Acts 19:18-19 ESV Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. (19) And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver.
Magic is an attempt by man to direct and manipulate the spiritual realm. By means of incantations, spells, potions and other methods that are really witchcraft (forbidden by the Lord), practitioners of these dark deeds believe they can assume God’s role and bring about outcomes of their liking. These evils have no place in the life of the Christian, as the new Christians in Ephesus recognized immediately.
Much of what parades as Christianity is actually superstition and magic. Prayer becomes a christianized form of incantation (remember Jesus told us that we are not to pray like the Gentiles with meaningless repetition). Satan and demons are supposedly rebuked and defeated by assorted formulas that allegedly are derived from the Bible. They are not.
How does all of this relate to dealing with evil, including the evil of the domestic abuser? Simply this – we must never dictate to God. We must not claim to know the details of His will in a given situation. We know His ultimate will – Satan will be cast into the Lake of Fire – but what we know with certainty, we know because the Lord has revealed it to us in His Word. I know that God loves me and that He is working everything together for my good. But I do not know exactly how He is going about that. I have to trust Him. I have to have, faith.
Magic and superstition are traps. We set up in our minds the outcome and the course that we want to happen, and then we set about telling God what to do. And what happens? Things usually do not turn out as we insisted. In the end, for the Christian, we will look back and see that God’s plan was far better than anything we could imagine. Duh! Ha, we should know that, right?
1 Corinthians 2:11 ESV For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
Many professing Christians and church leaders are guilty of these things. They tell abuse victims how God wants things to go, and how things are going to turn out if only the victims will…… They insist that the wicked man/woman will miraculously change and that it is God who is going to pull this off. They are wrong. God does not save the unrepentant. And abusers, especially those who are parading as Christians, are unrepentant.
Finally, it is vital that the victim of abuse not fall for this magical approach to following Christ. We simply do not know the details of the course He is going to take us on. We know what He has told us. He loves us. He is in control of every detail of our lives. He hates the wicked. He is going to enact perfect justice for us. But when and how this is going to play out – well, only He knows right now. We must not write the script. God does that, and it is a very good thing that He does.