Responding to a Controlling Spirit
A person that is under the influence of a controlling spirit will love you only to the extent that you’re willing to be controlled by them. A person that will only accept you when you are like them, when you agree with them, or when you’re willing to follow after and praise them, is under the influence of a controlling spirit.
You can see how this spirit operates by observing the way those who are under its influence try to control the thoughts and behavior of others. The goal of this spirit is to create uniform thinking and behavior. Non-compliance is met with ridicule, punishment, or shame.
A person under the influence of a controlling spirit uses threats and intimidation to create fear in others so they will conform to their expectations. This spirit uses division to its advantage. Those under its control will demand that we take sides on an issue that is unimportant or create a perceived crisis and expect us to endorse their solution. It will spread gossip and lies about an individual, and demand that we take a stand against this person. The controlling spirit divides people who would otherwise be united. It is destructive in all that it does and it will stop at nothing to get its way.
The shield that guards our hearts against the work of a controlling spirit is the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Our defense is cultivating in our hearts love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, gentleness, long-suffering, and self-control. Since the goal of a controlling spirit is to manipulate people into following prescribed patterns of thoughts and behavior, the best way to defeat it is to demonstrate freedom of thought and freedom of action as they are expressed through acts of unconditional love.