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I became friends with someone in my third year of university who, unbeknownst to me at the time, dabbled heavily in the occult. I would later learn that she first noted her 'crush' playing with tarot cards in one of her first weeks of class, which is what piqued her initial interest in him.
I knew in my heart that all the stuff she talked about and was into was bogus, especially astrology. She spoke about astrology constantly—and would, without fail, ask every person we met who she took at least a slight interest in for their birthday (as discretely as she could), she did this with me. She then proceeded to judge and assess their character/personality/compatibility with herself by their 'sign' as though it were an accurate judgment and an hourly exercise.
Although she professed to be Catholic and went to church on an Easter / Christmas basis, it was clear that her heart was taken captive by these dark things—perhaps willfully so. It was demonic. It was of the devil. And it led to (at least did not prevent) other sins such as lust and envy and selfish ambition.
Unfortunately for myself at the time, I had not been faithful to God. I had not even been struggling to fight to keep Him primary in all things. I had made for myself an idol out of a relationship; I had been with someone who was giving me a lot of validation in the form of verbal praise at the time (which DESTROYED me) and made me proud.
Anyway, because I did not have a right relationship with God at the time, I lacked the right alert signals which should have been going off in my soul about this particular friend. I was not discerning, and allowed her to get too close. We spent too much time together, and eventually, her ways of thinking, her tendency to impress her judgments of people based on their sign (howsoever superficial and vague they were) began to wear off on me.
Because I had welcomed her thoughts/influence in my life, I eventually felt/wrestled with/welcomed what I now believe to be the presence of demonic/dark spirits. I could not wrap my head out of this mental state that had been completely fried by astrology. The way I saw others and myself was warped and not loving. I felt completely imprisoned.
Thankfully, I didn't get much farther than numerology, but it wasn't until August of 2017 that God began to pull me out, albeit slowly and kindly, and to show me how demonic it all was. I later mourned this. Why God? Why did you allow this to happen to me? I thought you were going to protect me.
Last week on Tuesday (this may sound really stupid), I went to a supermarket with my mom, and I could sense the presence of demons / the influence of astrology afflicting my mind again. When I went home, I cried alone in my room, disappointed that this was still a struggle, since it had been a while since I struggled under the weight of it.
I had, over the time of a year or so, removed both individuals mentioned above from my life. I had been taught by God, His Word, and the Spirit; I watched a handful of GLORIOUS YouTube testimonies of former New Agers who came to Christ (which really comforted me about myself. It also gave me a lot of JOY for the rescued souls, and even helped me see some things from a new perspective).
Anyway, that night... I made a plea to Jesus to save me. I still felt weak in the morning, but the next day, he was pleased to reveal his grace to me. That day flew by like a breeze, in the best way possible.
It was in this crippling weakness that God's strength was perfected in me, and Christ's grace was gloriously displayed. Whether I had been truly saved or understood the GOODNESS of the gospel up until this point, I do not know. Only now I knew that He had saved me and that I understood what this meant. It is not a matter of works.
Often I think that those completely wretched before coming to Christ are so much more joyful for the grace they have received than the somewhat sinful if you know what I mean.
These days, He is reminding me that I have died to the elemental spirits of the air (Col. 2:20), and I have been praying that I would be able to live my life under this freedom.