That Moment When I Realized I Wasn't Actually Christian
Flabbergasted that I was literally an idolator, I turned hard towards the Lord – and then all hell broke loose. My "Gig is Up" moment arrived on cue.
This article is part of a series on the "Gig is Up" Moment when leaving the New Age to follow Jesus Christ. LEARN MORE ABOUT THE GIG IS UP MOMENT. A "gig is up" moment is a trigger event that destabilizes an occultist's worldview, making them question their previously held values, beliefs, attitudes, and/or practices.
Was I a Christian?
Here was my life in March of 2019. My husband and I sat in the front pew of our evangelical church every Sunday. We hosted a small group for prayer and Bible study in our home every other week. I attended a nine-month-long Bible study program that met weekly, and had daily Bible reading, plus daily written homework.
I was wholly devoted and committed to my walk with Jesus Christ. I believed in the Biblical Jesus, both fully human and fully divine, my savior and redeemer. I cherished the hope that my will would become conformed to the Holy Spirit’s will, so I could fulfill God’s purpose for my life.
Was I a Christian?
I thought I was. But what if I told you there was a punch card to the yoga studio in my wallet? That I read my horoscope if I came across it? That I had a pendulum sitting in my jewelry box? That A Course in Miracles stood on my bookshelf? How about the little sign I kept taped to my computer monitor at work: “As above, so below?"
I had come so far from being the woman who visited a Reiki “master," who read Law of Attraction content, who dabbled in automatic writing, who listened to channelers, who believed in reincarnation. That was in my past.
But the fact is, I was still standing in a grey area.
I had one foot on the path to Jesus, and maybe just one little pinkie toe in the occult. But the truth is, it is not possible to be on two paths at the same time, not even with just one little toe. Those paths go in two different directions.
Jesus said, “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to one and despise the other,” (Luke 16:13). Jesus was talking about wealth there, but either way, the principle holds. There is one Master. One Truth. You’re in, or you’re out (Matthew 12:30).
“No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to one and despise the other.” - (Luke 16:13)
A Mystery Illness Convinced Me I Was Cursed
In March 2019, I was really struggling. I had many blessings to count: my wonderful husband, a close-knit faith-filled small group, a lovely church home. But I was beset with chronic difficulties that were part of life patterns; notably, fractured relationships with my children and an impossibly stressful and consuming job.
On top of that, a debilitating illness came crashing into my life on the 15th of that month. I was in a team meeting at work, bored and staring at the carpet. All of a sudden, the small conference room became to me like a boat on a stormy sea. My entire environment seemed to be in motion. On top of that, my arms and legs felt weak and tingly, my ears were ringing, I was nauseated, my head ached. I was overwhelmed with fatigue. When I stood up to walk to my office, I had to touch the wall so I would not stumble.
I called my husband to ask him to take me to urgent care. The doctor there did some physical neurological and inner-ear testing that appeared normal but insisted I go to the emergency department. The emergency doctor seemed to think I was crazy, but made an appointment for me to see a physical therapist to be evaluated for vertigo. The following months were spent going from one specialist to another, blood draws, assorted tests, and MRIs. I could not drive. I could barely walk without holding onto something. My body felt like a heavy rag doll.
Before the illness, I struggled but my chin was above water. Once the illness came, I slipped under the waves. My sense of hope crashed. When that illness hit, I was convinced that I was cursed.
Teasing Out a Sneaky Occult Lie
I need to be careful when I talk about this, to tease it out carefully, because there is an occult counterfeit to a Biblical truth. The degree of suffering we experience is not a reflection of God loving us or not. Norman Vincent Peale and Joel Osteen and the Law of Attraction are all wrong: it is not our own positivity attracting positive circumstances into our lives. Nor our own negativity attracting adversity into our lives.
Peter was a saint, an apostle of Jesus. He was a flawed person, even denying Jesus just prior to His crucifixion. But once filled with the Holy Spirit, St. Peter converted Christians by the thousands, and people were healed even just by being in his shadow. St. Peter was martyred by being crucified upside down. Did God not love him? Was Peter not holy enough to live his best life now? No. In fact, Jesus gave the reason why Peter and the other martyrs suffered:
"If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you."
You can see here Jesus said the exact opposite of the occult Law of Attraction that “the Universe” brings you goodies when you have a high enough vibration. Even new agers teach that Jesus was as enlightened as you can get on planet earth, so by their own reasoning, He should not have been a poor and lowly Jewish carpenter who was tortured to death. (By their reasoning, the Buddha should not have died of food poisoning.) Law of Attraction is a lie. The truth is, when we serve God, we may suffer for it.
Law of Attraction is a lie. The truth is, when we serve God, we may suffer for it.
I Stood in the Way of His Blessing
But that was not why I was suffering. I also was not suffering due to God’s punishment, because God does not punish us. What God will do is this: He will remove His arm of protection. God is a Father.
Say the principal of a child’s school called the father to say the child spray-painted curse words onto the restroom walls. A responsible father would cooperate with the school to turn the unfortunate action into a learning lesson, by removing his fatherly arm of protection, allowing the child to suffer the natural consequences: bearing the shame for a time, feeling the father’s disappointment, and repairing the damage. If the father came to the school and instead, shouted at the principal that his precious child knows better and would never have done such a thing, and then immediately took his child out to buy him or her an upgraded smartphone, that father is leading the child onto an evil path.
God will not reward us for our sin. But there is someone who might. And that is Satan. Once we ask God into our life, we become His child and He will discipline us as a good parent would. And that is why someone’s Law of Attraction practice “working” might actually be a very bad sign.
What I heard in my heart at this time was, “You are standing in the way of My blessing.” Ouch. I believe it was the Holy Spirit. I responded in prayer to God, “Lord, show me how I stand in the way of Your blessing.” In my mind’s eye, I saw the new age books on my shelf. I had packed them up and moved them so many times. I got rid of so many books before, ones I did not believe I would ever read again.
But not my occult books. I remembered that old pendulum tucked away. I didn’t use it, but I never got rid of it either. I never renounced any of it. I never repented. I never asked for God’s forgiveness. And the relic occult beliefs still taking up real estate in my mind? That is where the real housecleaning needed to take place.
The Holy Spirit Revealed a Hard-to-Swallow Truth
It's funny, because so many times I engaged in these modern Christian thoughts we have, now that we do not believe in Moloch or Zeus. In Bible times, you knew if you were worshipping Baal or not. Now we ask ourselves more abstract questions. Do I rely on other things more than God? What does my checkbook say about my dedication to the Lord? Do I take good things and make them into essential things?
I really puzzled over these subtle questions in the past. But at this point, the raw truth came crashing into my brain:
I am an idolater.
I was flabbergasted that I had not seen it before. My bookshelf was the artfully arranged focal point of my living room. I rummaged through that jewelry box looking for a pair of earrings every morning. How many times had I pushed that pendulum aside, seeing it but not seeing it? Unread emails from the yoga studio cluttered my inbox. This is the nature of a demonic stronghold on the mind. Satan can hide in plain sight.
Hearing the truth from the Holy Spirit, I purged the books. The crystal necklace. The artwork. The pendulum. Anything I could think of. I fasted in repentance. I wept over my betrayal of Jesus. I pleaded for forgiveness.
I came upon a Derrick Prince video on YouTube about breaking ancestral curses. Because my participation in occult activities came through my family – I was at least third generation – I prayed through this video. Derrick Prince said curses are broken by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony (Revelation 12:11), so I wrote a testimony. I never thought I would tell my faith story, but a few months prior, my good friend gave a workshop on writing a Christian testimony, and I went to it just to show support to her. My notes came in handy (Holy Spirit, again!). I wrote my testimony and emailed it to everyone in my address book.
Then all hell broke loose. My gig-was-up moment arrived on cue.
I Leaned Hard into the Lord – and Satan Threw Some Punches
As in previous times when I turned hard to the Lord, Satan came out swinging. The next day, a demon walked into my kitchen, and we had a brief chat while I cooked dinner. I did not know it was a demon, I thought it was someone I knew. But that person was not really there.
I was in a double-minded state of confusion, feeling heavy and pressed down, as if my knees would buckle. Later, I felt the presence of what was a long-gone familiar spirit, but one that was an almost constant, creepy, oppressive presence throughout my childhood and teen years.
I was grateful for my strong Christian friend whom I knew I could talk to. She was the one who taught the testimony workshop. Jesus called her out of being a psychic medium. She told me to assemble and write out scriptures I could use in spiritual battle, like Jesus did when Satan came to tempt Him. She told me to keep them with me to read out loud if demons came around.
I needed those scriptures in the days that followed. My flesh was afraid, but I had confidence the Lord would protect me. My friend told me about a member of the worship team at our church who could help. In time, he came to our house and he, my husband, and I prayed, sang, and read scripture in every room and around the perimeter of our yard. He shared a blessing for my husband to say over me daily. Fortunately, the supernatural activity calmed down.
In times of my life when I have pulled closer to the Lord, the realm of demons met me with either attack, deception, or both. There is a saying (if it’s a quote I don’t know who said it): If you don’t meet the devil, you were probably going in the same direction.
Demons were a non-issue back when I was really deep into the new age. If they were there, they did nice things, like fill my apartment with the scent of lilacs while I was doing the violet flame meditation. Or bring success to my witch's spell for my romantic life (talk about a match made in hell). In March 2019, I thought I was 100 percent team Jesus. No demons.
But then I purged, renounced, repented, and testified. The demonic realm took note when I pulled my little pinkie toe out of the grey area. It was not just a formality. My occult involvement was minuscule at that point – but consequential in the spirit realm.
The demonic realm took note when I pulled my little pinkie toe out of the grey area. It was not just a formality. My occult involvement was minuscule at that point – but consequential in the spirit realm.
Pray Sincerely for God Will Not Hide Himself
I will not sit here today and tell you that if you read your horoscope, have a vision board, meditate, or enjoy occult-themed music and movies, that you do not love Jesus. I sure would not have said that about myself. But Satan can hold the most subtle deceptions over our minds.
We all have ways to push away the discomfort of cognitive dissonance (when we have strongly-held beliefs that contradict each other): avoid thinking about it; discredit it; rationalize it; get angry about it. But if you will pray sincerely about it, God will not hide Himself.
"I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked." - (Revelation 3:15-17)
I also will not say that – now that I am in the Kingdom of God – my health is perfect, my problems are resolved, and no demon has ever bothered me since. None of these things are part of God’s promises: “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart, I have overcome the world,” (John 16:33).
One of God’s true promises, that gives me hope in the face of adversity is, “God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose,” (Romans 8:28).
About the Author
Amanda Kennemore grew up in an occult family. She attended parish school from sixth through ninth grade, where she learned about Jesus. As an adult, Amanda became Episcopalian for 20 years but finally dropped the occult baggage as a congregant in an evangelical Calvinist church. Today, she and her husband are newly-minted Orthodox Christians. Amanda has three grown children and two grown step-children. She received a BA from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, and an MA from the College of Santa Fe, New Mexico. She has worked as a waitress, actress, paralegal, teacher, heartless bureaucrat, and middle manager.
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