The Dangers of the Occult

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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danger-keep-out-signDo you start your day by reading your horoscope? Do you call the psychic hotline when you’re facing a problem? Have you gone to a fortune-teller, attended a séance, or spoken to what you thought was the spirit of a dead relative? Have you played with a Ouija board or experimented with levitation? If so, pay close attention to what I am about to tell you, for it is literally a matter of life or death.

All of the activities mentioned above are part of what we commonly call the “occult.” Webster defines the occult as “matters…involving the action or influence of supernatural agencies…” I would add that the occult involves the action or influence of demonic supernatural agencies. Angels are supernatural agencies, but they are certainly not occultic in nature.

If you’ve been involved in the occult to any degree, you’ve probably encountered forces outside the natural realm. Most likely, these forces have produced fear in your life, perhaps even nightmares or panic attacks. In some cases, these evil forces, or spirits, may have even taken over your personality. But be encouraged, for there is hope for you.

The Bible, God’s instruction manual for mankind, has this to say about the occult: “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 . . . . “(Deuteronomy 18: 9-12).

If you are involved in the occult, you are on a road that will surely lead you to destruction and death unless you turn around. Why? Because the occult is the realm of Satan and his demons, and involvement with them always leads to spiritual, and often physical, death.

Demons are fallen angels that sided with Satan when he rebelled against God (Isaiah 14: 12-15 and Ezekiel 28:12-19). As a result of their rebellion, they were thrown out of Heaven and now roam the earth, enticing unsuspecting people into their traps.

The primary goal of demons is to get you to doubt the Bible and, in so doing, to steal from you, kill you, and destroy you not only physically, but also mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Bottom line, they want to take you to hell with them.

The primary weapon of demons is deception. Through your thoughts they try to convince you that involvement in the occult has no serious consequences. After all, they say, playing the Ouija board is only a game, and reading your horoscope just helps you to make wise decisions about your future. But beware! Like Satan their leader, demons are liars by nature (John 8:44). They cannot tell the truth.
If you are involved in the occult or have only “tried” it once, here are some things you must do:

1) Run to God and repent of your sin. God is full of mercy and will gladly forgive you. If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, do so right away.

2) Read the Bible every day.

3) Find a church that teaches the Word of God without compromise.

4) Seek deliverance from evil spirits if you are oppressed by fear, nightmares, etc. Find a pastor or a born-again Christian who is experienced in these matters. If you have difficulty finding someone to help you, contact me at maryann@maryanndiorio.com.

5) Avoid movies, TV programs, music, and reading material that deals with the occult. Also, avoid friends who refuse to give up their involvement in the occult.

6) Pray continually. A close relationship with God is essential in keeping you strong and alert against the traps of the devil.

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Copyright 2015 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com to request permission. Photo Source: Public Domain Images.

Dr. Diorio is a Certified Life Coach, a Certified Biblical Counselor, and a Certified Behavioral Consultant. She is also an award-winning, widely published author of fiction for children and adults. You may reach her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com  or via one of her social media venues below:

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The Dangers of False Expectations

Are you disillusioned with your life? Do you feel that the grandiose plans you once had have turned sour? Perhaps you feel stuck in a relationship that’s going nowhere, but you can’t figure out what’s wrong.

Well, maybe the problem in all of the above examples involves a false, or unrealistic, expectation. Let’s take the marriage relationship, for example. It has been said that disillusionment is the number one cause of divorce today. When a young man and a young woman marry, they have certain expectations about their life together. For instance, the wife may expect her husband to remember their anniversary. When he doesn’t, she’s disappointed. Her disappointment may lead to sulking or a cold shoulder.

The husband, on the other hand, may expect his wife to warn him before she writes a check for over $50.00. When she doesn’t, he becomes angry and yells at her. As a result, an argument ensues that may last several days. Each of these negative scenarios could have been avoided had the young couple discussed their expectations early on in their marriage, or better yet, before their marriage.

The same is true in any relationship or in any situation in life. All of us have unspoken expectations that color our view of life. When, however, our expectations do not correspond to the expectations of those with whom we are in relationship, conflict results. The sad thing is that such conflict could have been avoided had the people involved openly communicated their expectations. Unfortunately, however, we usually assume that others can either read our minds or read between the lines. When they don’t, we become angry or disappointed.

The Bible, God’s instruction manual for man, gives us a key to dealing with unrealistic expectations. In John 2:24-25, we read that Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man. In other words, because Jesus understood human weakness, He did not put all his hope in people. He did not have unrealistic expectations of them. Not only was He not disappointed when they failed Him, but He also did not base His life or His self-worth on other people, but on God. Such an attitude enabled Him to live in perfect peace.

When you feel disappointed by an unfulfilled expectation, ask yourself if your expectation is realistic. For example, is it realistic to expect your wife to maintain a spotless home when she works a full-time job while raising three kids? Is it realistic to expect your husband to remember every detail about your first date? Does it mean he no longer loves you if he doesn’t? Is it realistic to expect your teenager to keep a perfectly neat bedroom or your toddler to be the epitome of a sharing heart?

Finally, remind yourself that you too have very likely failed to meet someone else’s expectations of you. By looking at our own weaknesses, we get our eyes off the weaknesses of others and we become more understanding of them.

So next time you’re tempted to be disappointed by someone or something, take the time to evaluate your expectations and to communicate them if necessary. You’ll find that in so doing, you’ll live a happier and more fulfilling life.

Questions:  What single false expectation has caused the most suffering in your life?  How did you develop a new paradigm regarding that expectation? You may leave a comment by clicking here.
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Copyright 2015 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved.