Turn on the television and what do you see? If you're like the rest of us, you see performances. Many people are doing whatever they can to entertain the viewers so that their ratings can go up, their pockets can get fatter and the sound of their names can echo louder. We've come to expect this behavior on television. After all, television was created to inform and entertain, but as the world gets darker, the need for deliverance ministers and intercessors continues to grow. The people are hungry for change and will nominate any politician who dares use “change” as a catch phrase. This earth is spiraling down the devil's drain, and most people have decided to enjoy the ride or religiously chant scriptures in hopes of being saved.
As the world's entertainers get darker and darker, more shows and churches sprout up to save, minister to, heal and restore the broken souls that have become nothing more than casualties of warfare. At the same time, Satan has found a way to intercept many of those lost souls who've dared to think about reconciling with the LORD. What has he done? He's sent out religious prostitutes to teach men and women to give religious performances, all the while living sin-filled lives.
When most of us hear the word “prostitute”, the first thing we think of is a woman who sells sex for money. As a matter of fact, prostitution is considered one of the lowest and most shameful occupations anyone could have. But prostitution goes far beyond the exchange of money for sex. In the Biblical days, livestock was often used as currency and exchanged for sex. Additionally, the Aztecs used cacao beans as a form of currency. Cowrie shells were used as currency in China as far back as 1200 B.C., and were still being used in the twentieth century in some parts of Africa. Therefore, to define prostitution as the exchange of sex for money is a clever way to disguise it for what it really is: The exchange of something for someone's soul.
With the sexual aspect of prostitution, a person grants another person or a devil access to their soul by submitting their bodies to that person for gain. According to the WORD, anytime we have sex with someone, we become one person with the individual we've just had sex with. In other words, we marry that person, but our marriage is illegal. Fornication simply means to be illegally wed to another person through the act of sex.
1 Corinthians 6:15-17: Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? Know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? For two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
So what exactly is “religious prostitution”? To understand religious prostitution, we must first understand the definition of each word. Of course, we've already determined what a prostitute is, so we now have to explore what the word “religious” means. Merriam Webster Dictionary defines “religious” as:
- of or relating to religion
- believing in a god or a group of gods and following the rules of a religion
- very careful to do something whenever it can or should be done
To be religious means to follow the rules of a particular religion. It means to perform ritualistic acts that were instituted by man and inspired by the Bible or a religious doctrine. Needless to say, GOD is not interested in our performances as much as HE is interested in our hearts. Our hearts are like our little black boxes. They tell the LORD what's going on in our hearts and what's caused us to fall. Therefore, religious prostitution is to perform religious acts for personal gain. What exactly are we trying to gain? Some people perform religiously for money, and that's why you see so many ministries popping up with only enough power to stretch out their hands and beg. Some people give religious performances for fame, and this is evident in the many secular ministers that leave us all confused everyday. Some people perform religiously for romantic relationships or sex. That's why you'll find so many people going to church, establishing a relationship with someone from that church, and then disappearing from church altogether. And then, there's the most obvious and most common reason some people perform religiously, and that is, to get to Heaven. What's so wrong about striving to do what's right if all you want to do is go to Heaven? Think about it this way: Would you want someone mowing your yard for a place to stay? In their hearts, they don't like you or your rules, but they do and say what you want them to do and say because they want live in your house. That's not love; it's an exchange. It is marketing one's self for personal gain. GOD wants and loves us; we know this, but we also must know that HE wants us to want and love HIM back. HE'S already paid the price for our souls. We shouldn't try to barter with HIM in an attempt to live life as we so desire; all the while, giving religious performances in hopes that HE'LL overlook our transgressions.
Just as many nations throughout the ages have used animals, metals and beans as currency, we (believers) often use religiousness or religious words as currency. At the same time, many people use their bodies as currency. For example, a woman who has sex with a man with the intent of winning his heart is actually paying the man she's sleeping with. She's giving him her soul or access to her soul, and in exchange, she wants him to love her. This is in no doubt prostitution. The only difference is her currency is her body, and she's paying for his love. That man, on the other hand, may be pretending to love her for the sake of getting sexual favors from her. His lies are his currency; therefore, he pretends to pay her, but when she begins to look for the love that he's promised her, he abruptly leaves. In other words, he robs her of the love he's promised her.
Religiousness and holiness often oppose one another. Being religious (or traditional) in living a good life is not bad at all, because it means we've formed a habit of doing the right things, but we must remember to do all things as onto the LORD. Religiousness becomes rotten when we perform acts of the flesh in an attempt to get GOD'S attention or to get something from GOD. It becomes a stench to GOD when sin has our hearts, but our mouths are singing HIM praises.
Matthew 15:8: These people draw near unto me with their mouth, and honor me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
To be religious means to attempt to pull the wool over GOD'S eyes with your words and performances, but remember, a prostitute performs for gain. So if we are performing religious acts or quoting scriptures in hopes of getting something from GOD, we are attempting to sell ourselves to GOD. Nowadays, many people are doing whatever they can to entertain GOD so that their ratings (favor) can go up with HIM, their pockets can get fatter and the sound of their names can echo louder in Heaven. It's not love that's driving them; it's a desire for personal gain, and that's what makes it repulsive to GOD. To be “religious” with GOD, means to see living righteously as an “occupation” and not an obligation.
Do people only perform for GOD? No. People often perform religiously for other people as well. They prostitute themselves to others with the intent of gaining favor, friendships, romantic relationships, titles or financial gain. That's why you'll find that some of today's leaders aren't concerned as much for the lost souls as they are for the expansion of their ministries. Many people befriend other people they feel can benefit their lives, careers or ministries. You'll notice that some leaders won't visit small churches because there isn't much to gain (in their opinion) from those churches. If they aren't paid a certain amount of money or if the congregation isn't big enough, those self-exalted leaders will decline the invitations, because they want something in return for their performances. Instead, they link up to others who are “doing it big” because they've forgotten what ministry is, and they've left their first love. In other words, they've prostituted themselves by exchanging or opening up their souls to others for personal gain; nevertheless, they still think their acts are so well-performed that GOD won't know the difference. After all, many have fooled themselves into believing they can “pull one over” on GOD. It is easy to become so religious that we become self-righteous and can't see the planks in our own eyes.
The truth is: Many of us have been guilty of giving performances, whether our performances were aimed at grabbing GOD'S attention or grabbing another human being's attention. Truthfully, when we have GOD on the inside of us, there's a conviction that comes over us anytime we step outside HIS will, but many people have learned to ignore this conviction because the enemy has convinced them that sin and righteous living can co-exist if it's performed in 3D. Their religious acts have to be performed so well that they even fool themselves into thinking that GOD will omit some parts of the Bible to let their sins “slide by”. Nowadays, the enemy is teaching lost souls how to lose themselves in themselves. People are becoming religious turtles who retreat to their own religious circles to be “encouraged” by others like themselves; people who justify their thinking and shun anyone who dares to try and coach them outside of their shells with the truth. We must remember that GOD wants to be a part of our deliverance, not our performances.
How can we change? What if you are guilty of religious prostitution? What should you do now? It's simple. Repent to GOD and turn your life around. GOD wants us to love HIM, and HE wants us to trust HIM. When we don't love HIM, we'll sin against HIM. When we don't trust HIM, we'll sin against HIM. You'll find that your sins are the greatest in the areas in which you have trouble trusting GOD. It is those areas that you need to submit to GOD. Anytime you find sin hanging out in one of your members, you need to submit that member to CHRIST and cut it off. To “cut it off” doesn't mean that you must take a chainsaw to it. To cut off a member that's causing you to sin is to simply function outside of it. Let's say that lust is an issue with you. Should you castrate yourself? No. You simply starve that part of your body by not giving in to its lusts. This is done by cutting off any opportunity it may have to sin. So if you're single struggling with lust, you shouldn't date anyone, nor should you be alone with anyone of the opposite sex.
We must stop establishing friendships, relationships and partnerships with people with the intent of gaining something unless there is a mutual agreement between us and the people we are attempting to get something from AND our gain glorifies GOD and not ourselves. In other words, we can't be sly and use others, pretending to want one thing when we need another. Our bodies are temples of the HOLY SPIRIT, and we must treat them as such. If you have a ministry, don't seek how you can expand that ministry; seek the plans of GOD for that ministry. If you want to be married, don't seek a spouse; seek the plans of GOD for your life, and HE will send you your spouse to accompany you once you've accepted your assignment. If HE sent that spouse to you when you thought your life was all about being somebody's husband or wife, you'd lose yourself in that marriage. If you want sex, don't seek a sexual partner; seek GOD so you can be delivered from those lustful desires, and HE can send you a spouse. If you want to go to Heaven, don't try to learn how to look holy; seek to be holy by submitting your whole self to GOD, and HE will give you salvation. If you want something tangible from GOD, like a house, car or a business, don't seek GOD'S hand; seek HIS heart. In getting to know HIM more, you will grow to love HIM more, and everything else won't seem so grand anymore. It is when we can allow our faith to finally dwarf our lustful desires that we'll stop putting on religious performances in hopes of gaining the world. At the same time, please know that CHRIST JESUS already paid the price for us. Would you go to a store and repurchase the groceries that your spouse has already purchased? Of course not. That's what you're doing when you are performing for gain. You are paying for something that CHRIST already paid the price for. You've just got to learn to trust HIM, seek HIM and love HIM, and in doing so, you will get to the things you want in due time. Additionally, if your desires are lustful in nature, GOD will deliver you from them as you approach HIS heart. You'll find that your mind will change, your desires will change and your life's journey will be redefined as you draw nigh unto the LORD. The world doesn't need more performers. It needs more people who actually fear and love GOD, and has not turned their souls into spiritual brothels. Either we will seek GOD and get the blessings we want, or we will follow behind our lusts and lose our souls in the process.
Mark 8:36: For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
Matthew 6:33: But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Remember, whatever it is that you want is what you're paying to get. Whatever you are paying with, that's your currency. Oftentimes, your soul is the currency the enemy requires to give you what you want.
Matthew 4:8-11: Again, the devil taketh him (JESUS) up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
If you aren't seeking the Kingdom of GOD and HIS righteousness, you are religiously prostituting yourself and your soul for personal gain. If you're reading this article, that means you're alive, and you can repent right now. Turn your life around by turning your heart around. Don't seek what you can gain from this earth; seek GOD. In your ministries, seek the face of GOD, and you'll see the power of GOD. In your families, seek the face of GOD, and you'll see the power of GOD. In every area of your life, seek the face of GOD, and you'll discover the power of GOD. But if you seek anything else before HIM, that thing has become your idol, and you'll prostitute yourself to get to it; all the while, performing religious acts for GOD, hoping that you can perform your way into Heaven. It won't work because we are not saved by our works.
Ephesians 2:8-9: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Jeremiah 13:27: I have seen thine adulteries, and thy neighings, the lewdness of thy whoredom, and thine abominations on the hills in the fields. Woe unto thee, O Jerusalem! Wilt thou not be made clean? When shall it once be?