Monday, April 29, 2013
Divination and Control Issues
Control. Why else would anyone want to know the future? It's true. That's the number one reason divination appeals to people.
Years ago, I used to supplement my income by participating in market research studies. I allowed a market research firm to keep my name in their data base and whenever a study came up that required my demographics they would call me.
One study was a radio study in which we had to listen to songs played over a loud speaker and rate them. It was a study that attracted a lot of "party" types - people who loved music and you could tell they liked to party.
During the break I started making conversation with a long-haired guy who I was sure I'd have something in common with. As we conversed he said something that offended me. "I can tell by that crystal around your neck that you're a control freak."
That hit me like a left hook. How could he say that? He didn't know me. He couldn't be more wrong. He had no idea how relaxed and spontaneous and free and UN-controlling I was about my life - in my relationships, my schedule, my finances. Why, I even liked to get on random buses to see where they would take me for adventure's sake sometimes.
I was about as "come-what-may" as you could get. "Que sera sera." That was my motto, wasn't it?
He must have issues with women, I thought.
Can you say denial? I had no idea how right he was or how deep-seated my control issues were, but his words gnawed at me for years.
I might have fooled myself with a facade of carefree behavior but spiritually, I had been a puppet master for years.
Recently I wrote about the temptation of power in occultism and it occurs to me as I write this that control is a counterpart to power. It's the reason I fell in love with divination when I was young.
Power and control are not the same thing. Power has to do with your ability to do a thing. Control has more to do with how you exercise or direct that power.
In abuse recovery literature, there is a cycle called Power and Control. Everything the abuser does is said to revolve around his or her attempts to gain or maintain power and control. If you've been abused, you've had some of your innate power as a human being taken away from you. Naturally you're going to want to get it back in some way or another, even if only a semblance of it. And once we find that we have any kind of power, we seek to control it and to control with it.
One of the most pronounced battles I struggled with in the first year of my walk with Jesus had to do with letting Him be in control. I had to learn to depend on Him instead of on the manipulative methods I had learned in the occult.
I think most of us are drawn to things that give us control in life. We tell ourselves (or demons tell us, sometimes) that it's the responsible thing to do, to plan ahead, to be prepared, to consider the possibilities before we make decisions.
We believe that if we know what's coming we'll have control over it. It is commonly taught that the purpose of divination is so we can change the future.
I learned the hard way that this is not true. Just because we know the future doesn't mean we'll be able to control it or anything about it. If something is in God's will, there's no stopping it, no matter what we do.
The truth is, Jesus is in control.
Not to mention, divination is an abomination to God.
There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch.
Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.
For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee. Deuteronomy 18:10-12
The problem is when we don't trust Him and we place our faith in how we can control things ourselves. This is when divination starts looking like a viable option. The key is trusting Him.
For anyone who has made a habit of trusting in occult methods, this is not easy, but He commands it and He rewards us for it.
Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. Psalm 37:5
Letting go of the puppet strings of divination sets us free to pay attention to the fact that our times are in God's hands.
My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me. Psalm 31:15
I didn't believe He cared that much about me. I had to learn that all my life I'd been wrong about Him and I had to learn it over and over again.
It's not about you," the elders at my church had to remind me again and again.
"It's not about me. It's not about me," I would repeat.
It's about Him.
I just didn't know God. I didn't know His character. I had to get out of the habit of thinking I had known Him all along and I had to truly get to know Him. In time, as I read His word and spoke with Him in prayer daily, I got to know Him better. As I got to know Him better I started seeing more and more clearly that I could trust Him.
God is true and just and faithful. When we relinquish our desire for control (for after all, it's really the desire, not the control that we possess), His truth and justice and faithfulness become apparent.
The peace that comes from doing that is far greater than any that can come any other way.