But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. (1 Corinthians 6:17)
A few years ago, my daughter decided she wanted to take horse-riding lessons. She had a friend who had been doing the same thing, so we checked out a few places who offered lessons, and decided on the same place where her friend was taking the lessons. It was out in the country and had two barns where the horses were kept, and a large covered riding arena. It was called Deerfield Farm.
It wasn’t long before my daughter began to tell me about the owner of the Farm. She apparently had quite the reputation with the kids. She didn’t conduct the lessons, but oversaw her trainers, the animals and the farm in general. She made sure each child memorized a long saying about excellence that was posted on the wall.
When summer rolled around, there were camps that they offered to younger kids, and my daughter, who was 14 at the time, was asked to be a counselor at the camp. Christian jumped at the chance. I was a little skeptical, since I had not met yet met the owner, but I allowed her to go. My daughter then began coming home and telling me that part of the camp was a “yoga class” that the owner was conducting, and the kids were having to say those Sanskrit words in yoga that come from the Hindu philosophy. My spirit began to feel uneasy, and I began to question my daughter more. She was convinced by some of the things that the owner said, that she was a Christian. I was quite sure she was not.
I began to research yoga. The Sanskrit word “yoga” has the literal meaning of “yoke,” and means “to join,” “to unite,” or “to attach.” Here’s what Wikipedia has to say: “The goal of yoga, or of the person practicing yoga, is the attainment of a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility while meditating on Supersoul.[ ” Who, then, is “Supersoul”? Vishnu (Sanskrit ?????? Vi??u) is the Supreme god in the Vaishnavite tradition of Hinduism.
Essentially, the owner was not only exposing all of the camp kids to Hinduism, but was actually getting them to chant the words that are intended to “unite” or “attach” them to Vishnu. Needless to say, I was getting annoyed. I informed Christian about what was going on, and I told her that I thought she should stop going to the farm. She had a hard time accepting it, because the owner seemed so charismatic. By this time, the camp was over, and then my daughter informed me that the owner wanted to take all of the counselor kids for a day at a lake with her boat, to reward them, since they hadn’t been paid for their time. Since it was the end of the summer, and we had decided that this would be the end of her association with the farm, I consented.
I told Christian that I needed to meet her first. So, she talked to the owner, and orchestrated a time for us to meet at her house, which was on the farm property. We drove up, and Christian stayed in the car while I went to the door. When the woman answered, I expected to be met with someone who was happy and conversational and easy to get-to-know. But when we faced each other, it was very clear our spirits were at war. My immediate impression of her was cold and clammy, and she was short and to the point. She didn’t have much to say. I knew in seconds that she was not a Christian, and that the Holy Spirit within me was affronted by the spirit within her.
When I returned to the car, my daughter looked at me and said, “So, isn’t she cool?” And I said, “She is not a Christian. And she was very cold to me.” Christian looked at me in puzzlement.
We, as Christian parents, need to tune in to the Holy Spirit within us when we feel something is awry with our children. They are easily influenced, and the devil is ever so subtle.
And if you are involved in yoga, think twice. You are playing with fire. It is just one more subtle way that the devil is trying to get you to join yourself with himself. Remember, the name “yoga” means “to join,” “unite” or “attach.” I’ve spoken to several Christians who are into yoga, and they say, “Oh, it’s OK. We don’t say any of those words. We just do the positions and meditate. And I meditate on the Lord when I’m doing it.” Don’t be a fool. Many yoga positions have origins that lie in worship to various Hindu deities. You don’t have to say a single thing in yoga, and still your body is sinning against Almighty God, and grieving the Holy Spirit in the process. Only the devil would masquerade something as a simple system of exercise, with the intent of taking prisoners.
We who have joined ourselves to the Lord are one spirit with Him. Consider it incredible that God has placed part of Himself within you. Consider it amazing that He has given you the Holy Spirit to help you discern evil where it stalks, and to warn you when it is near. Consider it lovely that He is there to do battle with the enemy of your soul, and that He who is within you is greater than He who is within the world. You are one with Christ. Don’t willingly walk into the enemy’s camp.