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November 22, 2014
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Overcoming Rejection: Becoming All God Meant for You to Be

Os Hillman • Adversity
Do you ever feel condemned? Do you have trouble experiencing God's love? Did you grow up with very little verbal affirmation in your life? Do you reject the love of others? Do you feel you are not worthy of other people's love? Do you have relationships that often end because you reject people because of what you think they are doing to you? Is it hard to maintain long-term relationships? If you answered yes to any of these questions you may be impacted by a spirit of rejection.

Jennifer is a single mom with three kids that grew up in an alcoholic family. Her father was abusive to her mother when she was very young. Jennifer rarely heard words of affirmation growing up from her father. Feelings of deep insecurity often visited her. As she got older she became very independent. When she was in her twenties she had sex with a guy and got pregnant. The guy refused to marry her. As Jennifer got older she worked very hard to be successful in her career. She experienced on and off romances, rarely maintaining any long-term relationships. She often ended relationships before her partner did. People who knew Jennifer often described her as rigid, very opinionated and difficult to get along with. People and family members always felt tension when being around Jennifer because of her rigidness and abrasive personality. Jennifer has suffered from a spirit of rejection her whole life. However, she does not know it and refuses to acknowledge that she is any different than anyone else. She refuses to let anyone get to close to the real Jennifer for fear of being rejected if they knew the real Jennifer. This takes place on a subconscious level; she does not know she is even doing this.

Do you ever feel condemned? Do you have trouble experiencing God's love? Did you grow up with very little verbal affirmation in your life? Do you reject the love of others? Do you feel you are not worthy of other people's love? Do you have relationships that often end because you reject people because of what you think they are doing to you? Is it hard to maintain long-term relationships? If you answered yes to any of these questions you may be impacted by a spirit of rejection.

For some of us the reason we are unable to connect with the love of God and others is due to the influence of a spirit of rejection that visits us through past generations. Pastor Henry Wright, in his book, The Spirit of Rejection, cites the apostle Paul in Ephesians 6:12 "We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Wright says, "Evil spirits are invisible disembodied beings that live in the realm of the spirit and they are able to speak to you beyond the realm of conscious thought with impressions, feelings, thoughts and ideas. They are able to trigger things in your life without you even thinking about it." [1] He explains that entertaining a spirit of rejection is actually sin because we are disagreeing with what God says about us. "You have no right to reject yourself if God has accepted you. You say: 'God, You made a mistake when You created me. I am rejected and for You to tell me that I am not rejected is a lie. So You are a liar.' When you go into self-rejection, you are telling God He is a liar.[2] It sets man as your god by declaring that who you are rests on a human who accepts you or does not accept you."[3] In order to remove the influence of this spirit you must confess your sin and renounce it. This will allow you to begin to believe what God says about you that you are truly loved.

Cain and Abel

The first example of a spirit of rejection operating in the Bible was in the story of Cain and Abel.[4] Cain was a farmer and Abel was a shepherd. When Cain and Abel brought offerings to the Lord, Cain's offering was rejected. The reason was that Cain brought his offering out of duty, but Abel offered his from his heart. God judged Cain's motive and rejected his offering. However, God did not reject Cain as a person. It was here that the spirit of rejection entered Cain and he believed the lie that God did not love him and had rejected him.

"Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. So the Lord said to Cain, 'Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.'"[5]

God tried to warn Cain that what he was doing was not pleasing, but Cain believed that God was rejecting him personally, and he got angry. This led to bitterness toward God and envy and jealousy toward his brother. This root of bitterness grew to murder. God warned Cain that "sin lies at the door." Cain sinned by believing a lie about not being accepted by God. Shame (his countenance fell) tells us that WE are not acceptable; guilt says we did something wrong and need to repent, but we are still accepted by God.

For many of us the Christian life has been more about avoiding sin, performing, and judgment than about knowing that God deeply loves us despite our successes or failures. Growing up in a family of shame often made us live under guilt and the need to perform to gain acceptance. However, He loves us no matter what our performance has been. I state this not to give license to sin, but to recognize that the central character trait of God is love, not judgment. God only gave two primary directives in the Old Testament and repeats them in the New Testament: Love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself.[6] You will fulfill all other things by fulfilling this command. In order for that to be a reality, you must believe you are loved and you must love yourself. You cannot love God or others if you don't believe you are loved and you don't love yourself. We love in response to perceived love. We become vulnerable enough to be loved.

God created us foremost for relationship and second for mission. He desires our companionship. His heart longs to connect with our heart. Yet from the beginning, humans rejected this in favor of what they perceived to be freedom. This resulted in being separated from the intimacy of our Heavenly Father.

Rejection operates in three core areas of our lives:

1. Feeling rejected by God.

2. Rejecting oneself. rejecting who God declares you to be and rejected what God purposed you to become.

3. Rejection by others.

In order to effectively deal with the spirit of rejection, we must acknowledge its influence in our lives. We must repent of its influence and realize and affirm the truth that God loves us and that we are not rejected by God. We have believed a lie from Satan that wants to destroy us and our destiny.

Rejection in the Workplace

The influences of rejection in the workplace can be identified by a number of behaviors. Sometimes a person with a spirit of rejection will become a workaholic in order to be successful at their jobs. Their value is based on how well they perform at their jobs. If they are criticized for their performance this will create a major crisis for them because their very life is defined by their performance.

I once spoke on this topic in Singapore and a woman came up to me afterwards and asked if I would have lunch with her and her friend. She was a hard driving woman. She talked very fast. She was very aggressive and was the type that would not take no for an answer. When we got together I asked her to tell me about her relationship with her father. She wondered why I asked such a question. I simply asked her the question again. She responded by saying, "Oh, my father and I do not get along. He says I will never amount to anything. He says I am fat (she was about 15 pounds overweight). I responded to her and said, "You have a spirit of rejection ruling your life that came through your father. You are now living to please and gain acceptance from your father and you are a workaholic because of it. You need to know that you are loved just as you are. You need to stop trying to please your father." The woman began to cry. I had touched the very heart of her problem. We prayed with her for healing. She was a different person after coming to realize this about her life.

There are other symptoms that might show up in a person with a spirit of rejection. They might fight for their ideas to gain self-esteem. They might be very rigid in their views. They are often very independent, not open to other's ideas. They have a difficult time living under authority structures. They often keep a wall around them designed to protect themselves by living through a false self, or poser personality that is not their true personality. It is the personality they believe others will accept.

All of this is rooted in a childhood wound that has never been healed. You must see this person living in a jail that you have the key to. You must pray for this person and give unconditional love to them in order to break the stronghold over their life. However, they must ultimately come to the truth themselves and be willing to repent of their wrong belief about themselves and God's view of them. This is how they become free.

The way to healing also involves meditating on scriptures. Here are some key ones:

Psalm 139, Psalm 69, 1 Cor. 13:5-7, Romans 8:14, 15, and Galatians 4:4-7.

Prayer of Repentance

Do you suffer from a spirit of rejection? If so, pray this prayer that Henry Wright features in his book, Rejection.

Father, I repent to You for listening to a lie from a lying man accusing me and telling me I was rejected, or a lying spirit that would have accused me to myself, telling me I was rejected. When I listen to that, I have made man my god and I have made You, Father, a liar. I repent to You, Father, for allowing rejection to rule my life. I repent to You, Father, for turning away from Your love, not accepting it unconditionally.


[1] Henry Wright, Rejection, Be In Health, Thomaston, GA 2007, p. 82

[2] Henry Wright, Rejection, Be In Health, Thomaston, GA 2007, p. 95

[3] Henry Wright, Rejection, Be In Health, Thomaston, GA 2007, p. 1

[4] Gen. 4

[5] Gen 4:4-7

[6] Dt 6:4-7


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Recommended Resource
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Rejection, by Henry Wright
We've all experienced rejection. This book reveals the inner working of rejection in three arenas: rejection by others; rejecting oneself; feeling rejected by God. You do not have to be ruled by rejection -- you can overcome it!

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