Expert Answer Forum
Help QUESTION from Bethany December 2, 1999 Although I have Been out of the practice of witchcraft for awhile I still have urges to do some things that are very witch orientated. I do my best to stay active in reading the word and hearing the word of Christ. I did recently quit the church I was in because I did not feel the pastor at the church was feeding me enough of Gods word, He is a good preacher but i believe he cares more abuout things that make him look good in the sight of man while ignoring his duty to his flock. Anyway I love the Lord and do not wish to willingly sin however I find myself doing things I Know that God would disapprove of. I feel very weak when it comes to things dealing with the craft and the Occult... I know that I am not a Catholic but would appreciate any advice you could give me because I truly love the Lord and wish only to do his bidding.
Yours in Christs Love, Bethany
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius on December 8, 1999 Dear Mrs Bethany:
Thank you for asking your question. Your question is perhaps one of the most important questions I have been asked on this forum.
First I want to praise and thank God that you have been delivered from witchcraft. We will be in continual prayer for you as you persevere in the faith.
PerSEVERance is the key. The Bible tells us that our lives as Christians will not be a bed of roses (God never promised us a Rose Garden), but rather that our lives would be to persevere in the faith.
For someone like yourself that perseverance becomes more acute because of your former practice of witchcraft. You have robbed Satan of his pleasure in seeing you reject God and he is angry. The experiences you are having are rather typical for those coming out of witchcraft and into the Light of God.
Some of the phraseology you used in your question is almost identical to that of St. Paul. The great saint said in Roman 7:14-20:
We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. St. Paul himself found himself doing sin over and over almost like he couldn’t help it. His inner self was committed to God, but a part of himself keeps on sinning.
Even when we have given our inner selves over to God, how do we submit the rest of us that may be subject to, for lack of a better word, addiction to the sins of our past?
The first step you have already taken. You have left the craft.
The second step is to be sure that you ask God for forgiveness of all your sins. Here’s what I want you to do.
Get a piece of paper and write down ALL of your sins. Ask God to help you to remember any sins that you have forgotten. List each sin individually. No one will see this but you. As to witchcraft, write that down, but think about the individual sins involved in witchcraft and write those down too. After you have thought hard about every aspect of every sin you have committed – especially in witchcraft – and prayed for God to bring to your memory any sins you may have forgotten, then write on the paper, and any other sins I may have committed.
(Then for the Catholics reading this, take that paper with you to confession and do a General Confession.)
Then BURN the paper. (Catholics too, should burn the paper once they get home from confession and say the follow prayer too, even though the priest has already given absolution. This ritual, in this case, is a form of affirmation in your own mind, agreeing with God that these past sins are in the past and forgiven.)
As the paper is burning, pray the following prayer. Portions in italics are for Catholics only to say. The portion in bold can be said by non-Catholic Christians, but if you feel uncomfortable in asking for the help of the saints, then omit that part.
Thank You Heavenly Father for forgiving me. With the destruction of this list, I give up any and all attachment to the sins listed. I give myself permission to forgive myself; I give up these sins to You, Lord, and know that I am now cleansed by the Blood of Christ Jesus, through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and am made pure and as white as snow. Thank You for loving me enough to provide the Sacrament of Reconciliation in Your Church that I might be forgiven. Thank You for saving from myself and from perdition. With the help of the Blessed and Immaculate Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, Blessed Michael the Archangel, and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and all the Saints and Angels of Heaven, and powerful in the holy authority of His Name, I shall take this blessing of forgiveness as a new beginning to live for You. With that authority I now take back the ground in my life gained by Satan through my sins. I reclaim this ground and my life for Christ. Amen And as you commit new sins, ask forgiveness for them immediately. Do not be dishearten if you repeat the same sin over and over. Matthew 18:21-22 tells us: Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times? Jesus answered, I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
Your situation is like an addiction; it will not be easy. God will forgive you each time when you are sincere in your heart, contrite, and truly wanting to stop the sin. The records are wiped clean and remain clean until you sin again. If you sin again tomorrow, then confess again. If you sin the next day after that, confess again.
God knows your heart and knows that you are sincere in your confession. He knows you want to stop the sin and never do it again, but that you are having trouble with it. He understands and He loves you. Just keep coming to him.
Isaiah 1:18 says: Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land;
Be obedient and faithful to ask forgiveness no matter how many times you fall. 1 John 1:9 says: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
I wish you were Catholic so that you could take part in the beautiful grace of the Sacrament of Confession. Through this Sacrament you would receive even greater grace and strength to overcome these temptations.
This leads us to step three. Stay close to God. Go to church each Sunday, get involved in church activities, attend Bible Studies, etc. …the best way to keep the devil out, is to keep Jesus in. Stay close to God and His Arms shall overshadow you and protect you.
For Catholics, God has given is additional graces not found in non-Catholic faiths. We see in Isaiah, for example, a hint of the Eucharist: you shall eat the best from the land. As Catholics we have the Eucharist which is the Body and Blood of our Lord that we consume at each Mass. It gives a grace and a life to us that cannot be compared with ANYTHING else.
Jesus tells us in John 6:48-51, 55-57:
I am the bread of life. Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.
Oh, how I wish you could partake of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. In that ‘food there is life and strength.
But that does not mean that as a non-Catholic you cannot partake of God’s grace. You can. Ask Him to help you, to strengthen you, and to guide you. Come to Him in confession and He will listen and he will cleanse you each and every time. Come to Him and ask for strength to do better next time.
The fourth step is to avoid even the near occasion of sin. THIS IS A CRITICAL STEP in order to keep from sinning again. You must, right now, and I mean as soon as you finish reading this, go and collect every single item in your house and in your possession that relates to witchcraft and other things opposed to God. Go collect each item, DO NOT overlook anything, hold nothing back. Take all those books, pamphlets, paraphernalia and BURN them. That’s right BURN them. Do not throw them out in the trash where others might get hold of them, but utterly destroy them. I don’t care how expensive the books and stuff are – burn them.
If you feel you can’t do this, then that means you are still allowing Satan to have a hold over you. You MUST do this to be free.
Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds. A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas. In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power. A drachma is about one day’s wage. Fifty thousand drachmas means fifty thousand workdays -- translated into today’s dollars would be about $900,000 based upon the median income of families in the United States.
All items must go.
In addition, all friendships and acquaintances with the old life in witchcraft must be terminated.
You must avoid watching any TV shows or movies, or listening to any music, with witchcraft themes or that reminds you of your past life.
You MUST avoid ALL near occasions of sin like an alcoholic avoids a barroom or parties where alcohol is served.
On particularly tough days like Halloween, close yourself in your house and prayer and read the Bible or other spiritual works. Do not get involved, or expose yourself, even in passing (as best you can) with such festivities.
As one preacher said one time, the best way to keep the devil out is to keep Jesus in. You must develop your devotional life is the fifth step. Spend time in much prayer, spiritual reading, doing good works. Keep yourself occupied on the things of heaven. St. Paul advises us in Philippians 4:8-9: Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me--put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
In terms of some general advice, if you do these things you will find great help in living your life as a Christian and resisting the temptations of your former life.
Finally, I would recommend a book by Neil Anderson called the Bondage Breaker. It will help you to break the bondage of the past. That book can be ordered from Amazon Books, through us, by using the following link: Bondage Breaker
Please know that we will be praying for you.
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