Walk by the Spirit, Not by Sight

As I approached the mailboxes yesterday afternoon, there was Margarita*, one of my neighbors, opening up her ConEdison bill as I reached for my mail. Although Spanish speaking, she needed no words to express her angst as she tipped the paper toward me so I could read, FINAL DISCONNECT NOTICE. It seemed clear that she hadn’t paid her bill for at least a year. In our heat-included small apartments, gas and electric bills are fairly small. Margarita works, how could she let this happen?

I immediately sensed something was wrong, other than this big debt. Her countenance and affect seemed disoriented and she stumbled over simple questions I asked. So I urged her, “Call them, Margarita, you have to pay something soon, even $50, to prevent this turn off!”. Is she depressed? Having mental health issues? Admittedly we don’t know her that well.

Something was churning within me. Although Bob and I are quick to help neighbors in need, I felt a strong restraint here. My emotional response, moreover Christian response, is to help. But I know our emotions are fleshly and it is the Spirit that applies the scriptural call in every situation. Although we have on occasion helped Margarita, here, I was disturbed and restrained.

We walked up the stairway in silence. She probably expected some financial help and part of me questioned, “what kind of neighbor am I? She’ll be in the dark within a month!” Some people describe a ‘check in their spirit’, but I had a grip in my spirit and had to submit. I prayed and explained the whole situation to Bob, knowing that leadership comes from the husband. He did not sense the Lord’s leading to give. “There’s something wrong here Bob, I can’t pinpoint it but it’s bigger than the ConEdison bill.” I prayed about it and tabled the subject to the next morning.

I was still unsettled in the morning but after praying, I headed down to her apartment. At least I could call ConEd, perhaps make a minimal payment, or clarify her options. I knocked on her door. Then knocked again. Finally I heard a shuffling and she opened the door just a crack, then a bit wider where I could see in full view an altar of witchcraft. The depths of Santeria, beckoning demons with incantations and ritual, contaminate the soul and almost always bring about a mimicry of mental illness.

Margarita now acted paranoid. She gave me the bill, keeping the door cracked, and I said I’d call and try to help. After calling and clarifying I returned with the conclusion: Margarita herself, or her grown son, must call to discuss even a minimal payment, she has until January to do this.

The churning in my heart was relieved, realizing that the Lord was restraining me. Jesus did not always heal everyone, did not always feed everyone, neither did He meet every need but did only His Father’s will. It is not always God’s will to intervene in every way, especially if recipients give the thanks and praise upon a table of witchcraft. I have seen enough Santeria and Espiritismo to know how powerfully it corrupts a person inwardly and outwardly, always bearing ugly fruits.

Perhaps the Lord will lead us to speak the truth to Margarita, but only He can draw our hearts and prepare hers to hear the word. We will continue to pray for her. Will her lights go out? Will she lose her mind? Only God knows but for sure, if she calls upon Him with a repentant and contrite heart, He will come in with true light and deliver her from evil.

21 thoughts on “Walk by the Spirit, Not by Sight

  1. Way to be in tune with the Holy Spirit, sister! That stuff truly freaks my soul and I praise God everyday that I am a child of His and not this world. Christians either overly elevate the spirit realm or ignore it completely. I am so thankful that greater is He who is in us than who is in the world. Love and blessings!!!!

  2. Oh Lisa
    What a situation you faced, but all I kept thinking was you reap what you sow. The woman was worshipping idols and that in Gods eye is a sin.
    You had great intentions but praise God he showed you the truth.
    The only gift you can give her now is prayer to break the shackles of Satan.

  3. Very well said ,you certainly have a big heart but for discernment the Lord spoke to you so you can only pray for her and leave the rest of the matters to the master of all.Thanks a lot for sharing it.God bless you dear sister.Take care.🙏💐

  4. Lisa Beth, this post is important, because many Christians (like me) get guilted into trying to help everyone, everywhere, or we feel guilty if we don’t. The enemy can really manipulate us if we aren’t in constant communion with God. Good for you for being sensitive to His Spirit.

    • Thank you Ann for your comments, I so agree. But its good to remember that, if anyone had sent care packages to the Prodigal Son, God’s purposes would be thwarted. When God chastised, He ‘takes away’.
      Its good to hear from you sister, I always look forward to your posts. ⚘

  5. I’ve had those “checks” and “grips” but not in the matter of giving. Although initially I didn’t understand why, after awhile the reason for them became very apparent. The Lord is so faithful in giving us wisdom and protection. Interesting post Lisa Beth. Thank you for sharing.

    • I agree Cathy, usually i find that the Lord is challenging our love and generosity. But, like with the Prodigal Son, God uses need and crisis to chastise us, humble us, and lead us to His throne.
      I don’t believe we should indiscriminately meet peoples needs – we’re stewards of whatever we have and the Owner has all prerogative.
      Thank you Cathy for your encouraging comments, always good to hear from you. ⚘

  6. The Lord saw fit to reveal to you what you might otherwise have never known or suspected; no doubt He did so for a purpose. Perhaps He was calling you to engage (and engage others) in spiritual warfare on this woman’s behalf. The Lord can claim whomever He wills for His kingdom and His glory and none (not even the enemy of our souls) can stay His hand. Where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more, to His glory. God bless you, Lisa Beth. I, too, will pray for this woman’s soul to be snatched from the very gates of hell. God often delights to do what would otherwise be impossible.

  7. Margarita is so obviously in spiritual turmoil. I believe God is allowing these challenges to happen to her, to bring her out of Santeria to see how futile it is. Very powerful story sister. Spiritual Warfare is always there

    • I agree brother, the Lord revealed this and it’s more important than her electric bill. We’ve prayed for her, as well as our other neighbors, for a few years now and will continue.
      Thank you Joseph for sharing your insights and encouragement. I hope all is well with you!

  8. Thanks for sharing, Lisa Beth. This is an amazing example of how the Holy Spirit gives us discernment if we will pay attention to Him. The woman is in a nasty spiral. I will pray for her today. It occurs to me that all unbelievers are living lives of spiritual desolation, but unlike this woman, most can mask their spiritual condition with comforts and “niceties.”

    • All true Tom. Although I don’t see Margarita too often, I noticed a real change, esp in her paranoia, cracking her door ajar, darting her eyes every where, “nasty spiral” indeed.
      My first experience with Santeria was many years ago. I had a young Hispanic secretary who was constantly at war with her mother in law. They both practiced witchcraft against each other. Every week I begged her to stop. She kept saying, “Ha! I’ll get her good this time!”
      She gradually ‘lost her mind ‘ and one day jumped off her roof, 15 stories, stark naked. The memory still grieves me.
      Alwsys good to hear from you brother, have a good week.

      • I’m not familiar with Santeria specifically, but I know Latin American Catholicism in general mixes RC-ism with paganism. Dreadful about the secretary.
        Thanks, sister, and have a good week as well!

  9. Timely; there is someone I just helped overseas financially but after I sent it there’s some question that suddenly pop up and I need to verify with other trusted pastors and leaders in that same country.
    I’m praying for Maria…

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