When I was in high school (way before I became a Christian), my best friend was a practicing witch. Yes, that’s the truth. Now when she first told me that fact, I pooh-poohed it – there’s no such thing as witches!
When I would go over to my friend’s home I’d at times see a bunch of weird stuff laying around downstairs in their living room. Stuff kind of like odd little trinkets. I thought – well if that’s what they’re into, that’s what they’re into.
My friend and I usually would hang out up in her room where we would play loud head-banging music as we got high on various items illegal in nature. Sometimes she would bring out her tarot cards and tell me a fortune. Or she would look at my hand and tell me what my “life lines” meant. Kind of interesting. And reading my horoscope daily in the paper – wow how fun it was to see if what it said would actually happen that day!
Harmless fun, right? But then slowly but surely things began to change…
Sometimes when we were hanging out in her room my friend would start saying strange chants as she would burn her incense. Again, I really didn’t think anything of it, but then strange things started happening to me.
I think the start of it was when we went to see “The Exorcist” – by far the scariest movie I had ever seen. When I snuck back home that night (usually I had to sneak out of the house because mother didn’t want me going anywhere), I had to enter through the dark garage, and I swear I heard voices calling me. Even now as I’m writing this, I’m getting filled with goosebumps – this is still very real to me.
Then there was the night not too long after that when I awoke in the middle of the night to see a dark figure (a man?) standing right in front of my bed. I couldn’t see his face – nor did I want to. I quickly closed my eyes – it was like I had a sensation that if I had continued to look at him something bad would have happened, but I didn’t know what.
There were also my walks home from my friend’s house in the middle of the night. I had to walk down a long stretch of highway where there were no houses for over a mile. On one side of the street were a couple large blueberry farms, and on the other side was a high hill.
I used to act real quirky when I would walk home – because it really was scary. I used to let my hair hang down all over my eyes, and tie a headband around my forehead (remember this was the “hippie days”). Then I would walk with a weird stagger – no one would want to bother an oddball like that, would they?
But on one particular occasion some people in a car did want to bother me.
I was about half-way down the long stretch of dark road, and I saw a car coming towards me slowly. I tried to not pay any attention even though my heart was beating a mile a minute. They passed by slowly, and then they turned around and started coming back!
I WAS TERRIFIED! I quickly jumped down into the blueberry fields and started running blindly in the direction I thought I needed to go. But then it was like I heard footsteps chasing me – and whoever the footsteps belonged to were calling my name!
With the adrenaline pumping I just kept running until I thought I was close to the place where I needed to crossover the street and run up a side lane to my house. When I emerged from the fields I could see the car coming towards me again!
I managed to cross the 4-lane highway and started running up one of the hills – I could see there were houselights up there. I thought I could run up to a house real quick and start banging on the door. But then then I realized that there was a high chain-link fence around it – there was no way to get in!
I quickly crouched down among one of the bushes and tried to be a quiet as I could.
I heard the people get out of their car, and I heard them starting to rustle up the hill through the leaves. I thought in my mind, this is it…
But then, all of a sudden, the footsteps started getting fainter, I heard the car doors slam, and the car drove away! Wow, that was really lucky, I thought…
It took many years before I finally came to the realization that I was not just “lucky,” but that God was watching out for me even then – even though I had not yet come to know Him!
You know the enemy is real. The Bible is full of warnings about not listening or following those who practice divination, sorcery, witchcraft, or anyone who is a medium, spiritist or consults the dead (e.g. Deut. 18:10-12, Acts 16:16-18). I really was clueless when I hung out with my witch friend and God protected me. But don’t put Him to the test. Deut. 18:13 (NIV) says: “We must be blameless before the LORD [our] God.”
We might think all that stuff is just harmless fun, but trust me when I say, IT ISN’T. “Do not give the devil a foothold” (Eph. 4:27), because the enemy is indeed prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Pet. 5:8-9).