As followers of Christ, God has called us to an intimate relationship with Him. As with any close relationship we grow closer by getting to know each other. Through His word, God has provided an awesome way of discovering just who He is and what is important to Him. He desires that we live a life that is full of peace and joy despite our circumstances. In order to obtain this we need to abide in His presence and in His word. Through His precious spirit God’s word gives us guidance, wisdom and allows us to learn of the heart of God. In the word there are things God tells us we are to avoid. Does He do this to withhold good things from us? No, it couldn’t be further from the truth. He desires that we not lose our intimacy and favor with Him by disobedience.
If we begin to dabble with things God has forbidden we end up facing some pretty horrible consequences. These things come with a warning and ignorance is NO excuse. As believers we are to search the word of God to learn what is and is not acceptable in God’s eyes for His kids. If He tells us to avoid something, we are wise to do just that. Unfortunately, some believers look at things that God has forbidden as innocent pastimes, interests etc. One area where this is evident is with the occult. Many Christians seem to think it is okay to follow their horoscopes. They think there is no harm in daily checking out what some Astrologer has predicted for their life. Let’s take a look and see what God’s word says about it.. Isaiah 47:13,14 NIV 13 All the counsel you have received has only worn you out! Let your astrologers come forward,those stargazers who make predictions month by month, let them save you from what is coming upon you.14 Surely they are like stubble;the fire will burn them up.They cannot even save themselves from the power of the flame.These are not coals for warmth;this is not a fire to sit by.
This doesn’t sound too harmless in God’s eyes. Jeremiah 10:2 NIV says 2 This is what the Lord says:“Do not learn the ways of the nations or be terrified by signs in the heavens, though the nations are terrified by them.
Another activity that some believers have allowed to creep into their lives is the practise of consulting a fortune teller or medium. There are several television shows that make it look like an innocent activity that actually may even help people with their decision making. God’s word is more than clear on this…
Acts 13:6-12 NIV 6 They traveled through the whole island until they came to Paphos. There they met a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Bar-Jesus, 7 who was an attendant of the proconsul, Sergius Paulus. The proconsul, an intelligent man, sent for Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God.8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith. 9 Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, 10 “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? 11 Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind for a time, not even able to see the light of the sun.”Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand. 12 When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord.
We don’t need a counterfeit spirit to lead us. We have God’s Holy Spirit to lead us and anything less is going to lead us places God does not want us to go as Paul demonstrated in Acts 16:16-18 NIV 16 Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling.17 She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” 18 She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.
There’s a bondage that comes from playing around with spirits. God gives us plenty of warning for our own protection and those who willingly continue in the practise will eventually reap the consequences in their life often not even understanding why due to a lack of knowing God’s word. Acts 19:13-19 NIV 13 Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” 14 Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15 One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” 16 Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.17 When this became known to the Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus, they were all seized with fear,and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor. 18 Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed what they had done. 19 A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas.
Finally, we serve the living God and are empowered by His precious Holy Spirit. We don’t need any counterfeits in our life. Only God can offer us the peace and joy that comes from Him. Anything else is a temporary fix that will eventually bring trouble and destruction. If you as a believer have dabbled in the occult, it’s time to stop and ask God for forgiveness. Whether you have done it in ignorance or willful disobedience. Over the years I have seen so many people lose their joy, peace and be filled with fears by dabbling in things they should have left alone. It’s never too late to come to Christ and ask for forgiveness and for Him to restore your peace.
And finally the following verses give us God’s take on playing around with the occult. These practises occurred back before the time of Christ and will continue until He returns but as believers we are not to participate in any of it!
Deuteronomy 18:9-13 NIV 9 When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. 10 Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, 11 or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. 12 Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord; because of these same detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you. 13 You must be blameless before the Lord your God.