Well, it’s finally here. In just a couple of days it will be Halloween, the candy will have been eaten and the spooks will settle down (unless you’re a spooky boy like me and it’ll last all year). Before that, we have one last post about fear and spooky b-movies. I want to finish off talking about fear with this one simple idea, when we live in fear, we live as slaves. We fear commitment because of hurtful relationships in the past. We live in fear because of the emotions going on in our heads. We live in fear of the unknown and not having the life plan we desire. We live in fear that we will fade away and that no one will remember us. These fears enslave us, but when we choose to fight fear with love, we become free.
One of my friends, Jake, asked me recently what my favorite horror films was. My answer, and the movie we’ll be looking at today, was Halloween. Both actually, the 1978 and 2018 films. The original is classic, very frightening and atmospheric. We have the looming Michael Myers stalking Laurie Strode; it’s a very freaky movie. We experience the helpless nature of fear, danger is coming but we are not ready. That’s why I like the 2018 film as the second act. Laurie was once a fearful girl, but is now a prepared woman. The pain and fear she experienced in her past, made her realize that she doesn’t have to be a victim but a victor.
While these are true horror films and intended for mature audiences, I think the ideas are important to our own lives.
We can’t always control the pain that has happened in our lives.
Life is not easy. There are hard moments you will face, and often times those moments are out of your control. These can drive that fear inside, the lies that speak into your mind. Fear is simply lies spoken from hell over your life. I’m not good enough, no one will love me for what I’ve done, I am too damaged, and I am not worthy of my dreams. These are all lies. Anything that goes against the truth of what scripture says about you, is a lie from Satan. And the thing about Satan is, he is a damned liar. We so easily fall into being a victim, allowing these lies to become truth in our lives, when God is reaching out to you with open arms, just wanting to be in a relationship with you. Broken and out of wack, God wants to take all of that and reveal his heart for you. Jesus said that, “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart, for I have overcome the world (John 16:33).”
This means that no matter what has happened or will happen, you don’t have to live in fear. You don’t have to listen to the lies that say you are a victim, you can live in the truth that God is bigger than anything you will face, and he has already won that battle for you.
When you have the mindset of the victor, the challenges don’t seem so big.
It’s a great feeling to go into a game knowing that you and your team are going to win. It’s the enneagram three in me, but I love when I get placed with good people at work, while playing a board game, or gearing up for a game of lazer tag; because I know that the challenge ahead of us is going to be a breeze. When we enter trials and heartache with the mentality of the victor, the struggles don’t look so bad. That’s not to say it’s going to be easy or that the emotions we feel won’t be difficult, you just enter it with a different mindset. You can make it out of this, you are more than what the lies in your head will say, and you are loved by the creator of all things.
Still a battle, but with the shift in a perspective that you are on the winning side changes everything.
In the 2018 Halloween, there is a moment where Laurie Strode reveals that she has prayed for Michael to escape, and when asked why, she responds with, “So I can kill him.” Jamie Lee Curtis is rad, but I love the intensity that comes with that thematically. This girl was once a babysitter fearing for her life, now fully prepared to kill the embodiment of fear. Pretty wild, but an important lesson. Don’t let your fear enslave you, because of God’s love for you, you are no longer a slave to fear. You are a child of God.
That last line isn’t original from me, it’s from a song where I actually got the title of this blog from. “No Longer Slaves” is an empowering song from Bethel Music, and captures the truth that I am describing today. The cool part about a relationship with Jesus, is that there is always a choice. We can choose to trust and follow, or we can choose to do what we think is best. I remember this hitting me on my dearest Danielle and I’s honeymoon. We went to Walt Disney World a couple months after getting married, which is so funny when I think about how we ended up there a few months later. Shortly before we went, I found out that the church I was working at was going to let me go, cut me out completely of something I helped for so long. It was challenging, I was fearful of what might happen next, there wasn’t a plan and easy next steps. I remember watching a firework show, crying like a baby, because I knew, while holding my wife’s hand, that I needed to dream bigger because God has given me that mind. I knew I needed to choose to trust, not be a slave to the fear of the past, but be hopeful of the future not yet known.
I want you to have that same mindset. Know that you are loved and you are created intentionally. You don’t have to be a slave to fear, you are a child of a God that loves you desperately. So live like a victor, don’t let the past confine you, live as a free child of the most high.
About the Author: Joshua Thomas is a writer by day and superhero by night. When he’s not writing and crimefighting, you can find him reading a good book, sipping warm tea, taking pictures, or dreaming. The young writer doesn’t fully know what he’s doing, but is enjoying the journey of it all. You can tweet memes at him on Twitter @joshua_thomas__ or follow his hipster photos and Jack Kerouac musings on Instagram @joshua_thomas__