“Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went off to the chief priests in order to betray Him to them. They were glad when they heard this, and promised to give him money. And he began seeking how to betray Him at an opportune time.”
Mark 14:10-11 NASB
The Judas spirit
When the name of Judas is heard, we think of the betrayer of Jesus and we are inclined to heap a special kind of hate on his name and reputation. Few babies are named after him. His is a name bound up in infamy, like Hitler, Stalin, Manson, or Jar Jar Binks. Just kidding on the last one, but you get the point.
As believers we hiss and curse the name and what he did. He betrayed the Savior of the world for mammon, mere money. We love to look at what he did and point our pious finger. Are we willing to look at what we do?
There is a Judas spirit in all of us. We betray the cross of Christ daily as we go about our daily lives, not fully acknowledging the effect of Jesus in our lives. For every moment we fail to share our faith, every moment we compromise our morals, every moment we turn our hearts away from the poor, every time we fail to love, and a multitude of other times, we betray the Savior of our souls for the reward of the silver of the world.
Even in the most private aspects of our walk with Jesus we make the transaction as we place Jesus into our religious compartment, apart from the rest of our li￼fe. Often the compartment is hidden from sight so as to not draw attention to it. We don’t want to offend, do we?
I am deliberate to confront the Judas spirit in me on a moment by moment, day by day battle between my flesh and my necessity to share my faith. I, like my brothers and sisters, am in a world that is increasingly hostile to the Gospel, the Bible and the values of God. When I name the name of Jesus, I can see the defenses come up as the tolerances go down. His name is contentious.
Truth must win. Souls are depending on it. I must break down the walls of my compartment so that Jesus spills out into all of me. I need to be infused with His word, the values that spring from His word and the conviction of the Holy Spirit that flows from lives of devoted Christ followers.
When Jesus has unfettered access to a life, His presence is clear and bleeds into the lives of others. I noticed that people around me behave differently: they cuss less, appear more calm, and peaceful. Many find themselves sharing their deepest feelings with me, a stranger. The Spirit of God is drawing people. In the beginning I ran. All the folks with the darkest issues came at me. My Sunday’s were work. Even the pastors sent people my way. “Let’s send him to Bernie!” Ugh.
The Judas spirit screams: leave me alone with your problems. I have my own. The Jesus Spirit says ““Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11:28 NASB
It took me a long time to recognize the significance of people speaking their hurts to me. God had begun to use my willing heart to draw others until Himself. I banished the Judas spirit and I work daily to keep him gone. I desired to be vessel God could use and I died to self.
Make today be that day that you begin to deal with the Judas spirit in you. Start by knocking down the walls of the compartment that keeps Jesus from infecting the rest of your life.
This is probably one of the few cases where infection is a good thing. It will help you kill off the urge of the self so that you can see the plight of others. You will find yourself moving from toxic to kind. Kindness is what people need these days.
The infusion of Jesus into your life will fill every spiritual cell so that no matter whatever you are doing, Jesus is present. I remember years ago I got into strong African coffee. It was so good, so I drank a lot of it. A lot of it. One morning I went to potty and low and behold I could smell the coffee in my urine. I could also sense it coming from my pores. It had temporarily filled my body with it’s essence.
I need Jesus to fill me like that. I want His essence to fill all that I do, every word from my mouth and flood from the pores of my very being. I want people to smell Jesus.
Let’s banish that Judas spirit today!