The question “can we know the future?” has captivated the human imagination for centuries. Today, social media platforms exploit this fascination, drawing young people towards witchcraft and divination practices.
Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
How would you like to know the future? That question has been tempting humans since the beginning of time. And now, social media has taken that desire for knowledge and used it to lure young people straight into witchcraft.
Divination: Can We Know the Future?
Divination is the practice of seeking knowledge of the future, or the unknown, by supernatural means, and is contained under the larger umbrella of witchcraft. A reader recently shared that she has found herself “addicted to watching Tarot card readers” online. Divination comes in many forms; astrology, Tarot readers, and psychics, just to name a few. But they all claim to do the same thing – give you information about your future.
God’s view of divination is quite different. Many of the nations that surrounded Israel in the Old Testament practiced divination and God repeatedly warned the Israelites to not do the same thing. “…for these nations, which you are about to dispossess, listen to fortune-tellers and to diviners. But as for you, the Lord your God has not allowed you to do this.” (Deut. 18:14)
Notice God didn’t say that it wasn’t real. But He has repeatedly told His people it was something they were not to participate with. We can even go back to the tree in the Garden of Eden (Gen 3: 4-6). The one tree God told them to stay away from was “the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” Satan tempted Eve by telling her the knowledge gained from that particular tree would make her “like God.” Satan still tempts people in the same way–by offering knowledge–apart from God.
Divination Practices Are All Around Us: The Quest to Know the Future
At my local Barnes & Noble, in a wide-open inviting area right off the main aisle entitled “Self-Transformation.” But don’t be fooled. It’s the witchcraft section. The prominent labels of this section include: Chakras/Crystals, Astrology, Divination, Dreams, Books about Tarot, Tarot Cards, Paranormal, AfterLife and Paganism (Witchcraft).
Every time I go, I see young people sitting on the floor in this section, thumbing through these books. They don’t even have to buy them to go looking inside for morsels of information that will send them down a dangerous path.
When you start looking at social media, and what is available to view, it’s even worse. TikTok, which is arguably the most used platform among young people today with more than 8.5 million Australian users, has live tarot card readers, psychics and spells – all available to watch at all hours of the day. Users search with hashtags and the number of searches gives you a clue as to how popular certain words or phrases are. The #witch hashtag boasted 23.4B and #tarot 49.1B. That’s “billion.” It’s a staggering number. Especially when you compare with #prayer which was only 8.3B.
We’ve moved well beyond the days of the horoscopes in the newspaper. Now you can scroll social media and find hundreds of people to follow that will offer daily horoscopes or tell you about how the moon and stars will affect your day. They present these readings as if the moon, stars, and when you were born dictate what happens in your world, which as believers, we know is false.
But truly, when you look at the social media numbers, Tarot is a far bigger concern.
There are countless tarot readers online who read cards live and then those videos are made available on their feeds. Young people can also learn to read them for themselves simply by watching and listening and they can easily buy Tarot cards at local bookstores. This often gives teens the impression that it’s just a fun activity, but some teens may take the information far more seriously or begin to depend on it.
The search for psychics on social media was lower than Tarot, but it still clocks in at 6.8B. You don’t have to be brave enough to wander into that strange parlor downtown anymore. Now, a simple curiosity in the subject can lead teens to quickly and easily view psychics in action. And they just might hear things that make it all seem very real.
Curiosity Can Lead in Dangerous Directions
While there is a very clear desperation for wisdom and understanding present in our culture today, there are also many who might be lured in by simple curiosity.
When we pause and watch a video, or like a post, the social media algorithms quickly offer up more of the same types of content. Curiosity could cause a young person to be inundated with witchcraft in all those forms of divination.
We have a very natural, and human, longing for direction, wisdom and clarity. It’s important for young people to understand that there is nothing wrong with feeling that way. The issue at hand is this: where do you go to seek answers for those honest questions?
Learning to Seek God
God does want to give us wisdom, direction and clarity and promises us in His word that “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” (James 1:5 NIV)
Growing in wisdom and understanding is a life-long pursuit and one that the Lord intends for us to pursue in and through our relationship with Him. All of those forms of divination above are like shortcuts, but they are shortcuts designed by the enemy to derail us and our relationship with God. We can never trust what “the father of lies” offers us (John 8:44).
God brings wisdom to us through many means; reading His Word, fellowship with other believers, worship, and prayer. And the Lord often will give us wisdom and understanding in pieces. Perhaps you keep running across a single Bible verse, and then someone in your home group shares a relevant story, and then, that worship song at church on Sunday mentions the very same thing! God draws us closer and closer to Him with beautiful pieces that only He can put together for us as we pursue Him.
Why doesn’t God tell us the future?
Humans have a tendency to run off and do things on our own.
Think about it. If God told you that you’ll live by the ocean and work at a snow cone shop, it would be pretty straightforward to go do that all on your own. But maybe you were to do that at sixty and you’re twenty. God knows the beginning from the end. He knows the precise timing of everything and most importantly, He is the only one who knows what’s best for us. The Lord leads us step by step out of His gracious kindness towards us.
Encouraging our kids to prioritise their relationship with God, and making clear and definite room to really hear Him, is vital. While our children were growing up, my husband and I declared one summer that Sundays would be tech-free. The kids weren’t thrilled but they adapted – they always do! But making space to really be quiet and undistracted is a good practice for us all!
We don’t need to know the future – we need to know Him.
The more we get to know Him, the more we can avoid those temptations to go after insider knowledge – especially knowledge that can lead us into enemy territory.
God does give us glimpses of the future.
He created us in unique and beautiful ways and we can get glimpses of what God has in store for us simply by seeing how He shaped us! For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. (Rom. 11:29 ) and they are inside of us and our kids. Explore as a family the different make-ups and giftings in each of you. (And it’s never too early – or too late – to do this!)
How can you take the strengths and giftings you see and further develop them?
How can you take something that might be a weakness and strengthen it?
God doesn’t waste anything.
Make a practice of looking at how every experience we go through can be beneficial to us. Maybe your child tried a soccer team and it just wasn’t for them. But maybe they did learn how to run faster or maybe they grew in confidence even though it wasn’t for them. God can take anything we do and use it for our good (Rom. 8:28) and our future!
The Bible gives us so many precious assurances. Create a promise wall in your home and add Scriptures to it of meaningful promises to your family members. Then visit it often and allow it to become a prayer wall.
We don’t know what the future looks like, but we know who holds the future.
© 2023 Sarah Anne Sumpolec. Used with permission. Originally published at focusonthefamily.com.