Months after that night of destiny in 1989 I trashed my occult and New Age books, but I still had a number of items that were very significant to membership in those occult brotherhoods. But very soon, troubles brewed up within my relationships. And they got worse, and worse. So I asked for prayer help and I gathered all the remaining things, such as ritualistic items and pictures. Right at the peak of my trouble I heard an almost audible voice instruct me,
“Burn what you’ve collected – NOW!”
Never, ever, would I have believed what was to happen next:
Out in the back yard I piled those membership items onto an area of gravel and, putting a match to them, I sincerely repented. Fanning the flames, I apologised deeply to God for all my past rebellious, sinful activity and specifically renounced all the evil connected with and arising from my occult associations.
As I asked God to forgive me, heavy invisible shackles suddenly dropped off my wrists!
I felt, and was, free, completely free – exactly as is jubilantly sung in Charles Wesley’s great hymn And Can It Be?
WOW, from despair to jubilation within a split second! What utter freedom! Praise Him!
That hymn’s lyrics present the simple yet sublime salvation found in our Father’s good news about Jesus.
How aptly the third verse describes my personal situation and what had just happened – my wonderful liberation from invisible bondage to satan.:
1. And can it be that I should gain
An int’rest in the Saviour’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain?
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! how can it be
That Thou, my God shouldst die for me?
2. He left His Father’s throne above,
So free, so infinite His grace!
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race!
‘Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For, O my God, it found out me.
3. Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night.
Thine eye diffused a quick’ning ray:
I woke the dungeon flamed with light!
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
4. No condemnation now I dread:
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine!
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th’ eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.
If you’re unfamiliar with Charles Wesley brother of the renowned evangelical founder of Methodism, John Wesley, you may like to read the brief note at the foot of this page of lyrics from Scripture and Music.
Listen to one of the greatest hymns as broadcast some years ago in Songs of Praise, thanks to Fabio Ramsay.:
I will rejoice in the Lord, I will exult in the victorious God of my salvation! (Hab 3:1)