Various behaviors can open the door to the occult in our lives—many are seemingly harmless. However, the effect of those “seemingly harmless” behaviors have a significant read-out in the spiritual realm. We will be specifically identifying many of the workings of witchcraft, rebellion, and sorcery, because they are likely not what you may think!
Understanding the spirit of the occult takes a lot of unpacking, then a redefining, of the many misconceptions around it. There are multiple components to it, as well as several different spirits connected to it. This first night of two, we will focus on fantasy, divination, and regret.
Self-righteousness, self-justification, self pity and self-preservation: once we open the door to one of these, the rest so easily can enter and align themselves to form a prison of “The Kingdom of Self.” This kingdom is full of our own isolation, our own deception, and our own bitterness. That can sound so intimidating and immovable! Yet, Jesus always has a way! This evening, we will dive into scripture and identify the Biblical truths that can obliterate the tangled mental and emotional web of these snares!
Today Pastor Lindsay Brown expands on an earlier teaching (7.17.18 podcast) in which she summarized various aspects of breaking free from that which hinders our walk with God and keeps us from entering His rest (the promised land). Her focus today is the heart. Since God knows what is in my heart, where is my heart for God? And since God goes before me, do I trust Him and am I willing to follow Him? Or am I suffering from hardness of heart? Pastor Lindsay takes us to the book of Hebrews, in which the author is reminding Jewish believers about God’s faithfulness in offering His rest and warning them to be careful not to let “an evil, unbelieving heart lead them away from the living God” (Hebrews 3:12 ESV). If you want to enter [God’s] rest, He says, “Do not harden your hearts” and do as the Israelites did (Hebrews 3:8–11, 15–19, 4:1–13).
Pastor Lindsay covers a variety of aspects of hard-heartedness (what that means, how to guard our hearts against it, how to identify hard-heartedness [for example, through pride, fear, unrepentance, unbelief, rebellion]). Her teaching encourages each of us to answer the following questions: how do I break free of it and enter God’s rest? (Hebrews 4:1–11, 12:1ff). And how do I apply the Word of God to my life? (Hebrews 4:12, which emphasizes our innermost being). Pastor Lindsay also points us to our Great High Priest (Hebrews, chapter 4 and 8, and Hebrews 10:19–22) as a reminder of whom we serve: a God of compassion, a God who has made a way for us to enter His rest, and a God who is with us through it all, God of hope.
Part One: “Walking Out Deliverance”
Everyone’s journey through deliverance is different. There is no one-size-fits-all “formula” to the breakthrough and freedom that we desire. However, the Lord does have patterns for accomplishing breakthrough in our lives and He wants to reveal those to us! There are predictably recognizable schemes of the enemy as well as the ever-present tendencies of our flesh that can trip us up along the way. This evening we will dive into these patterns, schemes, and tendencies to more easily find that “narrow path” that leads us to life!