From: Power For Today Magazine, Vol. 13, No. 2., Second Quarter 2015 (March 2015). Copyright 2015 by Apostolic Fellowship International Ministries, Inc.
By Apostle Dr. Lee Ann B. Marino
Q: Should Christians be concerned about witchcraft?
A: Witchcraft is a hot topic in most Christian circles. A short survey of the social media site, Facebook, will show curious onlookers the complicated beliefs and concepts people have about what witchcraft is and how it affects the life of the believer. Some people think it has no effect whatsoever, some think it has a moderate impact, and others believe it has such a great impact, there is no way a believer can survive in a situation where witchcraft is present.
The over-emphasis on witchcraft today (as well as much of the misunderstanding most have about it) comes from the “entertainment factor” present in many deliverance ministries. The more dramatic a story someone tells, the more readily people swallow it, even if much of it is a total or partial lie. We’ve turned deliverance, witchcraft, possession, even warfare into a drama, parallel to any soap opera that entertains us on television.
Deliverance ministry, witchcraft, and understanding the ways that spirits influence and often control our lives is not entertaining. They do not exist for our personal fodder or to make for good television programs. The realities of witchcraft are very real and very prevalent in the church today, most often in ways we do not consider and we do not understand.
Every single human being has spirits of one form or another “around” them. We would call these “familiar spirits,” beings that seek to cause confusion and trouble in our lives. We can either allow these spirits to have sway over the little things we do and the ways in which we treat others, or we can choose to follow God and do things the way He would have us do them. It doesn’t begin and end with that declaration, however. Familiar spirits are called such for a reason – they know about us, what makes us tick, the hurts and pains that we have incurred in our lives, and the different ways in which we are easily tempted, scorned, hurt, or offended. These spirits work in various ways to get our attention and influence our behavior as they play upon our emotions, temptations, and states of thought and feeling in order to get us to behave in a carnal, or “fleshly” manner. Familiar spirits operate to get sway over us and introduce us to spirits that are more difficult to overcome and break in our lives.
Witchcraft is, simply stated, control. It is one individual working, manipulating, and contriving in order to get their way over someone else without that individual’s consent. Some people are very preoccupied with witchcraft as is declared through paganism or spell-casting, but that is not witchcraft that the believer should focus on as their first line of concern. There are plenty of people who profess to be Christians who exert their will through power and control, attempting to run the church from the pew, praying that someone will conform to their desired will and the desired actions (falling in love, marriage, having a baby without discussing it with their spouse, getting people in the household to do what they want, etc.) and all do it in the name of “prayer.”
There are as many forms of witchcraft as we can find forms of power and control today, and we must be, therefore, very careful who we trust, confide in, and discuss things with. We’re quick to believe that witchcraft only takes on obvious, larger-than-life forms, but this is simply not true. Witchcraft does not just operate via big-name spirits, such as Leviathan (pride) or Ahab and Jezebel (co-dependence). Most of the time, witchcraft effects people through the realm of familiar spirits, through those little decisions, choices, and feelings that influence us on a daily basis and suddenly lead us into states of being, thoughts, concepts, and ideas that we would ordinarily not even give a second thought to.
We also must realize that we can make anything sound good and “holy” if we try hard enough. We can make our own scorn, hurt, dislike for correction, or disdain to be any array of divine missions, if we try hard enough. It’s very easy to try and exert witchcraft (power and control) over people because we feel they have hurt our mission, stung us with correction we probably rightly deserved, don’t acknowledge us in the way we desire to be acknowledged, or somehow hurt our feelings. It’s important to be spiritual enough to step back and be honest about our situation and the healing we need instead of trying to fire back “super spiritual statements’ disguised as divine warnings or the displeasure of God. None of us, no matter how anointed or purposed we may be, are above the influences of witchcraft and above operating in such behavior if we don’t “check ourselves before we wreck ourselves.” Every Christian should understand how spirits operate and influence us, recognize signs within ourselves, and have enough discernment to recognize when someone else is working a little controlling magic against us.
Submit your questions to Apostle Marino at email@example.com.