I mean, look at her, she's just so gosh-darn cute. We have to let them dress up in a costume, right? Because there's no other time of year we get to do this...oh wait. She's three. She wears a costume on a daily basis!
Well, then, maybe it's the one time of year we let loose and eat all the candy we want...oh wait, we do that at Christmas too.
Okay, so, maybe it's just a fun time to be with our church friends and serve the community. After all, it's like an outreach to people who don't know Jesus. You know, we're being missional!
Because nothing shows the love of God more than giving candy to a child while I'm dressed up as a witch.... (true story! keep reading)
It's just a fun, harmless holiday, right?
I know this post won't be popular, but, have we ever stopped to ask ourselves, why do we, as Christians, celebrate Halloween?
I guess I'm the kind of person who always wants to know why I'm doing something. I don't know. Perhaps it gives me a sense of purpose. I can't do anything well if I don't know why I'm doing it.
Even as a child, I didn't understand the draw.
Let's dress up like witches and watch scary movies and scare little kids and get some candy.
Let's all run through a haunted house and get chased by a guy in a hockey mask.
Then I became a Christian...and we just kept doing the same things.
Of course, we tone it down a bit for the little kids. Instead of Trick or Treating, we go Trunk or Treating. Instead of a haunted house, we host a carnival with games and rides and blow-up slides, right on the church lawn.
And then I moved out of the Bible belt and saw something even more weird...Sunday School teachers dressed up as witches handing out candy to kids, at the church carnival.
Is this alarming to anyone else but me? Am I the only one who thinks something is wrong here?
Let's get real. Halloween magnifies the demonic. You know demons are loving all the attention they are getting every Halloween. And the majority of Christians have no clue.
We were made to cast out the demonic
When we were young pastors, we got a call to pray for a man who was possessed by a demon. This man openly admitted he worshipped Satan. They brought this man to our church, and, at the time, we had no clue about what to do, so we called our friend who was one of those charismatic, holy-ghost, pentecostal, holy-rollers.
I'm glad we did.
It took three men to hold the possessed guy down. He was groveling and foaming at the mouth. He was uttering incoherent nonsense.
Our friend just laid his hands on this guy and commanded the demon to leave.
He continued to pray over him and we experienced the peace of God in the room and peace came over this guy's face and body.
You should have seen the way his eyes changed from torment and fear and anger, to the love, joy and peace of God!
What did our holy-roller friend have that we didn't? What did he understand that we didn't?
He knew his authority in Christ. He knew what he had. He had power over all the enemy, over all the darkness. Because of Christ!
Learning our authority
It took us months to begin to believe we had this too. We knew that if we were going to pastor a church, and pick a fight with the supernatural, that we needed to be on the winning team. We needed God's supernatural power. We needed the Holy Spirit.
You see, God's gifts to us are incredible. They are like superpowers! We received the gift of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit not long after that, and OH BOY...how our lives have changed!
We began to understand that the Holy Spirit is a wonderful friend and guide, and is nothing to be afraid of.
The Holy Spirit is a gentleman, and will never force his way or take over your body, unlike demonic spirits. Sure, there are people and denominations that abuse this. They make the Holy Spirit look like a circus. I'm sure the devil gets a kick out of this confusion.
But the Truth, my friend, will set you free.
Our holy-roller friend walked in that night armed with the knowledge of who he was in Christ and what power he had over the enemy. He was armed with Luke 10:19:
"Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you."
And James 4:7:
"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."
And as I began to study God's Word, I found more:
“Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.”(Luke 9:1-2)
“And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.” (Matt. 10:1)
“And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” (Matt. 10:7-8)
Contrary to what many believe, we are disciples of Christ too. This power was not just available for the disciples of Jesus' day.
The Word of God is powerful. The Word of God is TRUTH. But if we have the Word of God without the Holy Spirit, we have no power.
2 Timothy 3:5 talks about this.
"They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!"
Why would we want to walk this Christian life without the power of God?
It is God's will for us to know Him. Know His character, know His love, know His power. He is the Author. Of course He wants you to know Him as you read His Words!
It took some months, even years to begin to walk with confidence in our authority over the devil. We are still learning. But as my favorite Bible teacher always says, "I haven't arrived, but at least I've left."
There were several nights since then, when I would be startled awake with something holding me down and holding my throat. I could not speak, I could not breathe. But my Spirit knew what was going on, and I knew the only thing to break this off me would be Jesus' name.
Sometimes, I could hardly get it out.
Why would I have these kind of spiritual attacks? Why would a demon want to hold my throat so I couldn't speak?
I think he was afraid of what I would say!
I know the Truth. The Word of God and Holy Spirit in me are unstoppable.
On numerous occasions, my husband has seen a visible, demonic presence. He saw them in our church; he saw them around our house and property.
One Sunday morning, a man and his young son came to our church. The father had a sketchy past, I believe he had been in prison. The mom, although she was not there, was said to have been on drugs. They had never been to our church, and to my knowledge, they never came back. But I firmly believe the Lord brought them to us that day.
His young son was about 18 months old, maybe 2 years old. He was crying. INCONSOLABLE. The father was exasperated, the nursery workers didn't know what to do, so they came and got me. This young boy was screaming, writhing, unlike anything I had ever experienced. It wasn't like he was in pain. It was different.
He could not talk. So I decided to go to the Lord in my new prayer language. I prayed Holy-Ghost, Spirit-filled prayer over that kid. I had no idea what I was saying, I just started praying in the Spirit. You know, tongues.
I got a sense that I needed to speak to whatever was in this kid to come out. I needed to take authority over it.
So I said, "In the name of Jesus, leave him!" and just as I said that, the kid threw up, I mean, projectile vomited ALL over the carpet in front of me. It was a white, frothy liquid.
God's peace came over this child, and he slept in my arms until his dad came to get him. I prayed over him and declared peace over him and his whole family. I hope I get to see him again someday and hear what God is doing in his life.
Never underestimate the power of prayer!
I think these experiences are to test us, really. I think the devil wants to know if you REALLY believe what you think you believe. I mean, the devil believes in the power of Jesus. Why don't we?
The devil and his demons will try to cause fear. They will try to intimidate, just like any other bully.
But you just gotta keep walking in your confidence. Keep walking in your authority that you carry as children of God! We carry the Kingdom with us wherever we go.
The light ALWAYS dispels the darkness.
There is so much darkness around us. Will you choose to be a light in the darkness?
If you need additional convincing of what Halloween really is, and what it represents, take a look at these articles: