“Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.”
The most common commandment throughout the bible is do not be afraid. Said another way, do not fear and its variations are used over and over again throughout scripture. This month begins a season of spookiness, and one of my favorite things I do on this blog is look at themes from b-movies and monster flicks and highlight the biblical truth found in these concepts. I promise I’m not sacrilegious, but I think biblical truths can be highlighted through this season. The biggest theme through this Halloween season is fear, and fear is from Satan. Plan simple, boom, we’re done. Not really. Fear is from Satan, and we know this, but why then do we feel fear? We feel fear because we choose to not listen to the most common commandment in scripture, we choose to rely on our own power and forget to be firm in a God who loves us. When we choose independence, we choose the enemy. We are not created to be independent, we are called sons and daughters made in the image of God, so therefore, we are called to fear not. Today I want to talk about an experience I had going to a haunted woods and what God tells us about trusting him, because fear is from the enemy and nothing good comes from anything other than God.
In eighth grade, a friend invited me to go to a Halloween attraction called, “Woods of Terror” (Shoulda been a big sign that this might not be good). I have always loved classic horror. What I mean by that is not heavily demonic films designed to scare you deeply, I believe that this isn’t healthy as a believer to put into our minds. For me, I always love the Universal Studios monsters, Frankenstein (so different from the incredible work of literature), Dracula, Wolf-man, Creature from the Black Lagoon, and the Zombies from one of my favorite directors, George Romero (still hold up on their social commentary). These movies are the iconic 50’s drive in cult classics and I love them. When I tell people, I love horror flicks, that’s what I mean. I forget that there is a whole range of flicks from the heart of the devil and I never want people to think that these are okay (disclaimer over). So, my friend Alex said I would love “Woods of Terror,” and I thought I love goofy monsters and cute Halloween stuff, so I said sure! Bad choice. I saved up money to go and told my parents it was going to be a blast, and that I was going to laugh a bunch (they knew my enjoyment of b-movies). Alex’s mom dropped the two of us off at the entrance, the woods loomed over us and I heard the screams of a thousand tortured souls (my imagination began to take over), and I was afraid. I spent a bit of cash on my ticket so I had buy-in to actually do it. The entrance began with a video about the haunted nature of these woods and the Indian burial ground junk (totally insensitive, yo), and I was starting to sweat.
We are called to into assurance.
The antonym of fear is assurance, and we are called to have assurance in the power of our God. The reason we are commanded to not be afraid over and over, is because God is assuring us that when we trust in his ways, we have nothing to fear! God will deliver us. We began going through the woods, and it wasn’t that bad, in the start. Creepy snake charmers and make up people yelling at you isn’t that bad, until you crawl in a pitch-black maze. Nope. I crawled faster than anyone has crawled before (I still hold the world record for that) and got out. I stood with my friend as we saw a corn field with a bus in the center, didn’t look too bad, until you get close and see how tall corn can be.
Some of the biggest fears come from that which is unknown. God knows all things, our future is secure in him, so we must trust him. We have assurance because he has a plan for us, a plan to benefit and not to harm us.
Stand firm in the love of God.
“Perfect love casts out all fear,” 1 John 4:18. We made it through the corn, but then it was the evil carnival, oh good, this totally won’t be the worst (Spoiler: it was the worst). At this point I hated everything, but there was a half way point to get out. Isn’t that beautiful, God always provides a way out in our darkest moments. I chose to take it, even when the guard said it was the chicken way out (though he used worse language, I was eight dude), I took it. Never listen to the lies of Satan telling you that you aren’t strong enough when you accept God’s grace.
The enemy will always try to belittle your faith, but the devil is a stupid liar. You can quote me on that.
Love is what God did when he died for us, so that we could live in freedom. Love destroys fear.
After driving home, Alex told me he would tell everyone we got through the whole thing and that it was lame rather than scary, Alex was a good friend. I remember being sleepless the whole night, I felt a demonic presence around me. Telling me I was weak and not strong enough, but in that moment, I started to pray. I remembered when God told Joshua not to be afraid, and he had to face an army that wanted nothing more than to kill Joshua and the people of Israel. In that moment, I felt the enemy run, because I chose to put my trust in the power of God. I chose to remember God’s love and put my assurance in his promise. I chose to fear not. Today I think you are facing heavy fear. Unknowns are all around you, but you need to remember fear is rom the enemy, so don’t fill your heart with fear.
Put your assurance in the love of God, and do what he commanded us to do, fear not.