The Ghanaian Sylvester Ofori who fatally shot his wife in Orlando, Florida recently is said to be a pastor who was lured into occultism and also had tried everything to lure his wife into same but the woman refused and left the house. The report had it that Sylvester visited a supposed powerful ‘man of God’ who initiated him into the occult. Hear his sister-in-law, “Sylvester had denounced God after he visited Nzema and was given a book to read. He then gave the book to my sister to read and after reading; she was also showing signs of denouncing God to follow the husband but she [Barbara] later recovered through prayers. My sister later discovered her husband had joined an occult group and filed for divorce,” My God! Please, mind what you read and listen to. Mind what you watch. Mind the friends you keep. And also mind the places you visit. This couple visited and read just a ‘book’ and immediate lost spiritual control and their whole world crumbled. Satanic power and influence are very real! Well, our interest here is in the way people are enticed, seduced into ungodly things and practices that will latter enslave or destroy them. Now, people don’t just wake up and jump into crime or ungodliness. No! There is always that gradual introduction and systematic drawing in. Most people that are lured into occultism, stealing, prostitution, corruption, adultery, gambling, smoking, drunkenness, kidnapping, rebellion, and homosexuality, etc, did not plan to get into it but were lured in through wrong contacts, wrong associations, wrong thoughts, ambitions, desires and carelessness.
Look at the story of this Sylvester again. Did you notice the progression? First he had these friends, and then he visited that fake but powerful ‘man of God’ in Nzema. He went back again. He saw the power, manifestation, miracles, incantations, etc, loved them and continued visiting. Then he was given a ‘book’ that he read and denounced God. And he tried to lure his wife, but she escaped and he later killed her. Yes. This is typical of Satan. He is a master seducer. He will draw you in gradually, systematically and diabolically from the known to the unknown, from the simple to the complex and from the surface to the deep until he entangles and finally destroys you. He will lure you with simple, ‘harmless’, sweet suggestions, nice things, gifts and words until he traps you – you get to the point of no return. After all we are told that he comes like the angel of light to steal, to kill and to destroy. He is a master of the game. That was why he was able to lure away millions of angels into joining him to rebel against God in heaven. We must always resist the allurement of evil and ungodliness from the beginning. You don’t need to wait until the damage is done or it gets late before struggling to free yourself. Run, run, and run away immediately if you sense any enticement or suggestion to do what is wrong. Luring simply means enticing, drawing in or tempting.
This tactics of luring people into evil and disobedience is not new. It has been there from the very beginning. You remember that the first man and woman were lured into disobeying the creator by the Devil in the Garden of Eden. The Devil cunningly ambushed the woman and began to ask her questions. Listen to him, “Did God say that you should not eat from everything tree of the garden? Just look at this beautiful one. Just a bite of it and your eye will open and you will become as wise like God. Why don’t you try it?” The chief tempter! He came like an innocent inquirer, but he already knew the truth. He just wanted the opportunity to engage and deceive the poor woman and unfortunately he succeeded. Listen, we are told not give the enemy that opportunity at all. Don’t welcome him. Don’t entertain him. Don’t listen to him. Don’t give him the chance. And don’t converse with him at all. If you do, he sure knows how best to convince and lure you to do his bidding. He is older than you. He is a master at it – a grand master of tactics and deception. By engaging him, Eve made the costliest mistake in history and carelessness brought the fall of man and all the pain, suffering and death that came with it. What is the Devil currently tempting you with? Resist him. Bind and cast him out now.
Falling into disobedience, occultism, sin, etc, starts from entertaining those little ‘harmless’ thoughts and suggestions from the enemy and even from supposed friends. Some of them may come as advices or help. But you must ask God to give you the ability to discern and know when the enemy’s ultimate aim is to lure you away or entice you into ungodliness and disobedience. Once something is not in total agreement with the word of God or is not very clear to you don’t get involved. Look at our pastor here. It was a little friendship, some visits, little reading of a ‘book’ and some interest in the supernatural manifestation that lured him into full occultism, denouncing God, initiating others and now committing murder. He carelessly, foolishly fell into the trap of the enemy. Somebody that was once serving the Most High God? A man that has seen his goodness and manifestations ended up worshiping Satan, denouncing his creator and murdering his own wife? My God! Listen now, resist the Devil immediately you sense his subtle suggestions and motives and he will flee. Like this man, most people that are into occultism and worship of Satan today were gradually, systematically lured in to it by their friends, associates, partners, relations, and even by their spouses. Today, so many people secretly worship Satan and demons just for money, fame and power. Be careful! Don’t befriend the ungodly, don’t retain ungodly thoughts and suggestions and don’t compromise God’s words and instructions.
David was lured into disobedience. He was enticed into immorality and murder by his own carelessness and carnality and he paid for it. He lost his relationship with God, lost his throne, endured disgrace and humiliation of the highest degree, and suffered rebellion from within and without. He went through very excruciating pain, sufferings and betrayals that always almost took his life. He was like a living dead man. All these came upon this greatly favoured, powerful and blessed king because he slipped into adultery with Beersheba and to cover his tracks killed her husband. And how did he fall into such a mess? When other kings were busy with their assignments; going to wars, etc, David stayed back in the palace, idling away, loitering around and suddenly sighted the beautiful woman. He sent for her. Slept with and impregnated her and to cover it up, killed her husband. Again look at the progression: gradual slipping away – Idling, loitering, sighting, sleeping and killing. One mistake, sin will always beget another. You already know the troubles David went through for years and how God later restored him, though with regrets all over him, his family and Israel. Are you being lured away now?
The same with Samson the great; the strongest man ever lived. He was also careless with his assignment and conduct and a woman lured him into the hands of the enemy and that became the beginning of his painful and abrupt end. He was shaven, humiliated beaten, blinded and used as grinder and entertainer to enemy. His mission and destiny were injured. Yes, you will go through all these if you allow yourself to be lured away. You lose your anointing, your glory, your spiritual sight, peace, your prosperity and wellbeing. Unfortunately, today, many Samsons are also sleeping on the laps of Delilah. As I write they are being drawn in to the path of disgrace, demotion and destruction. And sadly, they are also about to end like Samson if they don’t jump out now and flee. Are you one of them? Why are you where you are now? What are you doing there? Be warned! Now, the enemy cannot get or destroy you unless he first succeeds in removing you from God’s presence, protection and relationship. That is why he will always first entice you to sin so that God will become angry and leave you. Yes, there is always a powerful, impregnable hedge that protects every Christians. And it is only sin that can remove it and leave us susceptible to the attacks and arrows of the enemies. You remember when Barak hired Balaam to curse Israel? It didn’t work until the Israelites began to live in immorality and idolatry, then the plague came. It was Balaam that taught Barak and the Moabites to lure the impregnable Israelites with women and the worship of idols and it instantly paid off. God became very angry with them. The divine hedge was removed and they fell. Yes, expect the serpent to bite you if you break the hedge. What are you being enticed with now? Resist it. Flee. Don’t get lured away! Till next week.
Gabriel is the author of the books / audiobooks Power of Midnight Prayer, Never Again!, Uncommon Success, Move Forward and many others