Poking the “Spiritual” Bear

I have started and stopped this post, what seems like a hundred times. There is so much I want to say, but I want to keep it clear and concise. I want to share what has been so heavy on my heart, but don’t want to go into too much detail, because that would actually require multiple posts and I really wasn’t planning on a series of these posts.

So, here I go, again…

I have always been a seeker. I’ve known from an early age that there is more to this life than what we can see with our physical eyes. I have always “felt” things that couldn’t be explained and oftentimes “knew” things before they actually happened.

I prayed the prayer of salvation when I was twelve (after hearing a prompting from the Holy Spirit). I had beautiful communion with God when I was first saved, but teenage life and peer pressure eventually dragged me away. I was also unable to find the answers to my supernatural experiences, within the church, so I began looking down other spiritual roads. I eventually began finding answers within New Age beliefs and practices…at least, I thought I did.

As I found others who shared common beliefs, and who were excepting of my views and experiences, I didn’t feel so alone in this world…and I finally felt free to explore spirituality to my heart’s content! I became one of those who felt she was “more spiritual than religious” and didn’t feel the need for “organized religion” necessarily. Community was great, but I was on my own path of self-discovery and enlightenment.

Interestingly, God (the God of the Bible – the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) was never far away. And as I was learning about palm reading, witchcraft, spirit guides and psychic abilities, God would still send reminders that He was near and awaiting my return to Him. Problem was, I didn’t want to be held accountable to anyone – not even God. I wanted to find my own path! I knew there was something in me that was more powerful than I could ever imagine…I just needed to learn how to tap into it.

Unfortunately, it was during this time that I gave the enemy (who is Satan) permission to come in and wreak havoc in my life. As children of God (if you are a Christ-follower), we have authority over the enemy; however, we can also give him permission to torment us by playing around with darkness. This is why we are called to come out from the things of the world and be set apart. Not because God is withholding from us, but for our protection. 

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said:

I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God,
and they will be my people.”

Therefore,“Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord.
Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.”

And,“I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”

2 Corinthians 6:14-18

This doesn’t mean that we never talk to unbelievers. It means that we do not yoke ourselves together with them…doing what they do or believing what they believe.

Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land where you are going, or they will be a snare among you. Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and cut down their Asherah poles. Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. 

Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land; for when they prostitute themselves to their gods and sacrifice to them, they will invite you and you will eat their sacrifices. And when you choose some of their daughters as wives for your sons and those daughters prostitute themselves to their gods, they will lead your sons to do the same.

Do not make any idols.

Exodus 34:12-17

While I still believed in God – because I couldn’t deny past experiences with Him – I had added to God other beliefs that sounded pure and good. And on the surface, they were! How could seeking peace and purpose, and trying to achieve a higher consciousness, be a bad thing? I wanted to learn ways to help and heal people, and to make a difference in this broken world. I wanted to learn how to rise above the muck of humanity and bring others with me. But what I believed in, and what I was practicing, were actually contrary to the ways of God. He already had a plan and a purpose for which He created me. However, I was trying to achieve those goals outside of His will (by doing it all on my own) – that is rebellion, and what the Bible actually calls sin. 

And sin has consequences.

Looking back, I realize that it was around that time that I began getting sick. I was chronically fatigued and in constant pain, but had no explanation for any of it. Even though I was seeking peace, I found myself actually full of fear and anxiety. Even though I longed to be full of life and love, I ended up struggling with a depression that drove me to the brink of suicide a number of times. 

BUT, as I have renounced permissions I have given to the enemy, and repented of past sins, I have found deliverance and freedom that only God can give through His Son, Jesus Christ. Over twenty years of depression is gone! The crippling fear and anxiety has returned to the pits of hell where they belong. 

I now have peace and joy.

I don’t have to “seek” anymore. What I was seeking has been found. The beautiful thing about God is that the TRUTH is FOUND in Him…and transformation becomes our journey. Not to “enlightenment” because enlightenment has already been achieved. Jesus is the Light.

When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 8:12

As we draw nearer to Him, He draws ever nearer to us (James 4:7-8). As we, daily, spend time with Him, He shows us mysteries (Daniel 2:28, Job 12:22, Jeremiah 33:3, Ephesians 1:9, Colossians 1:27, etc…). We can be secure in our identity in Christ! As we abide in Him, He abides in us (John 15:4). We are not gods, but God, through His Holy Spirit, can dwell in us. And we do not manipulate and control God, but He moves both in, and through, us for our good and His glory. We do not become one with the Universe, but become a part of the Body of Christ. We do not worship creation, but the Creator of the heavens and the earth. 

God loves us, so much! He created each and every one of us with value and purpose. We each have very specific gifts and talents that He gave to us in order to fulfill the very purpose for which He created us. THAT is the powerful pull we feel. He is telling an amazingly beautiful story through us individually and as a greater Body (of Christ). We get to be with Him and we can become like Him as we follow His heart and His plan for humanity. It’s not “Christ-consciousness” but “Christ in us, the hope of glory.”

To the seekers I say – you hold a large piece of my heart. You are my kindred spirits. Since you are searching anyway, I encourage you to call out to Jesus. What do you have to lose? I already know the answer and am willing to share with those who are open to receiving. In God’s Word it says, For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Iwill be found by you…” (Jeremiah 29:11-14a). This is a promise from God. He is faithful to keep His promises…for He cannot lie. This has also been my experience (along with so many others). Don’t be afraid to have your current beliefs shaken. It is through the shaking that we see what is strong enough to remain standing. I am always praying for you.

To those who stand where I once stood, somewhere between Christianity and New Age or New Spiritualism. You will have to decide who you will serve. There are spirits behind both, but they are opposed to one another. One is darkness and one is light. 

I hope you will put up with me in a little foolishness. Yes, please put up with me! I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough…

And I will keep on doing what I am doing in order to cut the ground from under those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in the things they boast about.For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ.And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. Itis not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.

2 Corinthians 11:1-4,12-15

And to the Body of Christ…especially if you have been called to a position of leadership – please do not shy away from the supernatural stuff of the Bible. Many who find themselves on a spiritual path that is not rooted and grounded in the Gospel, do so because the church wasn’t able to tackle their questions or validate their experiences.

When what I call “seekers” (those who are actively searching for TRUTH) step into our church buildings, they are not interested in the bells and whistles of a Sunday morning experience. If we want to be a light to them, then we need to focus less on coffee and donuts and make sure we are offering to them what truly gives sustenance (John 6:35).

They want to know if our God is real…and they want to know how we know He is real. They have lots of questions (I certainly did!) and some of those questions will be difficult to answer. It may feel like we’re being attacked when asked why we believe the way we believe…but that shouldn’t matter. We need to be so secure in our identity in Christ that we are able to help, in love, those who are seeking Truth…even if their truth is something other than the Gospel.

Now who is there to hurt you if you become enthusiastic for what is good? But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness [though it is not certain that you will], you are still blessed [happy, to be admired and favored by God]. Do not be afraid of their intimidating threats, nor be troubled or disturbed [by their opposition]. But in your hearts set Christ apart [as holy—acknowledging Him, giving Him first place in your lives] as Lord. Always be ready to give a [logical] defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope and confident assurance [elicited by faith] that is within you, yet [do it] with gentleness and respect.

1 Peter 3:13-15 AMP

A couple of other things for the church to consider…

New Age beliefs have infiltrated our churches. Many of those who claim to be Christians also hold to one or more New Age beliefs. And many churches have even allowed New Age practices to occur on church grounds. Perhaps we should reconsider allowing some of those practices to take place in the church…even if we have put our “Jesus stamp” on it.

And in the US, witches now outnumber Presbyterians. That should give us pause (and bring us to our knees). Witchcraft is no longer seen as demonic or bad. The people who dress all in black and pledge allegiance to Satan are considered the fringe. Practitioners of witchcraft are everyday people who live their lives very much like we do. 

However, these same people are leaving themselves open to torment from the enemy, and they don’t even realize the source. But we know the source. He is a liar and the father of lies…coming only to steal, and kill, and destroy. 

But we also know the one who came to give us LIFE…life to the FULL! (John 10:10) And He has given us a mandate to love and to spread the Gospel. He has also given us the authority to drive out demons, bringing deliverance and healing.

Isn’t it about time to take back ground the enemy has stolen?

**************************************

This post was very difficult to write – perhaps the most difficult I’ve ever written. Not because of content, but because of the warfare that has come along with it. I pray that it is received in the manner from which it was written…from a place of love. I hope you understand that I am not attacking anyone. I have carried the burden of writing on this subject for a very long time. My hope for the freedom it could possibly bring – or at least, the conversations it might begin – now outweighs any backlash that may come.

God has given us the gift of free will. When He created us, He didn’t want robots – He wanted children. Children who are free to decide for themselves whether they will accept, or reject, His love for them. He knows that love that is demanded is not love, at all…it is abuse. God is not a slave-master – He is a Father.  A good, good Father.

I hope you will take the time to watch the following videos. They will aid in bringing fuller understanding to this post. 

Blessings to each and every one of you! 

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Dawn Ivey says:

    Amen! Very well written and truthful article. You made many great points. I especially like the part about spening less time on coffee, donuts and entertainment (bells and whistles) and more time on brining people to the truth of Jesus Christ and meeting their needs. I felt that very strongly one Sunday morning a few weeks ago while walking through an area filled with tables, food and a big screen TV (for those who choose to watch the service while eating) to get to the sanctuary. The Holy Spirit was showing me that so many people are hurting and we need to pray more within the church and tell the truth of Jesus. Great article!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Dawn!
      My sentiments, exactly. Thank you for sharing what Holy Spirit revealed to you.❤

      Liked by 1 person

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