As a new believer, I was a part of a church that I loved. I loved the leadership, community, and movement. But when we began to worship, I would be plagued with thoughts of how the pastor didn’t want me there. I battled it in my mind thinking I had some hidden insecurity. It was so bad one week that I went to ask a mentor for prayer. In the middle of worship, she brought me to the head pastor and said, “Lisa is struggling with thoughts that you don’t want her here.” I felt a little exposed and silly as he assured me there was room for me. I was able to receive that, but I had to work hard to maintain it. I began to associate going to that church with the incredible challenge it was just to feel ‘fine.’ Years later, I endured the same thing nearly every single week at another church. I hated those thoughts as that was not how I felt as I walked in, yet the moment the worship started, so did my thoughts of not being wanted in that house. I felt like I was a wedding crasher showing up at a church not knowing the bride or groom and like I had no right to be there. It wasn’t until years later I discovered that this is a real demonic spirit called ‘imposter syndrome’ which whispers to you that you are phony, do not belong where you are, and, at any moment, someone is going to call you out for not really belonging there. It tells you that you have no right to be called, included, or seen. It is hard to feel connected, safe, and secure with this lying spirit. Why did I battle this at these two locations and not others? Because the spirit was present in that church. Someone needed to discern it, and then someone in authority needed to deal with it. Yes, I had authority over it speaking to me, but it had a legal right in the house to speak to those present and needed to be dealt with on a corporate level. While it was not ‘in’ me, but rather around me, due to my lack of understanding, I was plagued with wondering what was wrong with me. And all be it, so did scores of others.
If you are plagued with these thoughts in your community, check how you are feeling before you walk in. If you walk in feeling like you don’t belong, it could be a soul issue that needs some additional healing from your previous experiences. However, if you are fine walking in and then suddenly attacked with these thoughts, I suggest you find someone who understands the spiritual realm, and you share with them what you are discerning. Your church leadership has authority over this and can pray against it.