Rebellion and Witchcraft
In the Word, God calls our rebellion very similar to witchcraft. This occurred in 1st Samuel 15:23 when Samuel was counseling Saul about why the Lord was rejecting him from being king over Israel:
1Sa 15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as idolatry and teraphim (household good luck images). Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king. (AMP)
This makes sense since anytime we turn from the one true God and try to make something happen through our own methods, we are, in a sense, involved in a type of witchcraft in which, while chanting various phrases, we perform ritual after ritual, willing it to happen.
When Adam and Eve were thrown out of Eden, they landed on all their “ifs, ands, and buts.” We think, even today, that we have many good reasons for holding our heads high, proud of our accomplishments. In ignorance, we think that we should follow the world's commands to “make it on our own.” This is rebellion. Why not recognize our inabilities? Why not be aware that of ourselves we can do nothing? Do we really want to spend time trying to convince God that we know what's best for us? In truth, God gave us our minds and hearts but by our free will, we chose to make choices contrary to our highest good. That happened first THEN we were barred from paradise. Now we live in a world where it is the norm to try and make it on our own. But do we really have the knowledge, the insight, the awareness that God has? In other words, we think we have the smarts to be in control of our lives, but do we?
The human race didn't start out having to make it on its own. Our first ancestors lived in paradise and pretty much everything was taken care of for them. Then when Satan stirred up rebellion in their hearts, God decreed that their sentence, as they were cast from Eden, was that “man should live by the sweat of his brow.” This has been the way we've taken care of ourselves since that fateful time.
Now, as we continue to rebel, we strive to make our work easier with fewer working hours, giving us more and more leisure time. And what do we do with our leisure time? We have a wonderful array of entertainment systems with surround sound and wide TV screens that make everything look so real, it is quite magical. It is a magical kingdom we have dreamt for ourselves. Almost like Heaven, we say to ourselves. And on these wide screens, almost as if we haven't had enough, we watch re-enactments of the very lives we lead. We take out the awkward parts and rearrange the events slightly, so that, dramatically, it gives a better punch. But who are we fooling? Ourselves only.
Let's step back from this and ask God what He would prefer we spend our time doing. Really all we are watching are re-runs. Really all we view are endless loops of the world and its sadnesses and its joys, its weak attempts to sculpt a meaning out of itself. But it will forever remain the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. The world cannot make a paradise that can ever satisfy us truly. Yes, temporarily, it can squeeze a smile from us but our true joy and our true contentment can only come from God through Christ Jesus.
Let's not fool ourselves any longer as we take paths that lead through the gaudy fake glitter the world offers. Let's set our minds and hearts toward God's Kingdom within. After all, technology has advanced so much, we DO have leisure time that we could use for more prayer time, more time for getting to know Jesus. We won't want to do this because we are rebels. When we make a space for prayer time in our day timers, we may find, even as we are starting to kneel down, that there is something else we need to do. The proper use of our rebellious nature is when we choose to rebel against our rebellion. The reward of finding God within will be far more entertaining than anything the world could offer us.
Have you noticed that the pleasures of the world always turn sour? We so easily become enslaved to earning more money to buy more gadgets and toys. Sometimes having more leisure time actually causes our lives to become faster paced and more stressed. In addition, because of our carnal nature, we tend to misuse our leisure time on frivolous entertainment. We become couch potatoes, allowing every vice of humanity to enter our homes and our minds. Lust of every kind, greed, porn, and mammon in general comes pouring in and we who have forgotten where the on/off switch is, allow it to pollute us and make us feel ashamed. The entertainment industry cannot really be blamed because it is WE who beg it for more. Its wheels will come to a grinding halt when we quit holding it upside down, trying to shake its cookies out of its cookie jar. It is only natural that it will stop at nothing to try and satisfy what appears as our endless desire for more and more filth to help us forget the “reality” around us.
Is it the reality around us that makes us so sad, we feel we must escape it in some way? What did Jesus say about judging by appearances? He said not to. Instead we do, thinking we are trapped in circumstances, bogged down in shame, and unable to withstand the onslaught of Satan in our lives. Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, stands at the door, though, knocking. We must open the door to our hearts and let Him in. He will show us true rest and usher us out of our frantic worlds with its cold hands of death around our throats, just about to squeeze the life out of us. Jesus is the way out of this pathetic life that can hardly be called life at all. Jesus is the only true way out.
Yes, we tend to use our leisure time to seek thrills of either a physical or mental nature and this, then, consumes our time, as well as any thought of fellowship with God. But I'm not saying we should resort to Spartan withdrawal from all that technology and entertainment has to offer. I am, however, saying we should guard our minds carefully and ask for the Lord's help more often because He, through us, will utilize all things for the glory of God. Ultimately, it is God we are trying to fill our lives with. We've just been led astray, that is all. We Prodigal sons will be welcomed back into the true warmth and comfort of our Father's arms. We were lost, but now we're found. Praise God.
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