Last time, I gave you a list of ways occult influences can gain entrance to our children’s lives. Lists can be useful as eye openers and general guidelines. However, the enemy of our souls is skilled in subtly changing his tactics for ensnaring people. If we only depend upon lists which are relevant today, we may not know how to detect evil which has been repackaged in the latest fad tomorrow. We must teach our children how to discern less obvious evil, so that they don’t get sucked into it.
Discernment can begin with some basic questions:
1.) Is the activity forbidden in the Bible?
2.) Does it promise power apart from depending on God?
3.) Does it promise peace apart from God?
4.) Does it try to control others — or even ourselves? (“Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” — 2 Corinthians 3:17.)
5.) Where does it look to for wisdom, revelation, or inspiration — the Holy Spirit, or some other source? (“In [Christ] are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge … and you are complete in Him….” — Colossians 2:3, 10)
6.) Does it have the feeling of darkness or light?
7.) Would Jesus play / watch / read it with you? (Be honest now!)
8.) What do born again believers in Jesus, who came out of false religion or the occult, have to say about that activity?
9.) Do I have complete inner peace about participating in this, or do I have to convince myself that it is harmless? (“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts….” — Colossians 3:15. “Rule” in this verse means to act as an umpire.)
We should train our children to apply these questions as a “litmus test” for whether an activity is safe and appropriate for them as a follower of Jesus.
If you or your children are already having nightmares, great fear, panic attacks, or unexplained chronic health issues, here are a few simple steps you can take to be free:
Stop, repent, and renounce. Decide that you and your family will no longer entertain yourself with evil or compromising things. Ask the Lord to forgive you. But a third step is needed for full freedom: renunciation. To renounce something means to cut all ties with it and the spirits connected to it.
Here is a sample prayer for how to close the entranceways to evil spirits through renouncing them and their activity. You can lead your children through such a prayer, too, simplifying the wording for the younger ones:
Father, I ask You to forgive me for engaging in occult practices or influences in the past. I now renounce those activities completely. I break the ties between myself and all occult spirits. I command them to let go of me and leave my life forever, in Jesus’ name. Now, I shut the door of my life to all occult spirits. I claim Jesus as my Deliverer, and I put the blood of Jesus between myself and these things, in Jesus’ name.
Cleanse your home of any items which may have ties to evil. Look for reading materials, DVDs, CDs, video games, or artwork which might be entrance points for evil spirits. Souvenirs from a nation or culture where witchcraft is prevalent can be the source of a problem. Ask God to highlight to your attention objects which don’t feel “right.” If you feel uncomfortable with an item, that is the Holy Spirit prompting you to throw it out. (No matter what its value, do not sell it or give it away. Why pass problems on to others?)
Then, in the name of Jesus, command any evil spirits which have been present because of those objects to depart from your home. Declare that the blood of Jesus now stands as protection throughout and around your home, and that all entrances back in are now closed to the enemy.
What if you don’t have any articles of concern in your home? Even if you have had nothing to do with the occult, and you don’t find any questionable objects, there could be evil spirits still hanging around from a previous owner or tenant. This would be most noticeable if you have recently moved in, or if you have been having nightmares or other spiritual problems for the duration of the time you have lived there.
Take the same steps of commanding evil spirits to leave and applying the blood of Jesus, as I’ve shared in the previous section. Create an atmosphere of the Lord’s Presence through immersing your home in worship music and prayer. Evil spirits don’t like to hang around in such an atmosphere.
Next time, we will talk about how to teach our children, even at young ages, the principles of spiritual warfare, so that they know how to protect themselves. I promise you it won’t be dark or scary. We’ll keep the light of Jesus shining.