THE OCCULT (LESSON 2)
In this lesson we wanted to ask the question: Are you inviting devils into your life?
Now, you might hear that and say, "No, I'm not involved with any false gods, and I don't want devils in my life." But as we said in the previous lesson, this world that we live in markets a lot of things that can be used by Satan. And oftentimes we foolishly bring these things that God's Word warns us against into our lives. And if you are not careful, you may unknowingly be inviting devils into your life.
Before we get going, I wanted to ask you guys a question: Have you ever heard of the story of the Trojan horse? (Tell story of Trojan horse)
These men lost the war and lost their lives because they let their guard down and unintentionally invited their enemy into their camp. Well, Satan is our enemy, and he does the same thing as the people who built the Trojan horse. Satan masquerades as something that is fun or harmless or decorative. Then once he's inside -- inside your house or your body or your mind -- then he tries to take over.
One of the biggest problems that Christians have today is treating lightly the things of the devil and the influences those things can have in our lives and the lives of those we love. Let's look at some ways that we flirt with false gods and invite devils into our lives:
How many of you have right now in your possession or at home carved images of other false gods or any articles used in worship of false gods? Maybe you have a voodoo doll someone picked up for $1.00 in New Orleans. Or maybe you have a sand painting brought back for you as a souvenir from the Grand Canyon. Or maybe you have hanging in your office a dream catcher that your mother gave you for your birthday. Or maybe you have some power beads that are supposed to bring good luck.
Now, you might say, "Oh, well, I don't worship it or believe in its powers. I just think it is pretty." But God's Word tells us that any thing that is used in worship to other gods or is used to ward off evil spirits or that is taught by some culture that it is used to bring good luck is considered an idol and an abomination. And God's Word tells us what He wants us to do with such objects. In Deuteronomy 7:25-26 it reads,"The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire: thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therein: for it is an abomination to the Lord thy God. Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it: but thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt abhor it; for it is a cursed thing."
God's Word says that no matter how pretty something is or no matter if it is a part of your heritage, if it is used by a culture to worship false gods or to do some other kind of magic, you are to burn it, detest it!!! And that verse says that if you keep these things in your possession, you will become snared. These are cursed objects!!
If someone came to your door and said, "Hey, can I come in and cast spells and call forth my false demonic god to stay in your house?" You would say heck no. Yet we bring items into our houses that may very well have been dedicated to false gods.
Back in Old Testament times, there were many people who bowed down to false gods. There were the gods of sex or the gods of money, power, whatever. People made beautiful idols of gold and silver in honor of these false gods. God sent prophets to warn these people to turn from their idolatry or face His wrath. Then eventually God sent his armies to destroy those people who worshipped the false gods. And God's instruction to his armies was always the same: Utterly destroy all that is in the city. Burn it down. Exodus 34:13, "But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves."
God's Word does not tell us, "Well, don't follow after these wicked people, but keep their images and dream catchers as souvenirs."
Your home, your car, your body should be spotless. When the Lord looks at those areas, does he see a place that is ready for battle against Satan, or does he see a place that looks like it is a temple of Satan? Would God be pleased to see you holding on to those charms and items that are used in pagan worship? Of course not. Deuteronomy 23:14 reads,"For the Lord thy God walketh in the midst of the camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee."
God knows that spiritual sloppiness can be used as an open doorway for Satan to move in and attack. God wants us to do all we can to keep wickedness out of our lives. Clean up your camp (home). Our General is walking through the camp and inspecting it at this very moment!
Now, maybe you are thinking, "Well, I don't have any of that kind of stuff in my life." But maybe you are inviting devils and Trojan horses into your life in other ways. What about drug and alcohol use? Maybe you are believing Satan's lie that drinking is harmless and that drugs are cool. I know so-called Christians that tell me that they don't care what God's Word says, they are not giving up their marijuana. That's called idolatry -- putting something before God.
Don't you know that drug and alcohol use opens you up to spiritual attack? (Refer to this article: "What does the Bible say about alcohol and drugs", the section entitled "Why Satan loves it when you drink and get high")
And here are just a few verses that show us how God's Word warns us against partaking in alcohol: Romans 13:12-14,"The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying: but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof."
Titus 2:12, "... denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world."
1 Corinthians 10:21-22, "Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils; ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils. Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?"
So whether you are inviting devils into your life and house by bringing home pagan objects or using certain substances, you need to realize the danger that those things cause and do some housekeeping. Ephesians 5:8, 11 tells us, "For ye were sometime darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light; and have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them."
So stop inviting that Trojan horse in. Stop decorating your life and body with devilish trinkets. Stop calling evil good and good evil and prepare for the battle that is at hand.
Are you ready for battle? Ephesians 6:10-11,13 tells us, "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand."
Are you armed and ready? Do you pray regularly? Read your Bible regularly? Attend church? Avoid people and things that will cause you to stumble? Stay clear of things that have the appearance of evil? If not, then you need to throw out the junk and put on the armor.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5, "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;) casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.)
(Click here for a list of objects that Christians should be aware of.)
(Here is a great tract that illustrates that we are truly at war with powers of darkness. It is called "Bewitched").