In Ephesians 4:27, Paul warns us, “Do not give
the devil a foothold.” What are some ways believers
might give the devil a foothold in their lives?
What examples of occult behavior do you see prevalent
in your school or community? How can you respond to
this personally to bring the light of the world to
the darkness around you?
A Visit with a Witch
By Elliott Ryan
One of 1999's most successful horror movies was The Blair
Witch Project. As a Christian, I tend to avoid films that
are steeped in occult themes. But I did have to admit that the
marketing of this film was ingenious.
The film tells the story of three film school students who take
their cameras into the woods to film a documentary on the legend
of a witch who had allegedly terrorized people in those parts
for years. The three students disappeared in the woods while filming
their witch hunt. The search party sent in after them never found
them but they did find their cameras and their film footage of
their search for the witch. The film is made up of their recovered
So that was the set up. But the producers of the movie allowed
rumors to circulate on the Internet that the legend of the Blair
Witch was real. A "documentary" even aired on television
about the legend. They interviewed people claiming to be relatives
of the witch's victims, which added further credence to the myth.
The movie was cast with unknown actors who weren't given an actual
script. Instead they were just given the plot points of the story
and notes on how they should generally react to these plot points.
All of this added to the seeming realism of the movie.
Of course, it all ended up just being a clever marketing scheme
to build interest in a low budget horror film starring unknown
actors. There never really was a Blair Witch.
I was amazed by the willingness of people to buy into the myth.
I spoke with several fellow students at my school in those days
who truly thought the movie was a real documentary. Of course,
I know as a believer that there really is a spiritual world and
that real witchcraft is a part of that world. But I am used to
seeing the world around us scoff at the supernatural. So seeing
otherwise intelligent college students debate the reality of this
film was interesting.
It seems in the years since then that interest in the occult
has only grown. Popular television shows and movies have featured
people communicating with spirits of the dead such as "Medium"
and "Ghost Whisperer." There has been an increase in
books dealing with the occult. And I am not just talking about
the children's books that have been hotly debated on this very
Web site. I am talking about books on how to actually use occult
magic and cast spells. It seems more people than ever are dabbling
in the occult as a way to fill the spiritual void that only a
relationship with Christ can fill.
There is no such thing as the Blair Witch. But scripture makes
it clear that witchcraft is real. As a child, I thought witches,
like unicorns and cartoon characters, were make-believe. As long
as I didn't end up in the Land of Oz, I wasn't real concerned
about coming into contact with witchcraft. It turns out I was
Witches may not ride on broomsticks through the air, but Scripture
says that there really is such a thing as witchcraft and that
it is dangerous. In fact, we read an account in the Old Testament
of how Saul, King of Israel, visited a witch.
In 1 Samuel 28, we read that Saul wanted a word from God to tell
him what he should do. The Philistines were about to attack Israel.
Samuel the prophet had died so Saul couldn't consult him for advice
as he used to do. So he tried to get an answer from God Himself.
But God wasn't talking. Saul had lost God's blessing due to sin.
So he was now on his own.
With the help of some of his men, he located a witch in hopes
of communicating with his dead adviser Samuel. It was difficult
to find one. King Saul had run all the witches out of Israel in
accordance with Scripture. This proves of course that Saul knew
witchcraft was wrong. But he was so desperate to know how he should
proceed that he was willing to sin to get his answer.
Once a witch was found in Endor, she was reluctant to help. Saul
had put on a disguise so no one would know he was consulting a
witch. So when strangers showed up at the witch's door asking
her to contact the spirit of a dead prophet, she was afraid that
it was a trap. She knew if she were caught practicing witchcraft,
the king would have her put to death. Little did she know it was
the king who was asking for her help. Saul convinced her that
she would be safe. So she agreed to help.
Many people who claim to practice the occult arts today are frauds.
People claiming to tell the future or communicate with the dead
are usually just con artists trying to make some easy money off
of people who are really seeking answers. That is despicable.
But what is worse is that, according to this and several other
Biblical passages, there are people who actually have powers given
to them by Satan to do things like this. This witch had the ability,
through an evil spirit, to talk to dead spirits. Or to evil spirits
that claimed to be the spirits of the dead.
Practicing the occult opens a door for Satan and his demons.
People dabble in the occult because we all have a spiritual vacuum
inside of us. God created us that way so we would search for Him.
But many reject Him and attempt to fulfill themselves spiritually.
But while people who practice witchcraft or other occult behavior
may think they are gaining power by their activities, in reality
they are giving up all power in their lives to dark spiritual
Horror movies and Halloween stories are made up of things like
this. But we must realize that there is a real spiritual realm
and that realm impacts our lives. We must fill our hearts and
minds with God and His Word so Satan will not have an opening
to enter our lives.
Saul's sins over the years had given the devil a foothold in
his life. Once the King of Israel with God's blessing, he had
now turned on God to the extent that when he cried out to God,
the silence from heaven was deafening. This didn't lead him to
repentance though. This led him to witchcraft and further rebellion.
The witch did speak with Samuel's spirit. Samuel told her and
Saul that the Philistines would be defeated. Even worse, Saul
and his sons would be killed. Samuel said, "Because you did
not obey the LORD..., the LORD has done this to you today. The
LORD will hand over both Israel and you to the Philistines, and
tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. The LORD will also
hand over the army of Israel to the Philistines" (1 Samuel
Our role as Christians is first to make sure that we don’t
give the devil a foothold in the same way Saul did in Old Testament
Israel. Secondly, we are to take the good news of Christ to the
world. With so many people around us attempting to fill their
spiritual void with things that will only bring pain, not sharing
Christ would be, well… un-Christlike.
Have you tried to fill the spiritual void in your heart with things
other thing Christ? Find
out why Christ is the Only One who can give you peace.
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