5 Sneaky Ways Divination May Be Sneaking into the Church
- Dr. Sandra Hamer Smith Contributing Writer
- 2021 7 Jul
What Is Divination?
Divination is the false use of means to discover the divine will (King James Study Bible, Barbour Publishing, 2011). This is not to be confused with spiritual gifts of prophecy, discernment, or revelation knowledge that God gives to the saints as listed in Ephesians 4. As we read 1 Corinthians 12, the gifts that we want are given to Christians and are manifested because of the Holy Ghost. Some of the gifts listed in this chapter are words of wisdom, words of knowledge, faith, gifts of healing, working of miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, different kinds of tongues, and interpretation of tongues. The Bible also states that no one has all these gifts. In this same chapter, you see who God has set up in the church. It says, “some are apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.”
I truly believe as a Christian you will have at least one gift. Some ministers have the fivefold ministry gift. This means that they serve as an Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor, and Teacher. We as children of God are not to get jealous about various gifts that others have. I believe we can ask God to show us our gifts and He will. I know some people whom it just seems like God just loaded them up with gifts. Some people need all those gifts for the assignment that they have. With much gifting, there comes a greater responsibility. There are other gifts like evangelism. Here people are called to witness to the lost. I would not try to make up a gift to make folks think you are so anointed. God has a way of calling you out if you are anointed. You will not have to put up a billboard or run a 30-day ad on social media. Getting in the word of God on a regular basis and praying to God and staying under some leadership will help you to see your gifts. God wants us to covet earnestly the best gifts. I believe that another responsibility of the church is to develop the Saints. Saints also must develop themselves.
Some people who practice divination are usually practicing under some cult or strange affiliation. People use instruments such as horoscopes, astrology, crystal gazing, tarot cards, and Ouija boards. In 1 John 4:1, we are encouraged to try every spirit to determine if it comes from God. Pastors and preachers will not bring people like this before you. They can discern people’s spirits. Saints can also discern those who are brought before the flock. Ministry is a great responsibility and should not be taken lightly. Whatever assignment God has given you, do it to the best of your ability. If you need more ability, just ask God for help.
What Does the Bible Have to Say about Divination?
Divination is forbidden. In Leviticus 19, God speaks to Moses about things that the Israelites should not be doing. He warns in verse 26 that they should not eat anything with the blood. Neither were they to use enchantment nor observe the times. Observing of times means to gather signs about what is happening and become superstitious about it. He continues in verse 31 warning them to “not regard those with familiar spirits, and to not seek after wizards to be defiled by them.”
We know from Scripture that God is a jealous God and will not tolerate those who call themselves Christians worshipping other gods. So, it is safe to assume that He does not want us toying with divination. We know that the devil is a legitimate threat. However, we have protection when we avoid entertaining his realms and things that he has control over.
We have further evidence of divination in the Bible in Acts 16. Paul and Silas met a young lady with a spirit of divination. Apparently, it was quite profitable for her masters. The Bible says that she made lots of money for the people she was working for. She was fortune-telling. In the Bible, it is called soothsaying. She followed Paul and Silas around for many days and kept saying “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.” Paul had had enough and just decided to cast the spirit out of her. “He turned and said to the spirit, “I command you to come out of her.” The spirit came out in the same hour.”
This did not sit well with her owners. When they found out that their means of making a profit was dried up, they grabbed Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the rulers. Paul and Silas were eventually thrown into jail. You would think those men would have been happy that this young woman was delivered from that spirit. They did not care that she had been set free. They were more concerned about making money off her. That is a lesson. Sometimes people could give a flying flip about someone being delivered, especially if it affects their bottom line.
There are other references to divination in the Bible. Look to Ezekiel 21:21. Here it says, “For the king of Babylon stood at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination: he made his arrows bright, he consulted with images, he looked into the liver.” My study Bible tells me that it was around this time that astrology was being developed. Nebuchadnezzar is the king in reference here. God is telling the prophet, Ezekiel, what shall occur. Divination was used by some who were not godly to decide to go to war or not, attack this way or that, etc. Examining the liver of animals was one form of divination for Babylonians. Arrows would also be used. These items were marked with various symbols and drawn from a bag. During this time, people were fascinated with knowing the future. God’s people were forbidden to engage in fortune-telling.
Why Is Divination Dangerous?
Divination is dangerous because it is a gateway to the occult. This is an outlet for the enemy. All it does is cause you to break a commandment. God asks that we not have another god before Him. From what I have heard, you can encounter some evil elements when you dabble in divination. I personally am not trying to see any ghosts or strange spirits. Also, putting your faith in something other than God can lead to insecurity and fear. It is best to meditate on the word of God and pray. It is also okay to seek counsel from godly men and women.
I love hearing a prophetic word like anyone else, but I need that word to line up with what God has already said about me. I do not think I should be finding out shocking information. I need it to line up with what the Word of God says. I am not quick to receive this and that if it does not line up with what God has been telling me to expect. I have noticed that when God tells me something, He will send various confirmations and I will know that it is truthful.
5 Ways Divination May Be Appearing in the Church Today
I believe divination may be appearing in the church through its members when they are not at church. A lot of times when ministers start preaching series on topics it is because they want to inform their congregation about some of the trappings in this world.
1. Get over horoscopes. Horoscopes are not real information that you should base your life on. It is strictly entertainment. When I was younger it was cute. I even would get Cosmopolitan’s Bedside Astrologer that came with the magazine. I would not base life decisions on horoscopes. It will lead to disappointment and will not provide you the substance that you need for daily living. You might discount potential mates because they are the wrong sign or something.
2. Avoid psychics and palm readers. About 20 years ago, I remember a friend of mine told me that I should get my palm read. I said, “Why would I get my palm read if I am a Christian?” She and her family were Christians too. I just thought that was odd. That was a pass for me. Sometimes, you see these small businesses called Sister this and Psychic Reader that and so and so. I would just stay away from these establishments. Some of these are straight-up fakes and the rest are straight-up scary because you might have an evil spirit encounter. I do not need to behold up somewhere in a dark room and have spirits looming in the background if that is indeed possible.
3. Avoid tarot cards that have made their arrival on social media. You might want to make sure your kids are not watching this stuff. I straight-up saw a woman reading tarot cards on Tik-Tok. I sped past that one. I think more Christians need to flood social media with prayer. Tarot cards are scary and a way to allegedly predict the future. Do not get under the evil influence of these things. It is like a portal opening and will have you fearful. I am sure of it.
4. Avoid Ouija boards. I have seen movies where people are calling up spirits and the like. Understand that when we leave this earth, I do not think we will be back until Jesus comes to rapture the church. I have heard that when a person dies, they may be around a few days in the spirit. I do not have firsthand knowledge of this. Again, Ouija boards are a portal for some foolishness and should be avoided. If you have friends who dabble in the occult, you need to get yourself a new crew. Do not go somewhere trying to contact a loved one who has crossed over. Find comfort in the Scriptures. Sometimes people will prey on our weak moments.
5. Avoid crystal gazing. I have seen this in movies and apparently, folks are still participating in this foolishness. If you are a Christian, you should not meddle with any of the above. It is just all bad news and spooky.
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Photo credit: Unsplash/Dan Farrell
Dr. Sandra Hamer Smith is a Christian and wife to Sylvester Smith. She has one stepson, Greg. Smith lives and resides in Memphis, Tennessee. The University of Memphis alumnae has been in education for about 20 years after receiving the call to teach. Dr. Smith primarily teaches language arts. Prior to education, she worked in local and national television news for 13 years including positions as an overnight news anchor, reporter, and assignments editor at two local network affiliate stations. Smith was also a freelance correspondent for BET news. Dr. Smith has freelanced for the Tri-State Defender newspaper and Contempora magazine. She is the author of the self-published novel GLORY…THE HAIR. Smith is also a playwright and poet. The Tennessee native is a member of Temple of Deliverance COGIC, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc, Omicron Delta Kappa, The Golden Key International Honour Society, and Kappa Delta Pi.