May 23 – Today’s Readings – 1Samuel 28-29 and Psalms 143
Chapter 28 certainly is a sobering “wake up call” for many who hold to our society’s ideas about “spirituality”. So many very influential people in this world consult with their “inner voice” or some other form of “spiritual” counsel for their life decisions. Without a doubt, it is because the real counsellor, the Holy Spirit, seems irrelevant to them or perhaps that no one has told them about the “Wonderful Counsellor”.
There is (sadly) ample proof in Scripture regarding the deceptive power resident in “spiritual” practices:
The magicians in ancient Egypt tried to match Moses miracle for miracle – “So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the Lord commanded. Aaron threw his staff down in front of Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a snake. Pharaoh then summoned wise men and sorcerers, and the Egyptian magicians also did the same things by their secret arts: Each one threw down his staff and it became a snake. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs.” (Exodus 7:10-12)
Balaam was also recognized as a “prophet” even though he was not a prophet of God.
The witch of Endor, who is referred to in this passage, had tapped into dark spiritual power.
Simon the sorcerer had “amazed all the people of Samaria” before Philip the deacon came to town and showed them Jesus. (Act 13:6-12)
Even the young girl who “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” was possessed by a spirit. …”Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned and said to the Spirit, “I command you to come out of her’! At that moment the spirit left her.” (Acts 16:17-18)
There is plenty of Biblical evidence of irrelevant or wrong ways to get spiritual “guidance”.
Should we be concerned? – Of course. These poor people are getting guidance from “the dark side”! We know all too well what the enemy’s voice is all about – “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full…” (John 10:10)
Let’s talk about who we listen to for a moment. If people can go to a spiritist to get advice, surely we should be able to consult the Holy Spirit who lives in us! John 14:26 reads, “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” Holy Spirit speaks to us concerning God’s will in the written Word or by His inner voice in us or by Godly counsel, and even through situations we may find ourselves in. A word to the wise here concerning seeking personal direction for your life – Not all those who claim to have “The word of the Lord” for your life are hearing from the Spirit of God. What you hear must be grounded in the Word of God and confirmed by the Holy Spirit speaking to you. Who you seek council from is just as important as “the word” you receive. Let’s be wise. Let’s not do things without first “consulting” God! He is ever there to give us Godly advice.
1. Do you know of modern stories, where people made bad decisions because of “bad advice”?
2. Are there any common practices in North American Christianity that boarder on being “occultish”?