Jesus leads merchandiser out of spiritual deception
H had been stuck in spiritual darkness for a few years, where she was led by her soulish imaginations and experienced ungodly emotional, physical, and mental torment. Through the Holy Spirit’s gentle leading, she began to identify and understand the lies she had fallen for as a result of her loneliness and self-isolation. Through reading the Bible and a time of prayer counselling, H experienced the Holy Spirit’s guidance towards the truth and freedom. Praise God!
I was born and raised in Hong Kong.
My mom is an immigrant from the mainland, tough and hard-working in character. Even though she did manual labor work to support the family, she seldom asked us to do the housework. She also didn’t spend much on herself. When I was in secondary school, my dad brought her a watch. She returned it to the seller and asked me to get one for myself.
My dad was born in Hong Kong but raised in China. He was a loyal bus-driver until his retirement. We all lived together in a 300+ft public housing unit along with my half-brother. (I only found out that my elder brother was actually my half-brother during a private conversation with my paternal grandma when I was 16 years old. This was concealed all that time.)
My dad did all the decoration for our flat himself and made the wooden furniture. We had no air-conditioning and never went for “yum-cha.” He would prepare a big loaf of bread to take to work, instead of eating out. Despite all these money-saving practices, he kept telling me that I lived in a well-off family. I was convinced of this until I saw the differences between my classmates and me in school. It got worse when I entered university, attending fashion shows, events, parties, band shows, and music festivals. I was embarrassed. Just having a summertime conversation about air-conditioning made me uncomfortable.
As they are both illiterate, their motto was simply “the more expensive, the better.” But somehow, I always felt that they got cheated.
During primary school, it was a norm for people we knew to build houses in their home village. My parents also did the same in my mom’s village. They were proud and excited when they told us about the design and how they were spending more money in order to get better quality materials and build a deeper and heavier foundation. After it was supposed to be finished, it turned out the house was empty, the ground floor was full of rats, and the raw concrete was stolen during construction. Eventually, they decided to tear the house down.
They also got cheated into paying for food that was not fresh, cookware from Chinese restaurant closures that were not user friendly, and faulty aluminum window installations in our balcony. Because of all this, along with my dad’s pattern of denial, I carried an extreme amount of hatred towards them. I felt my dad was weak and useless.
Instead of accepting where I came from, I chose to hide.
I needed others to feel that I was from a wealthy, stress-free, educated, and open-minded family. I think I did a good job and put myself in bondage to a lie. I could not deal with other people’s expectations of the real “me”.
My parents never responded to my cry for a better home, ready-made furniture, or buying a flat. I spent a lot of time dreaming about how to apply for a mortgage, winning lottery, etc. I wanted and needed a nice place. I was sad and tired of pretending, anxious that I would be caught one day.
I hated my home and my parents, especially my dad.
I hid my school life from them. Since the age of 8 or 10, I stayed out until late; at the youth center, my friend’s home, the public study room, in campus, in pubs, at parties etc. My anger resumed when I got home. My parents used to ask me, “How have we wronged you? Why are you so mad at us?”
Neither could my parents give me the guidance I needed. I signed my student handbook with my parents’ signature. I received my public exam results alone. I did school-searching alone. I often looked around me for some sign as confirmation, picking up pieces to determine my next step.
My motto became “do it afraid” as I did not see another option.
I did a lot of ear-piercing, hair-removal laser treatments. I seemed to ignore my real self and endured pain for a better version of me. I read horoscopes and believed in stones energy since secondary school. Later, I went for tarot card reading, fortune telling and even new age spiritual response therapy. I wanted to know my purpose.
Because I felt shame about my family, I could not be vulnerable to develop relationships.
Only once did I try to open up to a physical person, while I was in distress about not being able to cope with a new manager at work and his team. It was the first time I felt the care and support of the opposite gender. I started to put all my weight on this relationship, while still hiding the truth about my family. He suddenly proposed a breakup. I was shocked and in deep anger that I did not know how to express. I wanted to get a convincing answer from him.
Meanwhile, I got a new job offer and decided to move out. I finally had a decent place and was no longer afraid to show my friends where I live. I thought I was stepping into a better place, but subconsciously, this guy was lingering in my mind. I assumed and imagined that he was always behind the scenes, including helping me to rent a nice flat.
It was when I was bullied and lost this job that I turned to Christ.
I had been interested in inner healing and the spiritual realm. After I became a Christian, I looked into that too from a Christian perspective.
I joined a lot of online courses and searched for pastors and sermons that taught about the Holy Spirit. I liked worship and soaked myself in the presence of the LORD, opening my palms to receive the Holy Spirit. I was so moved by how God loves us. I could always relate to the Bible characters.
I learnt from some preachers that God might use us to invoke the spiritual realm to bring His Kingdom to earth.
So, I did prayer walks every day, asking God to do this or that, such as giving better compensation for street cleaners and turning minority groups to receive Christ. I even prayed against idol altars on the street or through the windows of people’s homes. I elevated myself to be like some evangelist hero.
I would follow my feelings to do postures or make purchases.
But everything was too emotional and sometimes contradicted God’s character.
My pride had blocked me from seeking the true God and repenting for my ignorance. As a result, I fell into a “spiritual scam.” Often when I prayed, a sensation came. I thought it was the presence of God.
Also, I was convinced that a colleague accepted Christ because he saw the spiritual movement around me. I assumed he was interested to know my story, but we were too shy to talk. We only communicated in spirit, not knowing I was committing witchcraft. One morning, I heard “his voice” in my head asking if I would marry him. I agreed. Since then, I often followed “his voice.” This voice planned my everyday life choices; where to go, what to buy, what to eat etc.
After doing this for three to four years, my spiritual battle became intense and very tangible. My soul was easily tied to other people. I could not focus. There was a lot of inner voices and I saw illusions. Every time I read the Bible, my mind would start gossiping. I had serious headaches and became more and more sensitive around people. I avoided public transport and would take taxis to avoid crowds. It limited my mobility and social life.
There were voices harassing me, claiming ownership of my body. They were telling me how I signed up to them by what I had done each day.
I was dealing with these symptoms for almost two years before I went for a renewal prayer session. I was slowly awakening and wanting to have spiritual discipline. I began reading the Bible, and read about the immoral women in Proverbs 5 and 7 as well as the women named folly in Proverbs 9. God showed me Psalm 101, 119 and Joshua 1:8 before this renewal prayer – and the importance of God’s Word.
My prayer counselor arranged for my baptism on the day of my renewal prayer before we started praying. It was my second baptism. The first time was at church and I now consider it as a ritual and public declaration of my faith.
This time, I understood that when I was immersed in the water, my sin was crucified with Christ. I would be raised as God raised Jesus from the dead.
After coming out of the water during my second baptism, I saw a vision of my sin nailed on the cross. It was my confirmation.
During the renewal prayer, we started with a short discussion about spiritual gifts. I seem to have the gift of imagination, empathy, and prophecy. If God has given me strong prophetic gifts, I should be very humble before Him. I might wrongly use my gifts to hurt people or myself, for my benefit instead of God’s glory. My eternal God is preparing me for His purpose, but my eyes should be on Him instead of drilling down about myself. Perseverance to keep following God is key during this period of waiting.
As we continued, I repented for occult practices, cut ties with people and places I went for such practices, and forgave those who brought me there and performed the occult for me.
Later at home, I also repented for wrongly using my imagination.
Soon after accepting that my break-up was clear-cut and complete, I could identify how my mind had rationalised random events to make up stories. I became more able to defend myself against spiritual scams and demonic voices.
Next, my prayer counselor led me to ask the Holy Spirit which tarot card was picked for me. I saw a clown formed by dusty blue gas. Searching on the internet, we found that it is the “fool” card. In that session, I renounced curses that the tarot card reader had spoken over me through this card and cut ties with him. Later at home, I received a vision of the clown leaping down the staircase of the building where I had gotten a tattoo. I was reminded of a clown figure I had shown off on my work desk, which was a gift from a friend with good materialistic taste. I brought a clown head capped pencil during my business trip. Subconsciously, I had been drawn to clowns.
I think God was also pointing me to the character of the women of folly described in Proverbs 9 – being superficial and quick to speak. I repented for my spiritual pride and sent a message to apologise to two sisters-in-Christ regarding things that I had told that could be misleading.
I had over-spiritualised everything and gave everything a spiritual meaning, which enticed me to live in fear.
I need to be more aware of and understand what I am doing. My focus is not on the impact of the spiritual realm, but to live righteously in the physical world.
During renewal prayer, I was led by the Holy Spirit to repent for turning to my soul whenever I had a problem. I repented for using my own strength and relying on myself. Later at home, I renounced the list of inner vows my prayer counselors had jotted down for me during our conversations.
I attempted to commit suicide twice and asked God several times to end my life when I could see no way out. I repented for my bitter expectation of God and for reducing Him into a human being.
I liked listening to Canto and Taiwanese pop songs.
I devoted myself to the sad lyrics from famous songwriters, some of whom are strongly influenced by Buddhist teachings. I unknowingly yoked myself to tragedy and their theologies such as Buddhism “Karma”, Confucianism etc. I cut ties with those lyrics or feelings, and also renounced the theologies.
At the renewal prayer, we also talked about my parents. I had not observed any issues in their marriage, except for one memory of my mom asking me whether it was okay if we stayed under the bridge that night. It was after her fight with my dad and she was afraid he would kill her. I was very small, just about three years old, and that made me very stressed. I did not know what to do and it made me feel very bad. I learnt I needed to forgive her and show myself grace.
I also learnt about the negativity during my mom’s pregnancy.
Inspired by the Holy Spirit, my prayer counselor felt my mom did not want to marry my dad. Also, she saw a hand on my mother’s womb speaking negative words over me. We wondered if it was someone related to the mother of my half-brother. In Jesus’ name, I renounced whatever the person might have spoken over me and forgave them for any unintentional cursing. At the end of the prayer section, I asked the Holy Spirit to show me what I had learnt from my mother’s womb. I saw the shadow of an angry woman pointing a finger, blaming someone.
When the time was running out, I asked the Holy Spirit to help me recall my feeling towards my mom. It was hard. We seldom had conversations or deep talks together.
Somehow, I was able to tell her about the loneliness I felt as a result of not seeing her at home and released some of those emotions, with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Later that night, after sending a thank you message to my prayer counsellor, a flood of accusations rushed into my mind. It was telling me how evil my prayer counselors were and how they only wanted to get rid of me. A special day dedicated to my renewal prayer turned into a tactic to stop me from disturbing their lives again.
Earlier that day, my prayer counsellors had said that their efforts were because of God’s love for me and I held on to that. So, I texted my prayer counsellor for help and she taught me to practise saying, “In Jesus’ name, shut up!” to those voices. It works!
It was the first time I could clearly identify the evil demonic voices along with my thoughts.
Somehow the pattern was quite similar to my mom’s character – working hard to feel worthy and feeling guilty for not being worthy. I realised I had inherited some of her qualities.
To keep a clear conscience, she would outdo people with money or effort. Last year, I gave my mom $5,000 before Chinese New Year and she gave me a red packet of $6,000 back. I could see both sides to her – her cheerful heart but also her broken heart. I started to be aware of my mother’s true feelings and how she suffered. I also repented of hating my parents and felt relieved of a huge amount of toxicity.
Until now, God is still revealing issues in my life and giving me the hints to understand the roots.
I had read the book, Boundaries, by Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend, and was reminded of the terms it uses to describe people like my mom and a verbally abusive colleague of mine – the Controller (someone who can’t hear “No”). On the other hand, I am the Compliant (someone who can’t say “No”).
I finally understood why my prayer counselor asked me several times to forgive myself. After I could name the issue, I was able to forgive myself. It was not because I had done wrong, but because I had character flaws and was hurt by their flaws.
During renewal prayer, I also forgave some ladies from work. Immediately, God let me “see” His invisible presence between the bully and me in the office, with a thought that she could have better pursuits in life than this. I found myself having a good cry – I felt Jesus’ heart for her. It is where God’s living water flowed through me.
It made me wonder what He would lead me to accomplish if I was not blocked by my own sin.
Praise God for His kindness and mercy. I am grateful my prayer counsellor reminded me that the debt for my sins has been paid by Jesus and nailed to the cross. They are all wiped off. I can now have my new life in Christ.
Philippians 4:8 (NLT) And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
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