Witchcraft is the attempt to gain special knowledge or power outside of God.
What do we mean by “special?” We mean power or knowledge that is not found or allowed by God in the natural order. For instance, the pursuit of special knowledge could look like the use of any means to know the future; a practice clearly condemned in scriptures such as Deuteronomy 18:10, Isaiah 47:13 and several others. Special knowledge can also be more subtle, like the pursuit of direction. Should I take the job in Atlanta or Chicago? Is this a good business risk?
Special power is more obvious. The cliché example is crooned over in the popular 1950’s song, “Love Potion #9” in which the singer is pining for a way to secure his sweetheart’s affections. A person may pursue the power to harm or bless another or to control their actions. They may also pursue power over events, i.e. financial prosperity or a rain dance.
What defines witchcraft is the rebellion of the heart…the refusal to submit to the Lordship of Jesus. Any particular act can be done in obedience or in rebellion. Every act from worship to killing can be done in obedience or in rebellion and that’s where the real issue lies. That’s why Jesus taught, “You have heard it said, ‘Do not commit adultery. But I tell you, do not even look on your neighbors wife lustfully.” He knew we could avoid the act but still be in rebellion.