Mysticism Is Not Pagan

ezekialWe all have an image that immediately pops in our mind when we think of the word “Mystic.” We think of Dark Caves, men in long hooded robes chanting by candlelight; or maybe a baldheaded yogi sitting like a pretzel on the top of a snowy mountain. At the best, these images are a friendly well-meaning people who are nonetheless being deceived and misled by the occult; at the worst, these are pagans, communing with the demonic, seeking out ways to corrupt or manipulate the innocent around them. Does this therefore mean that all mysticism is pagan? Or could it be that our enemy has created the counterfeit in order to scare us away from an interactive relationship with our God?

A few years back when we began to keep Torah my wife and I gave up celebrating Christmas and Easter because of their obvious pagan origins. This has caused no small amount of tension with many of my loved ones but as most of you know our primary calling is to please and obey God.

I don’t mess around with paganism; I shun everything that has even a hint of idolatry to it.

Why then, do I feel completely comfortable practicing mysticism; something that has for so long been a primary practice of the occult?

What if I told you that every author of Scripture from Moses to Malachi, from Matthew to John were all mystics?

What if I told you that nearly every hero in the Scriptures can clearly be proven to be a Mystic? Would you believe me?

Would it place in your heart a new desire, not just for a one-way prayer where we bring our petitions or praises before God but where we are instead expecting a living relationship with God? A relationship where He speaks back to us and gives us direct insight for our lives?

I know that mysticism is scary and it doesn’t sit well with our modern lifestyles. It is something that we cannot control and do not fully understand.

We fear that it looks an awful lot like what pagans do and may even open up the doors to deception.

But we must trust that so long as we remain rooted in God’s Word and we follow His commandments and His ways that God Himself will keep us and guard us; He will protect us as we enter into the unknown.

It is my hope that as we go through some scriptural examples of Biblical mystics we will begin to feel confident that mysticism is not pagan but the result of relationship with our Heavenly Father.

Let’s begin with our Jesus, our savior:

John 5:19
Therefore, Yeshua said this to them: “Yes, indeed! I tell you that the Son cannot do anything on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; whatever the Father does, the Son does too.

John 3:13
No one has ascended into heaven, but
He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man.

As you can clearly see Jesus was not only receiving instruction from His Father but he was getting that instruction by ascending into heaven to meet with the Almighty.

We know that God spoke directly to Adam and Eve and walked with them in the garden. (Gen 3:8)

He warned Cain about murdering Abel. (Gen 4:7)

He warned Noah about the flood and gave him instructions to make the ark. (Gen 6:13-21)

He appeared Abraham, had a meal with him, and spoke with him about what was going to happen with Sodom and Gomorrah. (Gen 18)

He met Moses in the burning bush, on Mount Sinai, and on a regular basis in the tabernacle.

He woke up the prophet Samuel calling him out by name. (1Sam 3:4)

He made promises with both David and Solomon.

It would be incredibly easy to continue on with this list but I’m sure by now we are beginning to understand;

Mysticism is not pagan; it is the result of a relationship with our Heavenly Father.

We too can have this sort of relationship with our Heavenly Father.

Remember this is the sort of relationship that God must initiate.

The most we can do is put ourselves in a position to hear from Him.

And there’s no need to be scared He usually does not begin with anything too intense.

I know the Apostle Paul’s first recorded mystical experience knocked him off his horse and left him blind (Acts 9:3-4) but this was the exception not the rule.

We will go more in-depth on how to interact with God in future posts but here’s the core of it:

All we have to do is ask God to reveal himself, then sit and listen, put aside everything else that could distract us and wait for God to speak.

This is where we begin to enter into the type of relationship with God that the people we look up to in the holy Scriptures had.

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