“The devil is not now pictured in the Scriptures as wise, only as shrewd. We are warned not against his wisdom but against his wiles, something very different.” A.W. Tozer, Man: The Dwelling Place of God
As a little girl, I remember going to sleepovers, staying up past bedtimes or sane parents, and telling ghost stories. In our flannael pajamas, we’d pull our blankets around our shoulders. Sitting crossed-legged and wide-eyed, we shared. The scariest ones where the true ones, the ones that actually happened. Those are the ones my sister and I told, the real ones, ones we experienced first hand. Our tales scared us as much when we repeated them as when we lived them.
We spoke our tales and ignored the nibbling, nagging thought that we’d be terrified to sleep afterwards. While everyone was awake and saucer-eyed with fear, goosebumps rose on our arms as we shivered, eyes darting toward the darkness just beyond. But we were too caught up in the moment to stop. Then my friends, one by one, eventually fell asleep. My ears became radars, highly sensitive to every creaking and popping sound in the house. I’d pull the covers up to my chin, trying to hide. It’d be much later, from pure exhaustion, when I’d finally sleep.
You could say that as children, believing in the paranormal (or ghosts as some like to think of it) is more natural or readily believed. But I experienced strange things as an adult too. Many times, friends or family witnessed them as well. This only testified, to me, the reality of a spiritual world, at all times, around us.
The enemy has watched people be born and watched them die. He guiles us with sneaky tactics, frightening schemes, and distractions. And why not? The more we chase after ghosts or everything else, the less we think about God or how Christ came, how He died for us, and how He set us free.
We aren’t surprised by such things. In keeping us distracted or confused, the enemy twists our minds with lies, and with smoke and mirrors, until our thinking can be disfigured. He takes God’s spiritual endowments, even our God-given gifts, and tries his darned-est to contort them, until we are impotent for the Kingdom. He’s a deciever, trying to divert us from finding our way to God, through Christ alone. See how that works?
However, with Hollywood, we’re more prone to believe in the existence of ghosts or the paranormal, than in a supernatural Holy Ghost.
And fear, itself, is not all together bad. It’s a warning system—beware, take caution, danger, this will cause pain. Fear is an alarm. Fear can point us away, safely. Or it can be the vehicle that paralyzes us into silence. It can shut us inside ourselves in order to protect our lives rather than expose them authentically and vulnerably.
Fear points to something, but we must be discerning of what it points too, or who is behind it.
We are not actually ruled by logic as much as we think we are. We are ruled, more strongly, by an insatiable curiosity which draws us into the unseen and the mysterious ways of life. But inside that curiosity, we are either lead astray or a-right. One leads to an ever-deepening pit of self-help answers or the new age avenues of non-Christian practices. But the other way, the one through Jesus, delivers clarity that parts a sea of confusion.
And in our deliverance, we come like open-hearted children. We forsake it all to be born again. We come into the spiritual life, a-fire, with Christ burning up our hearts.
“The first stage is that of ignorance, the second stage is that of unbelief–the doubting heart that cannot take in the wonderful truth that Jesus lives. Then Comes the third stage–the burning heart.” Andrew Murray, Jesus Himself
(This is part #3 of the #Write31Days series. I won’t have a post every day, but I will be posting more often for the month of Oct. And there may be mistakes, grammar or spelling errors, however, the conversation will be what matters, right? I hope you’ll bear with me as we explore the idea to be #Empowered by the Spiritual Life. Feel free to share your thoughts too.)
I’d love to continue our conversations on being #empowered by the spiritual life. Sign up and I’ll also send you my small ebook on facing fear that paralyzes you.