingly engages in immorality is hard to fathom. We forget that sin usually starts with small choices – one bad decision at a time.
It’s only been in recent years that we’ve been made aware of how prominent pornography is among church goers. Some studies suggest that roughly 50% of church goers struggle with porn on a regular basis. This uncomfortable truth is hard to talk about and even harder to confront. But unless we do, history will repeat itself and we will gloss over sin as a temporary weakness that gets a pass due to someone’s “powerful anointing.” In our perceived attempts to validate spiritual gifts and miraculous powers, we will undermine a greater work of God to sanctify and purify His Bride.
Regardless of any specific instances we currently face, or will face in the future, I pray we move forward with our eyes wide open and our priorities rightly placed. Spiritual gifting and powerful anointing must always bow to purity and holiness. Jezebel could care less about how great we speak or how many miracles we perform. If this principality can get us to compromise God’s Word and soil our garments with impurity and pride, our adversary will successfully strip us of our spiritual authority and render us absolutely useless in establishing anything of Kingdom value.
I pray we have the stomach for what God needs to show us. If the truth will set us free, I pray we have the guts to face it. I pray we begin to value pure hearts and lives of integrity even more than public persona and social media reach. The Bride of Christ must wear spotless garments to be ready for His return. If He’s trying to take us to the cleaners, I pray we have eyes to see the stains and recognize His love and mercy in the cleansing.