Clergy View: Someone’s out to get you
Someone’s out to get you.
That notion is at the heart of every horror film and scary campfire story. There really is something gripping about tales of what might be lurking in the shadows, even if you’re not the horror film type (neither am I!). Whether or not you enjoy scary stories, most of us would agree that we would never want to experience a scary story. We might watch and listen for entertainment, but my guess is that if any of us came face to face with Pennywise in a storm drain we wouldn’t be as brave as we thought. We don’t like the idea of someone being “out to get us.” We may go to a haunted trail and experience the thrill of being chased. But we know, at the end, the ghouls in the woods will stop following us, and we will sit around a campfire safely sipping hot apple cider and laughing about how scared we were.
But did you know that the Bible talks about the reality of a being who is out to get you? He’s called the deceiver -- or Satan.
Really? Satan? Isn’t that an archaic idea? Isn’t the Devil just an invention of ancient people for the sake of explaining the complexities of good and evil?
Say what you will, but if you take seriously the words of Scripture, then you should also take seriously the reality of a spiritual being who seeks to keep the good news of salvation from taking root in your heart (Luke 8:12) and to devour your faith (1 Peter 5:8-9). Without Christ, the apostle Paul even describes our natural disposition as bent toward unwittingly following Satan (Ephesians 2:1).
So, what is there to do? Call the Ghostbusters?
No, actually, it’s not about what you can do. It’s about what Jesus Christ has done. Even without Satan’s influence in your life, you’re a sinner -- we all are. That is, we naturally do what is wrong and we naturally resist God’s authority in our lives (Romans 3:10-12). That sin is a big, eternal problem in God’s eyes -- enough of a problem to separate you from God for eternity. But God, who is rich in mercy, loved you enough to become a man and go to the cross to take the punishment for your sin (1 John 4:9-10). On the cross, Jesus not only paid the sin-debt of all who place their faith in Him, but He disarmed and triumphed over Satan (Ephesians 2:14-15; Colossians 2:15)!
So, as you drive around town and see ghosts swinging from trees and jack-o’-lanterns flickering on front steps, I hope you consider this: Satan is real, but he’s been defeated. And those who are in Christ share in that victory. Then ask yourself the question, who am I following? The prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:1-3) or the Savior, the Prince of Peace?