Freedom? Or Control?

For years I practiced in the occult. I saw visions. Healed minor things. Moved energy. Occasionally had the successful telekinetic movement of something big. Only when it mattered. I had little control. But this went on and the darkness in me grew. The darkness around me as well.

One day, I had a vision, where I was bound up in chains, and a man came to me. Jesus. He asked if I wanted to be free. I answered yes. His follow up, after freeing me, was to say: “Follow me.”

In my ignorance and arrogance, I assumed this meant go to church. Learn the right things. Believe like they do. So that’s what I did. Occasionally He came and visited me there. So I took it as confirmation.

When in reality, it was as far from Following Him as it could have been. Lip service with the rest of the church, and occasionally seeing that He was there.

As time went on, He pulled me to different communities within the immediately recognizable Christian body of Christ. Along the way I learned many good things, though my refusal to conform to each denomination brought me consistently with the underbelly of the beast. I was always told how I’m just a spiritual baby. Which is fine by me. I was told often I need to sit down and shut up, get under some sound doctrine teachers and learn. To which I replied that the arrogance being shown in that order reveals that it won’t be them. Scripturally, and in context, I know the Holy Spirit is the teacher.

But a while back, Jesus had something new to say to me. “Get that black wristband with mjolnir on it again.”

Huh? But that’s a PAGAN symbol! Nevertheless, I did it. I wore it. Proudly. I still didn’t fit anywhere and was lamenting the body of Christ. Lamenting that those who don’t understand where I’ve been just dismiss the experiences I had in the occult as not real, as false, with no substance to them. Then a Wiccan priestess friend of mine invited me to the local Gleichentag with her. As we celebrated the autumn equinox, and gave honor to those who’ve died before us, as well as to the warriors of old, Odin and Freyja, I felt the Holy Spirit with me. All throughout the night, even present in the ritual I was participating in. And the Pagans I was with? They saw it as the presence of Odin.

I didn’t understand this. I still don’t. But Papa told me that all things are held together in Him. That He is everywhere and religious trappings only provide disguises. He wants to be known by His children, and all humans are His kids.

I know one thing, there’s another who left the occult, with a similar experience, on her way out the door. But that is neither here nor there. All too often we abandon the pagans and friends we had, at the behest of the church, because they don’t think we are supposed to break bread with them anymore.

How foolish. Look merely to the life of Christ. I could exegete with the best why we shouldn’t hang with them, but it always hardened my heart when I did. That’s a sign that Jesus is not present. At least for me.

What if we truly became representatives of the One we claim to follow? Instead of insurance agents preaching hellfire, which Jesus never did, and never told us to preach?

-Paul

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