The Lord is my light and salvation- whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid? Ps. 27:1
Fall is my favorite time of the year. It’s the season that promises falling leaves, cool rains and crisp temperatures. It makes me want to take a long walk so I can hear the crunch of dried leaves under my feet. I am a kid at heart and still love big mounds of leaves and jumping into the pile! Anticipation overwhelms me because I know those times are coming up and hot weather will be over.
But right in the midst of my excitement, the movie industry has to dampen my spirits and rear its ugly head by bombarding the big screen with all it can to terrify its watchers. You know, it’s that time of the year when Halloween comes and along with it the horror movies. That part of the season I dread and it has already begun, even in TV commercials. As for me, though, I've learned my lesson on watching horror movies. Have you ever wondered why people like to be scared out of their wits? Why, just the other day, I heard on the news that people can actually be scared to death!
Some years ago, I innocently stumbled across some videos of an old soap opera from my high school days. When I saw the name “Dark Shadows” across the front of them, I was astounded. It had been one of my favorite after school programs. “Did that ever bring back memories,” I thought, as I walked out of the store packing six episodes.
After watching several, I began to feel a familiar stir of the Holy Spirit strongly upon my heart and knew that I had grieved Him. I had that “inward knowing” and decided that the videos had to go. So I watched no more and gathered them to return.
I learned a valuable lesson through that ordeal. In the first place, I knew that I had felt God’s touch of love upon my heart when He nudged me with His precious Holy Spirit. That alone assures me that I am a child of the Living God.
Later as I studied God’s Word, I saw that I had been called out of the evil deeds of darkness and was to have nothing more to do with it and that included watching horror programs or movies. Ignorantly, I watched the videos, not realizing what I was doing was wrong. But when I learned my lesson, I knew that it was over. What does light have to do with darkness anyway? (2 Cor. 6:14) After all, we've been called out of darkness:
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9
I wondered how I could expect to go forward for Jesus Christ if I continued to partake of what the enemy offers. I also saw that if I was not supposed to participate, then there must be a reason, and the Holy Spirit must have been trying to safeguard me.
Ephesians 4:27 tells us that “we're not to give the devil a foothold.” Why do you think we have been given such instruction from God’s Word? He knows that we have enough trouble with the enemy without giving him an open invitation to take over any part of our lives. We have enough to deal with without asking for more trouble and we don't want to give the devil a chance to take over one thing from us.
You might be wondering how watching frightening videos could possibly have that much of a negative effect on us. Did you know the human mind is the most likely target of the body for the enemy’s darts? He uses his strongest weapons against the minds of the children of God. One way he does that is through presenting frightening events to cause fear to work in our minds to distract us. That type of diversion can cause us to fear being alone, fear going outside, fear of the dark, fear of someone hurting or killing us, fear of someone breaking into our homes, fear of harm coming to our families; and many other fears. When we have fear like that, all we want to do is stay hidden under the covers! The enemy loves to set traps because we're inhibited from being free in Christ and free to do His will.
Fear does not come from God because He is filled with love and gives us power and a sound mind:
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Tim. 1:7
Romans 6:13 tells us not to offer the parts of our bodies as instruments of unrighteousness. Are not our brains and eyes part of our bodies? We’re not to offer even those parts of the body to what the evil one presents before us. That same verse goes on to say to “present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and the parts of your body as instruments of righteousness.” Horror movies are filled with murder and death, but God wants us to be free and alive.
We as Christians are oftentimes far too ignorant of Satan’s devises. Hosea 4:6 says, “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.” We cannot allow the wool to be pulled over our eyes. When we come to Christ, we’re not to have anything more to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather to expose them. (Eph. 5:11)
We can be assured that God is not a God of horror and terror, but a God of peace and love.
Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give peace to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. John 14:27 (New Life Version)
Prayer: Father, I praise you for the lesson you’ve taught me, and I pray it will penetrate into the hearts of your people. I know your people want to be obedient to you and want to serve you wholeheartedly without any diversion from the enemy. We want nothing to do with the evil deeds of darkness. Lord, help us to see the truth because the truth will set us free. (Jn. 8:32) In Jesus’ name. Amen.