Warning in a Store

aisle-backpack-buyer-2292919I’ve been thinking about the Holy Spirit and how He whispers to us, leading us to pray for someone right in the middle of pulling weeds or brushing our teeth. And sometimes He even warns us.

The Holy Spirit warned me a few months ago.

I was in one of my favorite stores, wandering around and checking on all sorts of things when I noticed a man who resembled someone I know.

I actually chuckled, thinking, wow he could pass for so-and-so, and wondered if I could somehow snag a photo with my cell phone without this man thinking I’m some weirdo. I decided no, I wouldn’t want a stranger taking my picture, so I moved on to gaze at wall art.

The man walked by, glancing at me.

I moved to the greeting cards.

The man busied himself nearby, looking at cleaning supplies. I realized he didn’t have a cart or a basket.

I felt something. I knew something.

I moved on. The man moved on too.

If I’m being honest, sometimes when I shop, I’m in my own little world. I’ve even asked other customers if they’ve heard me talking to myself. Sometimes they smile and admit they do it too. Other times they look at me like I’m crazy or with a dull expression like they couldn’t care less what I’m doing.

But I was not in my own little world that day. I was fully aware, fully observing my surroundings. And fully involved in praying and asking for wisdom.

I knew I was being followed, and I knew the Holy Spirit was warning me, reminding me of something a friend shared on Facebook: a video of a woman warning others about men kidnapping unsuspecting women in the parking lots of various stores.

It was no accident I’d seen the video the day before. It was no accident the Holy Spirit made me take notice of this man, keeping me from slipping into my own little world of sale items and conversations with myself.

And it was no accident that a woman I knew was working the register, who watched the man leave the store empty handed. It was also no accident that her next customer was patient, not minding that the cashier left her register to make sure I made it safely to my car.

It was also no accident that the rain began to pour just as I was about to leave the store, making me sprint past parked cars and hurrying to my own.

It is certainly no accident, no coincidence, that the Holy Spirit speaks to us every day. And it shouldn’t surprise us but bless us abundantly that He sounds the alarm when we’re in danger and guides us safely away from it.

Thank you, Holy Spirit, for speaking to us and guiding us.

“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.” (John 16:13 NLT.)

“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.” (James 1:5 NLT.)

“But all who listen to me will live in peace, untroubled by fear of harm.” (Proverbs 1:33 NLT.)

(Photo from Pexels)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Witches and Mediums

witches and mediums

We were recently watching TV and saw a woman who claimed to be a witch, praying to her “goddess.” Moments later there was an advertisement for a program where the central character is a medium. (If you look it up in the dictionary, you’ll find a medium is someone who claims to be able to communicate with the dead.)

My dear friends, if you’re into this sort of stuff, I’m about to step on your toes.

You see, I’d rather step on your toes here and bruise them a bit than ignore the truth and leave your toes and the rest of you to be in big trouble.

But wouldn’t you rather know the truth? I mean, if you have something stuck in your teeth, wouldn’t you want someone to tell you rather than going through your day with dark green spinach right there in the front of your smile?

So wouldn’t you rather know the truth about much more important things like what’s going to happen if you are involved with witchcraft and mediums?

In the Old Testament, God warns the Israelites not to imitate those around them (like us here today!), so we can see how He feels about this sort of stuff:

“When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord, and because of these detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you.” (Deuteronomy 18: 9-12 NIV, emphasis my own.)

Again in the New Testament, Paul warns the churches in Galatia:

“The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21 NIV, emphasis my own.)

And again, Jesus Christ revealed to John in the book of Revelation what is going to happen:

“He said to me: ‘It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murders, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars – their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.’” (Revelation 21:6-8 NIV, emphasis my own.)

I know that’s a lot to read, but isn’t it good to know the truth? I know sometimes the truth can hurt. It reminds me of the time I spent hours crimping my hair when I was in high school only to have my grandma stare at me and shout, “You look horrible!”

Ouch. But it was the truth. What loving grandma wouldn’t feel obligated to let her grandchild know she was walking around with crazy scarecrow hair? And you know what? I never crimped my hair again.

As a Christian following Jesus Christ, I have an obligation to tell you the truth as painful as it may be.

As you read above, witchcraft and mediums are detestable to God, not something to enjoy or be involved with in anyway. And if you are claiming to be a witch or a medium, please stop immediately and ask God to forgive you.

Why? Because I’d like all of us, each and every one of us with bruised toes that someone had the courage to speak the truth to, to be together in the loving presence of our Heavenly Father when our time here on planet earth ends.

Oh, and another part of being a Christian following Jesus Christ: I also have the privilege of loving you by praying for you.

And that’s just what I’ll be doing.