From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!
When I was little I really don’t remember a big deal being made about Halloween – I remember going to a few parties were we bobbed for apples, ate apple tarts looking for the coin and best of all had in-door fireworks. In-door fireworks always promised to be spectacular but were always a spectacular damp squib. My favourite was the snake– a small tablet that you lit and it grew into a big black worm. Now that I am older thinking about Halloween turns my mind towards Satan and fear insteda of fun and games. Every tradition in Halloween – dressing up, trick or treating etc all have their origin in fear of evil. While it is good to have a healthy desire to avoid evil, Halloween is all about appeasing it so that it won’t bother you. Over the years Halloween has turned the opposite of its origins – making fun and light of evil. Both positions are equally dangerous. Evil is real, not a joke, but it is also something as a believer I should not fear.
The Devil is real and dangerous:
1 Peter 5:8-9 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
But if we are walking with God we need not fear evil:
Psalms 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
The only person we are called to fear, and not in a way that mean to be afraid of, but to be in awe of, is God himself. I was chatting to a friend this week who drew my attention to Isaiah 11 in the message version.
Isaiah 11:1-3 A green Shoot will sprout from Jesse’s stump, from his roots a budding Branch. 2 The life-giving Spirit of GOD will hover over him, the Spirit that brings wisdom and understanding, The Spirit that gives direction and builds strength, the Spirit that instills knowledge and Fear-of-GOD. 3 Fear-of-GOD will be all his joy and delight. He won’t judge by appearances, won’t decide on the basis of hearsay.
Fear-of-God comes from being filled with the Holy Spirit – to be able to worship God with awe and wonder, to order our lives around God’s desires & will and to recognise the immensity of God’s grace is the appropriate fear for a believer. To fear Satan is to give him more power than he has, but to laugh at him deceives us into believing he is totally powerless. This Halloween time I pray that I would show healthy fear – Fear-of-God.