When we teach that God accepts all people no matter what, we are not accurately reflecting His standards as they are set out in His Word. The Bible records many stories that reveal God's rejection of certain behaviors and lifestyles.
In Genesis 3 we see that Adam, the first man God created, was rejected by God for disobeying His command to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam ate of the tree and was cast out of the Garden of Eden as a result.
Next up was Cain, who offered a sacrifice the Lord rejected. Instead of correcting his mistake, Cain became jealous of his brother Abel because God accepted Abel's sacrifice. Fully manifesting a spirit of rejection, Cain allowed anger and bitterness to drive him to kill Abel (Gen. 4:3–10).
Because Abraham and Sarah did not want to wait for God's promise to be fulfilled, they took matters into their own hands. Their actions led to a whole people group being rejected generation after generation.
Ishmael, conceived out of an unwillingness to wait on God, was also rejected by God (Gen. 21:8–21). Abraham and Sarah had tried to help God by using Sarah's maid, Hagar, as a surrogate. (See Genesis 16:1–4.) But this was not God's plan, and He did not need their help. Therefore, Ishmael was rejected as the promised son. Understand that it wasn't that God didn't love Ishmael, because He did, just as He loves us all. It was simply the fact that Ishmael was not the one God promised to Abraham.
First Samuel 15:17 provides an example of another person who experienced divine rejection: "When you were little in your own sight, were you not made the head of the tribes of Israel?" In this verse the Prophet Samuel is reminding Saul of who he was before he became king of Israel. Coming from the tribe of Benjamin—the smallest of Israel's tribes—Saul entered the scene predisposed to the spirits of self-rejection, inferiority, and insecurity. Initially God chose and anointed him to be the first king of Israel. But throughout Saul's rule the spirit of rejection and other strongholds began to manifest more and more. He became rebellious and disobedient, choosing to seek his own way ahead of God's. He refused to submit himself to the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit through the prophet Samuel. This arrogance and pride led him to be rejected by God as king of Israel.
"Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He has also rejected you from being king" (1 Sam. 15:22–23, MEV, emphasis added).
Though divine rejection opened up Saul's life to demons of paranoia, suspicion, murderous spirit, witchcraft and suicide, we must understand that it was Saul who first rejected God. Of course, God's intention was not to get back at Saul, but there were certain commands and instructions through which God wanted to bless and prosper Saul and the people of Israel. Saul's determination to go against what God directed him to do set him on a path of destruction. He forfeited the blessing, protection and victory over the enemy that obedience and submission to God bring. The story of Saul's rejection demonstrates how demons of rejection can completely ruin a person's whole life.
Rejecting the Knowledge of God Opens the Door to Destruction
Being rejected by God comes as a result of a person's refusal of the knowledge of God.
"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I will reject you from being My priest. And because you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children" (Hosea 4:6).
This verse defines the curse of rejection, also known as the demon of rejection. This curse or demonic spirit is not just about being turned down or rejected by someone one day. The demon of rejection that enters as a result of refusing the knowledge of God is about your whole life being characterized by the manifestations of this demon, which we will explore in later chapters. Though all of us have been rejected in one way or another, there is a deeper infiltration of the spirit, curse or demon of rejection that destroys lives and causes one to reject God. But there is deliverance, and there is forgiveness.
God is always open to a person with a repentant and humble heart. If you come to Him in the midst of your mess and confess that you want to know His ways, that you want to walk in the knowledge, wisdom, and understanding of His Word, He will deliver you from the destruction of rejection.
However, God cannot accept you when you are living in deliberate opposition to His ways. He will reject you if you reject deliverance, His Word, and the leading of His Spirit. We are living in a time when hardly any of us can say we have not been introduced to the knowledge of God. There may be remote groups of people who have never known the God of the Bible, but most of us have, in one way or another, been presented with an opportunity to receive the truth of God, deliverance and healing. So if we choose to go another way and our minds are fixed on living out that choice, God says, "I will reject you."
Hosea 4:6 says it clearly: "Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you." So it is not only about a lack of exposure to the knowledge of God; it is also about refusal to accept it. And through our rejection of this knowledge, we are destroyed. Now focus in on that word destroyed in this verse.
The spirit of destruction comes into our lives as a result of our rejection of God and then by His rejection of us. If we want to experience victory, blessing, and protection from God—and even acceptance, because we always have His love—it is important for us to repent and accept His truth. We need to be humbly open and submitted to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Excerpted from John Eckhardt's book, Destroying the Spirit of Rejection (Charisma House, 2016). To purchase the book, click here.
Apostle John Eckhardt is overseer of Crusaders Ministries, located in Chicago, Illinois. Gifted with a strong apostolic call, he has ministered throughout the United States and overseas in more than eighty nations. He is a sought-after international conference speaker and has authored more than twenty books, including Prophet, Arise!, Prayers That Rout Demons, Prayers That Break Curses, and God Still Speaks. Eckhardt resides in the Chicago area with his wife, Wanda, and their five children.
Draw closer to God. Experience the presence of the Holy Spirit every month as you read Charisma magazine. Sign up now to get Charisma for as low as $1 per issue.
Get to know the Holy Spirit and how to interact with Him on a daily basis. Learn to enter God's presence and hear His voice clearly for yourself! Go deeper in your faith with Life in the Spirit and change your life and destiny. Are you ready to start your journey?