Control and Manipulation: Do You Know a Jezebel?
Have you seen control and manipulation divide your church? Have you suffered through the fall of a spiritual leader into sexual sin? The life of Queen Jezebel gives us a window of how Satan operates in our churches to destroy God’s people.
To understand the spirit of control and manipulation as epitomized by Jezebel, we must understand the genesis of her personality in the Bible. The first mention of Jezebel is in 1 Kings. She was the rebellious, manipulative wife of King Ahab. It was actually a powerful demonic spirit, operating through Queen Jezebel, which had caused over ten million Hebrews (all but seven thousand faithful souls) to bow to Baal. Jezebel caused them to forsake the covenant, destroy the sacred altars and kill the prophets (I Kings 19:14-18). This one woman was almost totally responsible for corrupting an entire nation, and this same influence has come full force against us in this present day.
Jezebel was fiercely independent and intensely ambitious for pre-eminence and control. It is note-worthy that the name “Jezebel,” literally translated, means “without cohabitation.” This simply means she refuses “to live together” or “cohabit” with anyone. In other words, she was divisive to the core.
A “Jezebel” will not dwell with anyone unless she can control and dominate the relationship. When she seems submissive or “servantlike,” it is only for the sake of gaining some strategic advantage. From her heart, she yields to no one. Some who display this controlling, manipulative behavior are embittered against others, either through neglect or misuse of authority. This Satanic scheme can operate through women who, because of insecurity, jealousy or vanity, desire to dominate others. For example, “Jezebel’s” influence is exemplified by a woman who publicly humiliates her husband with her tongue, and there after controls him by his fear of public embarrassment.
Jesus identifies a “Jezebel” influence sitting in the church in Thyatira when the Holy Spirit exposed it nineteen hundred years ago (Rev 2:19-29). It still has its favorite seat in church. There are respectable men who love God and who seek to serve Him, yet secretly in their hearts are persuaded by lust and allure into making unwise decisions.
As we identify those whom this control and manipulative behavior will most likely influence, let us recognize how such spiritual attack of seduction (as Jezebel’s supposed seduction of the general Jehu) can operate through men. A charismatic leader with highly refined qualities will become very authoritarian and unyielding in his control of the church. Such a leader or pastor will invariably be isolated from fellowship and accountability with other pastors. The man will find himself lured into maintaining flirtatious and sensual relationships, “special intimacies” with one or more women in the church. In time, he will most likely succumb to adultery.
Looking at scripture, Jezebel’s worst enemies were the prophets; her worst fear was that the people would embrace repentance. Jezebel hated repentance.
Jezebel hated humility. Jesus taught that greatness in the kingdom was not measured in what we seem to be, but in childlike honesty of heart.
A true ministry is willing and eager to be submitted and accountable to other ministries. It is typical of those who are servant-minded. Therefore, we must learn that spirituality is measured in meekness, not power.
Jezebel hated prayer-and so does Satan. Intercessory prayer pries manipulating influence’ fingers off the hearts and souls of men. It sets people free. When you pray, freedom is released. When you pray against immorality, it cripples her. When you pray for a submissive heart, it is like the trampling of Jehu’s horse upon her body.
Jezebel hated the prophets, for the prophets spoke out against her. The prophets were her worst enemies. More than her hatred of the prophets, she hated the word they spoke from God. Her real enemy was the spoken Word of God.
Jezebel’s ultimate hatred was against God Himself. She hated the grace God lavishes upon His bond-servants, even after they sin. She hates the fact that God will take the weakest and lowliest and use them to strip her of her power. She hated the holiness and purity of heart that comes from God and surrounds those who serve in His courts.
The first weapon to defeat schemes of Satan is to recognize his wiles, pray earnestly for God’s people, and submit ourselves to God. The prayer of a righteous man (and woman) avails much!