If you have met my husband and I, you probably know that we are drawn to good food. We love to explore cozy, ambient restaurants that serve well-prepared farm-to-table food. Recently, we stumbled across one such establishment that exudes the charm and warmth you’d imagine inside of a farmhouse kitchen. Envisioning the local seasonal ingredients featured on the menu tantalized our minds, and knowing that 10% of what we paid for our food would benefit three different non-profit organizations wasn’t bad either. Local art, cookbooks, and artisan breads lined the oak-finished tables scattered across the creaky hardwood floors of the dining area. But not until my husband began to ask me a couple of questions did I began to doubt the virtue of this place.
We had quickly scanned glowing reviews online that the food was great. The owner is a successful food entrepreneur with great recipes. The restaurant was sweetly (though only partially) named after her younger son, which melted my heart. Then Keith casually asked, “Do you have a weird feeling here?”
Nonchalantly, I responded “no,” and inquired why he thought so.
He went on to suggest, “Well, the (complete) name of the restaurant is kinda dark, don’t you think?” In addition to her son’s name, the restaurant’s name also referred to something supernatural.
While continuing to eat my wheat berry salad, I simply said, “Well, the first part of the name comes from her son, who has a Biblical name. There is Biblical looking artwork related to his name, and it seems like she could be a Christian. Maybe the second part refers to name of a book her son read when he was a child. It’s probably more nostalgic than anything.”
After pondering that thought a little longer, I added, “You know, I don’t think that was very wise for her to call this place that name.” At that point, I began to notice Buddhist and Hindu statues displayed prominently on a fireplace mantle, and knew she likely was not a believer. Totally her choice – I’m not about to judge or criticize her for that.
Her choices, I want to emphasize, are not the point of this story. God, in His love and wisdom, created us (in His image) with the free will to choose to worship Him or other idols (or nothing). We are not robots forced to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. All people will answer to God, so our decisions are between each individual and God. Of course, we always will ultimately face the consequences of our decision. I absolutely believe that she has the full right to name her restaurant whatever she wants to, just as anyone can.
However, what really challenged me was what happened next. After finishing my amazing cup of coffee and walking to the bathroom, I noticed a sign directly in the middle of the restaurant pointing to a specific area designated for occult practices. The place really existed; it wasn’t a children’s fairytale or merely part of the restaurant’s name. There it was, directly in front of me.
And then I noticed the signs, the three plaques that hung on the wall… One advertised an astrologist on staff that can give you an entire life plan. Next there was a psychic who could stir up past lives, conduct inner child healing, and speak into your future. Finally, there was another woman that went by the title of “Reverend” and served as a mystical counselor. Before walking away from that wall, there is an offer to take a bronze Hindu god home to accompany you for “tarot and tea.” All within my reach, or within the reach of anyone innocently checking out this restaurant. There are families in here mind you, and small children.
Disgusted, I realized that we had been dining underneath the same roof as sorcerers. This was like stepping into Babylon. Except we were inside a beautiful farm-style home tucked inside of a trendy neighborhood. The radically uncommon, camouflaged by what appeared common (a cafe/bakery). This seems like a great place to eat (complete with organic affair in a calm environment), except that it could lead the unprepared down a path of death and destruction.
“Do not turn to idols or make for yourselves any gods of cast metal: I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 19:4
“Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 19:31
“There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord. And because of these abominations the Lord your God is driving them out before you. You shall be blameless before the Lord your God.” Deuteronomy 18:10-13
How did this go undetected? I felt incredibly deceived because I didn’t have a choice. Nothing on the outside (or in our quick scan of reviews) readily alerted me that I was walking into this type of venue, or I would have exercised my freedom and eaten elsewhere. Immediately, I thought of the adulterous women in Proverbs, who yells out on the street corners luring people in with good wine. Now in modern times, her actions are analogous to luring people in with the good food and our culture’s lackadaisical approach to spiritualism. Yet many mothers, even those eager to feed their children, would never enter the inside of a home where physic readings and astrology are clearly advertised.
“My son, pay attention to my wisdom,turn your ear to my words of insight,that you may maintain discretion and your lips may preserve knowledge.For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey,and her speech is smoother than oil;but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword.Her feet go down to death;her steps lead straight to the grave.She gives no thought to the way of life;her paths wander aimlessly, but she does not know it.” Proverbs 5:1-6
One time, out of obedience to God, I visited a psychic after the Lord told me to go and gently petition with her through Scripture that fortune telling is not of Him. That He loved her and was longing for her to know Him. She angrily asked me to leave and slammed the door. But I would never voluntarily choose to enjoy an afternoon lunch underneath the roof of demonic activity (unless the Lord specifically told me to go again).
This is the unfortunate, harsh truth. The work of the enemy is real, and it can’t be covered up with nice tables, fresh coffee, and dainty paintings. My prayer is that you, beloved, will know that these forms of spiritualism directly contradict God’s truth. No matter how cool we may think they look, having foreign gods in our homes while professing Jesus Christ as Lord is not okay because they directly conflict with the Holy of holies. As His child, you never need a psychic to read your palm; you have the living God who knows all things and delights in sharing the details of your life. You don’t need any items or people (that God created in the first place) to tell you what He (as the Creator) wants for you (as His creation). This includes the stars, the moon, a psychic, or a metal figurine that can’t even speak and requires daily offerings of fruit and candles. We serve the Creator of all, and anything besides Him is nothing. No one can save us like Jesus Christ.
“You shall have no other gods before me. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.” Exodus 20:3-6
I’m angry at the enemy for the daily deception that he’s serving up to hearts that really need some answers, just miles away from my home. And I’m praying for this establishment and the hearts that serve there. For a spirit of truth and freedom to reside within those walls and convict their hearts. If the Lord ever leads me to minister and love on hearts there, I’ll show up, and you may read about it here. May He alone receive the glory.
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” Matthew 7:15
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.” 1 John 4:1-3
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