Ever since I learned in the Bible that during the end times Satan will use anything and anyone to sway believers to follow him, I’ve wondered how that might happen.
False messiahs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. ~ Matthew 24:24
“Even the elect.” That is us, Christ Follower.
It chills me to my bones.
As a born-again Christian I consider myself one of the “elect” [typically any gentile or Jew who believes in Jesus (Yahweh) as the Messiah]. I ‘grew up in the church’ (as they say) but as I got older I still attended Psychic Fairs with friends in Connecticut … having fun whilst paying good money to people we weren’t sure had any true skills. It was a lark but we loved it and only sometimes thought there might be some validity in what the seer said to us.
Yet, when I got to college in Colorado, I found myself in one of the New Age meccas of the US and slowly began to explore this strange world. I experimented with much of the New Age philosophies and found I enjoyed the use of and excelled in creative visualization, tarot card reading, eastern and western astrology, throwing runes, the I-Ching, meditation, and even feng shui; which is not technically New Age but an ancient Chinese system of thought connecting the placement of objects to affect the energy (chi) of the universe.
When Shirley MacLaine’s book Out on a Limb was published in 1983 I devoured it like it was candy and tried (unsuccessfully) to astral project. I stopped before too long because I became concerned that my soul might separate from my body.
As time went on I melded the New Age ideas I enjoyed with Native American beliefs I was learning, and my old friend, Christianity – rolling it all up into a great gooey ball of gobbledygook that served me just fine. Satisfied me. Played right into my hand. I didn’t have a god in charge of me – I was in charge and had supporting players … God, the universe, my spirit animal totem, the sun, moon, winds, etc.
What some may not know about New Age, is that its practitioners will dip into any theology, even the Bible, when it suits their purpose. No world religion or spiritual practice is untouchable. They take Scripture out of context and apply it to any situation they need … which is probably one reason why I’m now such a stickler for using the Word as it is intended by God.
In using scripture, for a New-Ager’s purpose, most of the time a word or two will be missing from the verse (or the whole verse might not be utilized) in order to make it more powerful for their use. One of the most often used verses is:
He [the Lord] says, “Be still, and know that I am God …” ~ Psalm 46:10a (NIV)
The context of this verse is God talking to nations who like to make war and the Holmen Christian Standard Bible actually translates it to: “Stop your fighting-and know that I am God, exalted among the nations, exalted on the earth.” ~ Psalm 46:10 HCSB)
However, when you take the first half of this verse out of context it becomes just words that are especially good when used as a chant during meditation.
Be still and know that I am God.
You see, New Agers believe that God is within every one of us. Not like the Holy Spirit residing within Christians, but that god is a universal life-force that anyone can call on. In using this verse New Agers cut off the first few words (they state that God is talking) and intone “Be still and know that I am God.” The “be still” part draws them into meditation … be still, be still, be still … and then the whammy – “Know that I am God.” “Know that I am God.” “Know that I am God.”
Do you catch what they are saying to themselves?
“I AM GOD.”
Once I gave my life fully to Christ and denounced all the other beliefs, I’ve walked the Christian road becoming stronger and stronger in the Lord. Many of my friends and other Christians are on the same course – striving to know God, to surrender daily, to walk in His will. Because I know the deep love and commitment I have for Jesus, I’m bewildered that Satan could sway me or any one of my friends. Preposterous! It couldn’t be done.
Or could it?
It may already be happening.
When I was diagnosed with cancer many friends and family gave me books to help pass the time and lift my spirits. Some books were secular and some books purportedly Christian and all givers were very well-meaning. I love and appreciate anyone who took the time to tell me they were thinking of, praying for, or loving me and/or my parents. Community coming together to aid in the care of the sick utterly warmed my heart and gave me immeasurable strength. I’ve said on numerous occasions during my recovery that I actually felt prayers. They curled around me like a soft warm blanket of love and gave me a reassuring sense of peace. Never doubt the power of prayer! But now I’m headed down a rabbit hole on prayer so I’ll stop now and see you on Wednesday.
In the next post I’ll talk about a book that has wormed it’s way into many Christian homes and is the basis for this series of posts. Afterward, some tips to grow your discernment. There has never been such a time to be strong, dear Christian. There is so much I want – need – to say about growing in your discernment and being able to accurately discern the spirits that are getting stronger and more insistent as the Lord tarries.
I hope I’ll see you then,