Summary: In our fallen world, many voices vie for the attention of the masses - and pagan voices seem to be the loudest - but mature people of faith value their spiritual well-being and pay attention to Him who is the Truth and the Life.
WHO YOU LISTEN TO MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD SPIRITUALLY
Have you seen any ghosts lately? Thirty-four percent of Americans believe in ghosts, and fifty-six percent believe ghosts are spirits of the dead. Did you ever live in a haunted house? Thirty-seven percent believe houses can be haunted. Do you possess psychic ability? Seventy-one percent believe they have had a psychic experience.
Before you left your room this morning, with whom did you consult? Did you check your horoscope . . . inquire of a deceased loved one . . . call a fortune teller . . . look for a sign in the sky . . . interpret a dream you had last night?
Why do people turn to the paranormal in the first place? It’s about access: access to: first-hand knowledge - Don’t we love to be “in the know”, the first to know?
The announcer declares: You heard it first on WSB . . . from me!” – sources of authority . . . secret information no one else has access to – i.e., communication with the dead . . .
There were times during the early development of civilization when pagan practices had to be dealt with and shown for what they were – false notions, lies, misperceptions, deceptions, misguided directions, empty promises, superstitions, magical thinking - all of which fascinates people but comes under the heading of detestable customs in the sight of the LORD – Deuteronomy 18:9-14 . . .
Why were (are) occult practices detestable to the LORD? Pure and simple: Who we listen to makes all the difference in the world re: our spiritual well-being. Such practices represent the dark side of life rather than the sunny side; and the one and only God of Israel and of Christianity is the God of Light not darkness.
To rely upon dead, man-made gods, or, live self-made gods in human form – and the practices associated with them – is to undermine spiritual well-being!
Addictions or obsessions bred by paganistic rituals have no place in the Christian life. Not only are such repetitive behaviors repulsive to the LORD but they have a regressive effect on one’s spiritual growth and development . . .
The solution to that human desire to: be “in the know” . . . be a recipient of messages from on high . . . discover the secret to happiness . . . discern mysteries of the universe . . . communicate with the supreme being . . . have direct access to the great beyond . . . was prophesied by Moses - Deuteronomy 18:15-18 . . .
God’s solution to the problem of replacing “pagan practices” with “divine providence” comes down to a question of reliability. If religion is reliance, as I’ve been told, then it must be that whatever a person relies on for spiritual well-being constitutes their religion. Now hear this:
No one can have it both ways - rely on the “gods” of paganism and rely on the LORD God of the Israelites and Christians. “No one can serve two masters . . . You cannot serve God and mammon” (Jesus, Matthew 6:24).
Therefore, we have a choice to make as did Joshua . . . “Choose you this day whom you will serve” (Joshua 24:15) . . .
Worldly-minded folks insist that we accept as many ways as “they” devise for satisfying the longing in human hearts for gaining access to a “higher power”, but God thru Moses declared that He would “raise up One like Moses” who would be the one and only way for gaining access to the one and only God. Thus:
“Thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. Him only shalt thou serve.”
The One “to come” would be the ultimate “Go-Between” which the people had requested at Mount Sinai - when, troubled by the sight of the fire of God, they sent Moses to the mountain top to spare them the anguish of having to face their Maker. They were lawbreakers and feared the wrath of God. Moses was given the assignment to serve as their “go-el”, “redeemer”, “go-between” . . .
This was a Messianic prophecy which would be fulfilled in the coming of Jesus Christ who would be the “go-el”, “Redeemer”, “go-between” of all who would repent, believe and receive.
The One “like Moses” would be their brother - of the House of David, tribe of Judah - yet “greater than Moses”. Until God’s Son came, there was no prophet “like Moses”, although there were many good prophets who spoke the Word of the LORD, warned of judgment, and foretold the Messiah’s coming.
Even John the Baptizer was thought to be the One prophesied by Moses, until he answered their question, “Art thou He who was to come, or do we look for another?” by saying, “Behold, there He is, the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world!” Whereupon God the Father declared at his baptism, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. Hear him!”