As you pursue supernatural encounters with God, beware of the dangers of the invisible realm. Some advice from Patricia King.
Are there dangers in the school of spiritual experience? Yes! If a person lives outside the perimeters of the Word, way or will of God in any area of his life, danger lurks.
Likewise, in your natural life, there are things that could be dangerous if you do not abide by proper principles. For example, driving a car can be hazardous if you do not abide by the laws of the road.
But if you read the owner's manual, abide by the rules, exercise caution and watch out for the other guy, you will most likely maintain a safe and successful driving record. Meanwhile, the inherent dangers of driving should not deter you from getting into your vehicle.
Here some examples of dangers that one should be aware of before getting in the "driver's seat" of spiritual experience.
Witchcraft and Occultism
Any activity or manipulation of the spirit realm not under the rule of Christ is called witchcraft. This practice is forbidden in Scripture.
Be careful of "guided imagery," a practice in which someone else tells you what to see. This can lead to manipulation (see Deut. 18:10-14; Gal. 5:17-25). The Holy Spirit is the only one who can lead you into divine encounters.
If you have had previous experience with New Age, false religions, or the occult, you will need to fully renounce those practices along with any spirit guides or spiritual counselors who taught you. This is very important. You need to be cleansed from all that is false and submit to all that is true.
Idolatry and Unhealthy Fascination
Our primary passion must always be for the Lord Himself, and we must always place Him at the center of our affections. All spiritual experience needs to draw the heart and affections of the believer to deepened relationship with Christ.
Although God desires for us to experience Him and His kingdom to build relationship, when believers focus on only spiritual experiences, it can cause great problems with both their walk and their character. They can begin to believe that their spiritual encounters are endorsements of their character and maturity.
This is not the case. Love, worship of Christ, and faith and obedience to the Word of God are the hallmarks of authentic Christian living.
Pride and Self-Exaltation
No one is beyond being tempted by pride. Lucifer himself, even though he was a high-ranking angel in heaven, fell into the sin of pride. That sin cost him his place in heaven, and he was cast out!
The apostle Paul was aware that he was susceptible to pride because of the "abundance of revelations" he received (see 2 Cor. 12:7). If these Bible figures could be in danger, it is vital that we also guard against pride.
Error and Deception
Entering into spiritual experience without a proper and complete foundation in the Word of God can sometimes open the door to error and deception. Good solid Bible teaching should always accompany spiritual experience.
If you see a vision or enjoy an encounter in the "glory realm," then study it out in the Word of God afterward. Always let the Word of God be the first testing place to validate experience.
It is also important to have a good accountability circle around you and some mature Christians who can help mentor and pastor you into maturity. In the multitude of counselors there is wisdom.
Patricia King is a Canadian author who bases her ministry, Extreme Prophetic, in Maricopa, Arizona. Log on to her Web site at www.extremeprophetic.com.