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Witchcraft in Relationships

Mike Connell

1. Introduction
Acts 13:4-12 Paul’s encounter with a sorcerer in Cyprus.
The Sorcerer operated with the assistance of demonic powers.
He sought to turn away the governor from faith in Christ (v8)
People operating with witchcraft spirits seek to influence those with authority.
The impact of this occultic power is to turn people from faith in Christ and control them.

2. Witchcraft and The Occult
Occult = hidden, covered, secret = the spiritual power behind it is concealed.
Dt. 18:9-14 God expressly forbids His people to be involved in the occult.
Witchcraft = to manipulate, intimidate or control someone or something with the assistance of spiritual powers.
The power behind witchcraft is demonic and always steals, kills and destroys.
1 Kings 19:1-5 After successful ministry Elijah came under witchcraft attack “Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah saying …” (vs2).
(i) Distorted perspective – he focussed on problem and not on God (v3)
(ii) He became afraid – He felt fear, dread, sick- He drew back from his responsibility (v3)
(iii) Isolation - He separated himself from relationship – a mistake! (v3)
- Disconnection from relationship is a fruit of witchcraft operating.
(iv) Discouragement and Depression – “He sat down” (v4).
(v) Death Wish – “He desired to die” (v4). A sense of hopelessness
overwhelmed him.
God’s response was to touch him, refresh him, challenge him and reassign him.
When witchcraft operates in relationships – people can experience similar issues.

3. Witchcraft in Relationships
· When people are in relationship with one another they have influence on each other.
· Witchcraft = to manipulate another person to impose your will upon theirs. So they do what you want, rather than what they really want to.
· This manipulation of others to asset your will may be –
(i) Direct: shouts, threats, violence.
(ii) Indirect: subtle manipulation of emotions – guilt, blame, self pity, demand.
· The agenda may never be spoken but a “pressure” to agree and to please the person is “flet”.
· You might experience – guilt, dread, anxiety, grief.
· You can never be at rest to be yourself when witchcraft operates.
· Example of Peter and Jerusalem leaders
Gal. 3:11-14 “Now when Peter had come to Antioch I withstood him to his face”
Peter had personal revelation from God (Acts 10:9-16) to connect relationship with Gentiles.
When the Jewish leaders from Jerusalem came he changed his behaviour.
He was afraid of judgement and rejection by them – he felt pressure to conform.
Paul confronted the behaviour which he called hypocrisy – not authentic.
The spiritual pressure was so strong Barnabus was influenced also.
4. Witchcraft and The Flesh

(i) Witchcraft is also a Work of the Flesh
· Gal. 5:17-21 Witchcraft is connected to idolatry and hatred.
· Selfish agendas war against the low of the Holy Spirit and are contrary to Him.

(ii) Rebellion is as Witchcraft
· 1 Sam. 15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft.
· Rebellion = 4805 = to be bitter, to resist, to rebel.
· Underneath witchcraft are bitter roots and rebellion against God’s order.

(iii) Religion can be a form of Witchcraft
· Gal. 3:1 “Oh foolish Galatians – who has bewitched you?”
· Bewitched = 940 = to charm, put under a spiritual influence, bring evil on a person.
· The Galatians had come under the influence of religions legalism.
· Religion – activities to please God that have form but no power (1 Tim. 3:5).

(iv) How God has designed us
· Man is designed to be spirit, soul and body (1 Thess. 5:23)
· The spirit of a man energises his body and soul (Prov. 4:23)
· Spirit life flowing from within a person is first seen on the face. E.g. Ps 34:5. Gen. 4:5-7 – Cain.
· What is in a person’s heart overflows as a “spiritual presence” or atmosphere.
· Demons can manipulate people and fill that atmosphere (Eph. 4:26-27).
· Whatever a person focuses on he will open his heart to release. (Mt. 6:21).
· Examples of Spiritual presence ‘felt’? – body posture, voice tone, atmosphere.
*Anger *Peace *Uncleanness *Anxiety *Arrogance *Blame *Self Pity
· Unrestrained negative attitudes within a person overflow and influence people around them placing a “pressure” upon them.
· When witchcraft operates people “feel” – sick, dread, fear, anxiety, pressure, tense.

5 How to Deal with Witchcraft in Relationships
· It is a doorway to the demonic – you must confront it (Gal. 5:1).

(i) Identify the influence
· Reserve – something is ‘not right’.
· Loss personality, spontaneity, freedom.
· ‘Pressure’ to please, appease, yield.
· Fear, anxiety, dread.
· Desire to flee – avoid.
· Disconnecting relationally.
(ii) Pray strongly (Eph. 6:10-12)
· Energise spirit man – tongues
· Ask Holy Spirit to reveal what can’t see
· Hold back until see clearly (Acts 16:18)
(iii) Prepare self to respond
* What am I responsible for?
* What am I not responsible for?
* Do I need support?
(iv) Confront the Darkness (Eph. 5:11-13)
* Find suitable time/place
* Speak directly
* Say what feeling/sensing
* Bring issue out to open
* Explore possible solutions
* Establish clear boundaries what you will/will not accept.
* Stay Calm.