But I don’t want to be a witch!
I heard the words come out of my mouth like a Jerry Seinfeld line*.
It was an ordinary night in October of 2008 and I was sitting on a piano bench in our church’s sanctuary. One of our nightly services was going to start and I was warming up to lead worship that night. Nicole, one of the girls in our youth group had very sweetly offered to pray for me, which I didn’t think anything of until she followed up her “Amen” with “God is telling me that he wants to remove something from your life so that he can take you higher”. And no lie, when she said it, I heard the Holy Spirit say the word, “witchcraft”. I almost fell off the piano bench backwards. It was so loud and clear I swear I thought everyone in the church heard it.
Somehow I muddled through worship and sped home after church to ask God what that was all about. The conversation went something like this:
“I don’t understand. I’m not a witch.” I said a little offended.
“The sin of rebellion is witchcraft to me.” I heard him say.
“But I’m not rebellious.” I replied soberly.
“Your independence is rebellion.”
You could have heard a pin drop in the room. The dots were starting to come together to make this horrible picture of what God was trying to tell me.
Independence = rebellion = witchcraft.
“But I don’t want to be a witch!” I wailed.
So what did I look like as an independent Christian?
I looked responsible.
I had answers but I was really just judgmental and strong-willed. I walked a Christian life probably the way the Pharisees did, all in human effort. And truthfully, I was good at it. I had no vices, read my Bible and prayed for the designated time each day, quoted all the right Bible verses, but had no life. I was a white-washed tomb as Jesus called it. I looked like I was really responsible. Maybe not perfect but there was no doubt that by my 40’s I would be. I was walking the squeaky clean Christian life. And the stupidest thing of all?
I never questioned it.
I was dying inside but I had no idea that this was the farthest thing God had in mind for me.
So how do you know if you’re one of those rebellious Christians?
1. Your life will be marked by rules.
2. You will think that others should live by those same rules
3. Grace is something you don’t understand. (however, you will be able to quote all the right verses about grace)
So that’s what a Christian witch looks like. When a person like this speaks, they use a lot of examples of “this is what I do.” They use personal examples of what methods work for them and those same methods should work for you. It’s about the right formula to get the right behavior. The “rules” become more important than the person. Check out Matthew 12:9-14, The Pharisees had their undies in a bunch because Jesus healed a man’s hand on the Sabbath. Seriously!
Contrast that with the freedom we are supposed to walk in.
1. Your life is full of amazing stories of what God has done for you.
2. Your life and vision for your life are things you cannot make happen. You are following God as he directs you to get to your promised land.
3. Grace is something you breathe. You tell others that it’s okay that they do things differently than you do.
Now the Lord is Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. – 2 Corinthians 3:17 –
God had taken me on a crazy journey of freeing me from my independence. I’m not the boss of my life anymore.
And he was right.
My rebellion is a thing of the past and I’m able to move up higher in him because there is a freedom in letting go.
*Just for snorts and giggles I added the clip of Jerry Seinfeld. No lie, this is exactly what I sounded like.
Sorry for the Spanish subtitles, feel free to read along for a more culturally diverse version.