Monday, April 1, 2013
Do You Have a Golden Donkey?
God meets us where we are. This is true.
Before I became a Christian, as those of you who have read my testimony know, I had an encounter with a rattlesnake. Immediately upon arriving home afterward, I looked up "snake" in my power animal dictionaries. Many of the entries I found spoke of things that made me think God might be speaking to me about turning my life over to Jesus Christ.
That may have been true. I certainly took it as a sign at the time. That was my language - the reading of signs. The signs accumulated until I could no longer deny them. I recall actually saying at one point, "I might not know that much about what Christianity is really supposed to be, but I know how to read the signs, and the signs are all pointing toward Christianity."
While I was investigating Christianity I met a woman who was very kind to me, very Christ-like, in my opinion. She drove me wherever I needed to go, bought me tons of groceries out of her own pocket, and never showed a trace of judgment toward me, even though she knew what I did for a living. I was a professional psychic who also did healing, counseling, life-coaching and teaching on pagan and new age subjects, and she seemed to accept me completely.
As the time neared that I would begin my new life with Jesus, I began collecting all my occult books and placing them in one area of my house to burn. One day, the lady who was so kind to me was visiting me and saw all the books there, in my living room.
"What are these?" she asked.
"Those are the books I'm going to burn."
"Well, I've been wanting to read this one," she said, pulling one of them from a tall stack.
"I don't think you want to do that. It's all deception. Really," I said.
She threw me a veteran smile and said, "I can handle it. I've been doing this a long time. I've just been in fundamentalism for so long, I need to read something else for a change." Then she proceeded to take several more.
Believing she was spiritually more mature than myself, I didn't know what else to say. I had already warned her, and maybe she was right. Maybe she could handle it.
I eventually had to let her go as a friend because she started getting antagonistic with me every time we spoke, trying to convince me that I was wrong to turn to biblical ways and that I needed to return to some of the views I had renounced.
It was like a delicate surgery for me to draw the distinction between this woman's godly kindness and her unbiblical acceptance of occult beliefs. It was partly because of her that I had trusted the people at that church enough to let them help me through the transition into Christianity. Shouldn't I revere her in some way? Didn't God use her to help me become a Christian? I believed He did. I still believe that to this day.
In Numbers 22, God spoke through a donkey. What if Baalam had clung too tightly to that donkey? What if he had revered it above any further words from God? Imagine Baalam casting a donkey of gold after the donkey's death, to commemorate its role in God's work. God could have appeared before Him in the flesh and he might have disregarded such a manifestation because it was not from his donkey - especially if the God in the flesh told him the donkey was an abomination. Would this degree of veneration be any less offensive to God than dancing around a golden calf?
A power animal is a form of shamanic spirit guide - an idol, and in some cases, an actual demon spirit. The teaching of power animals is spiritism, and spiritism is an abomination to God. Power animal dictionaries are often used as divination. The information in them is used to explain the spiritual reasons for encounters with animals.
Had I revered my power animal dictionaries (or the message I got through them that day) above God's word, I might still be bound up in paganism, unable to move forward in my walk with Jesus.
Sometimes God uses people, things and situations to accomplish His work. That doesn't mean that the things, people and situations He uses are necessarily righteous, holy or even acceptable in any way.
You might have experienced a "talking donkey moment" with regard to some thing, person or situation in your life as well. It could have been a friend, a preacher, a church, a song, a book, a quote, a ritual, a symbol, or even a divinatory reading.
Have you cast a golden idol of your donkey? If God appeared before you and told you that the thing, person, or situation that brought you to Him was an abomination, would you be able to forsake it for Him?
I challenge you to examine your heart and mind. If there is any such golden donkey in your life, any thing which helped you come to Jesus that you hold so dear it's too sacred to consider expendable, I urge you to take it to God in prayer. Ask Him to help you get free. Ask Him to show you where to draw the distinctions, so you can move forward in your walk with Jesus and not be bound by the idolizing of something less than Him.
After all, what's more important? The message or the messenger? The donkey or the words of God? I hope you'll agree that it's the message, the words. Let God use what He uses, but don't cast a golden idol of a donkey.