You might wonder what subject I am talking about, as I did not mention any subject. But that is exactly what this chapter is all about. We all want to know what the Bible has to say about a specific subject, that we are always just trying to find a verse that either allows or disallows it.
I want to answer this question by using a number of examples. Let us look at hypnosis. Does the Bible give us any information about hypnosis, as the term hypnosis is not mentioned directly anywhere in the Bible? The only way we can look at this subject is to see if there is any reference to similar subjects. In the Bible we find two scriptures however that tells us why hypnosis should not be practiced or used by Christians.
The first comes from Proverbs 25 verse 28. This quotation is from the Amplified Bible. “He who has no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down and without walls.” This passage declares that if you do not have control over your spirit, the enemy can come and plunder at will, as you do not have any walls to keep the enemy out. This is exactly what happens during hypnosis. During hypnosis you lose control over your mind, and the person in charge of the session can implant anything he wants. A study done in the USA found that more and more psychologists are using hypnosis to implant reasons for trauma situations in their patient’s lives. This now gives the patient a reason why certain situations happened to them. This is the implanting of a lie and must be avoided at all costs.
We must realise that lies are not only implanted during hypnosis, but by believing in one self. The same study mentioned above, found that if people were asked to make up a fictional story about a traumatic event, 25% of these people will tell their story as true after time. So it is not only hypnosis that can implant a lie, but if we live in a dream life, we can implant lies ourselves. This is not what the LORD wants. Such a person has allowed that his spirit, his walls, were unattended.
The second scripture is from 1 Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” This passage not only declares what happens when we are drunk, but equates it to not being vigilant. When one submits oneself to someone else during hypnosis, you lose your vigilance. This is what Peter cautions us about. Under no circumstances should we lose our vigilance, as during this time the enemy has free access to me, without me knowing it.
What about depression? This is one of those difficult subjects that a lot has been written about, and where we will always find many opposing views. When a person suffers from depression, it is normally caused by circumstances in that person’s life. These circumstances normally require a person to digest and work through them, or they might require the person to make a decision. I can say that I have been intimately involved in a depression case, and at that time could not understand what the problem was.
In most cases depression to a normal thinking person would not look like a problem. However, to the person in the midst of it, it is a crisis. But what does the Bible declare? I cannot think of a specific reference to depression in the Bible, but I can think of a number of people in the Bible that at some stage in their lives, suffered from it. Think about Job. He had lost everything, wife, children, cattle and everything he had. Did he suffer from depression? For sure. How did his friend react? They tried to find the problem with Job. Was the problem with Job? Yes, but not what his friends tried to convince him of. Job had to admit that that which he feared most, had happened to him. His reaction to this problem caused his depression. What was the solution to the problem? He had to admit that the LORD knows best, and that he had to put his trust in the LORD only. Once Job accepted this and subjected himself to the LORD, everything changed. The Bible declares that he was actually better of then than before.
I can think of other people also, like Jonah that got angry because the LORD took away his shade and saved Nineveh. He could not accept the LORD’s answer. Elijah actually hid himself after killing all the Baal prophets. All these people of name entered into depression, as they could not believe the way of the LORD. Think of David who hid himself in a cave with all the so-called washouts. But David also gave us the solution. He started praising and worshipping God for who He is, and received his liberty. That is the way the LORD wants us to act. He doesn’t want us questioning His every move. No, we should act in faith. Israel also asked the LORD why things were happening, but the LORD’s answer through Isaiah was: “Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?” (Isaiah 29:16)
This actually brings me to the point I want to make. We all have questions about how we should react to events in our lives. What do we do? We look for a verse that will tell us what is happening and will clear it in our own minds. We all want an instant answer to our trials and questions. But that is not the answer. When the Father decided to send His Son to die for our sins, it wasn’t an instant cure. No, it took around 4000 years to happen. During that time He tried to teach the people to love Him for who He was and still is, before He sent His Son to die for us.
How many times have you tried to find a verse just to continue with life? Or maybe you just happened to have a verse handy for someone else who needed one. It might even have helped. How many church bulletins have I seen with lists of verses for every type of circumstance? These will help you to deal with every possible question you could get from people in need. This however, makes us verse-Christians and not disciples.
What is my point? It doesn’t help to be armed with the right verse for the right question. I have to grow in my relationship with the LORD to make me dependant on Him, and not on a verse in the Bible. I must know instinctively what is acceptable and what is not.
We have to look at nature at times and learn from it. Like a newborn animal that watches his mothers every move, what to do and what to eat, we have to look at Jesus to see what to do and what to eat. He should be our teacher. We must study His word in order to become like Him, to become a disciple. A disciple is someone who follows in the footsteps of his Master. That is how we should live. But first we have to receive Him in our lives, like Ezekiel says in chapter 36 verse 26: “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 36:26)
I have to receive Him in my heart. That will change me, and will allow me to become like Him. The LORD wants us to live in such a close relationship with Him that He doesn’t have to talk to us through our circumstances. No, He wants us to follow Him every day. Our problem is that we are not looking for Him, we only want answers to why things are happening, how to act, and to know what we can and cannot do.
If we look at Job again, we find that he argued with his friends, as he believed he was righteous and thus the punishment he received from the LORD was incorrect. His friends argued that he sinned and was now receiving his punishment from the LORD. Fortunately someone told them that they shouldn’t decide by themselves what was happening, but that they should seek the LORD and ask Him.
How did Job react when he asked to LORD? “I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:2-6)
Verse 4 hold the key for me. “Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.” Job says that he will ask the LORD, and that the LORD will instruct him. That is what the LORD wants. He wants us to ask Him, so that He can instruct us. It doesn’t help running to the pastor or reverend or psychologist with every problem in your life. No, I must ask the LORD, and He will instruct me. How does the one friend of Job put it? “But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding. Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judgment.” (Job 32:8-9)
Next time you have a problem in your life that you cannot find the answer to, ask the LORD. Search the scripture to find similar situations and learn from them. Find the answer yourself. The LORD wants us to ask Him, in order for Him to instruct us through His Holy Spirit.
Remember to build you viewpoint on the message of the Bible, and not on a single verse.