Halloween is an interesting controversy in the lives of Christians. It is reported today that it was not really as widely celebrated in early America, considering many of the early colonies were found on Christian guidelines and principles. The fear that witchcraft was real allowed for the Salem witch hunting to rise to large degrees. Today 100 million Americans practice occult behaviors. In one survey it was found that 67% of Americans believe in the supernatural and 42% think they have spoken to someone who died.
Demons masquerade as the dead. Openness to the occult are created by excessive fascination and involvement in the spirit world. Beliefs make all the difference. Christ calls us to take every thought captive.
I believe God has put in each of us an interest in the spiritual because as we are created in His image we are spirit, soul and body. That hunger can drive us to many wrong places and we get lost. The sorcery warning in the Bible actually comes from a Greek word Pharmacia that means druggist, poisoner. I can tell you from personal experience that the drug world(including alcohol, etc.) can open your mind to confusion, and open doors to the occult. Many of the gruesome murders in the past can be linked to drugs. The current issue in the west with Mexican drug wars are exactly related to the evil part of drugs. It is not all about the illegality of it .
Seeking out of divination, reincarnation, and paganism are all open doors to the demonic. A true understanding can be extrapolated by studying the scripture.
A great deception around today is that all people have psychic powers like another sense and development is like being able to see. There is a lot of studying about spiritual gifts in the scripture. There is a gifting of spiritual things by God but satan is the great deceiver and he wants to mimic everything of God. One scripture to explain that is found in Acts 16
“16Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. 17This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” 18She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her..” Acts 16:16-18
Another deception is that there is good magic and bad magic. The interfacing of all this confusion is so blatant even down to the children’s cartoons it is important for us to understand the truth and teach it to our children. This season is a great time to teach what we believe to our children. The fact is that so many, even “Christians”, those who claim to know Christ, have misconceptions and confusion.
Halloween is a special day for the chance of bringing occult into the average peoples lives. There is a quest on the part of many to know the future and walking by faith is trusting God without knowing the future. Many doors are open when people seek to know the future. Do not play with the occult because there is more danger there than you know.
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” 2Timothys 2:15 Study the Bible for yourself and seek the truth. Do not be afraid , but understand what God says about the occult and have a real relationship through Jesus to understand what you want your children to know about this time of year. A could source for scriptural study is Khourse.org. This week there are some audio teachings to help in your research.
Deanna Favre wrote a book with a pastor. The Cure for the Chronic Life. She is in the news right now because her husband is for possible infidelity or at least disloyal behavior. It is great that people everywhere want to help share their ways of going through struggles. It seems obvious that the struggle with discussing faith in public(in the USA) requires people to quietly leave out the name of Jesus in the public discussion. Is it just a trick to get people to read and understand the possibility of a spirit that can actually be a part of the character of a man. Heavy stuff and I realize that in the world of sound bites it is hard to really represent Jesus with a sound bite. But it is apparent that here could be power in the name itself or it would not be so conspicuosly be left out of public discussions. People get upset when you say the name of Jesus. Having a relationship with our creator through the son Jesus Christ is a concept hard to understand to those that are not given the measure of faith to hear and believe. If the name itself is a part of the power would not the mere mention of the name claim those that have ” ears to hear.” It seems so in other cultures world wide but then I expect that there is a method to the madness in our culture that claims to be more politically or socially correct not to say His name because that may be what makes the different in listening or not. Could it be the strategy of those who want to stop Jesus from being preached. Eventually when you get to that point it will be the name that makes or breaks the relationship. I would like to hear from you on whether the name or not should be left out and the word faith used entice people into looking at what it is that helps people go through the trials of life. When I am in trouble, hurting or have need of help it is the name of Jesus and a true relationship with Jesus that really makes my faith.
Ok grandmothers and parents alike. It is harvest time and how do you want to teach little ones the beauty of celebrating bounty? The goal for me was to teach thankfulness for food and how we can turn crops into goodies to eat.
I am always looking for opportunities to teach the children the miracle of plants because there is nothing more miraculous than a seed. (Animal seeds too) A tiny thing provides all the directions for a duplicate and multiplying food producer. One tiny tomatoes seed made a one half bushel of tomatoes for us in dry weather and excessive heat conditions. Imagine if the conditions were more perfect, what can happen. So even though we live in a city the project was harvest. The local church had a pumpkin fund raiser. The boys (ages five and three) had as much fun with the wagon as the pumpkin. So we pulled the wagon and compared sizes. The pumpkins were marked so we picked out the pumpkin and pulled the wagon to the place to see what size to figure out what price.(a little math lesson)
When we got home the boys helped me crumple up newspaper and fill some clothes to make a scarecrow. They learned what is a scarecrow and why do you have to scare crows. The pumpkin was hallowed out and about 2 cups of pumpkin came out of the extra inside.
This week we are making pumpkin puree and muffins to see about how this pumpkin turned into food. As we cut a scary face and lit it I taught the boys my understanding of evil and good and how I depend on Jesus when I am afraid , great teaching moment. The large pumpkins cost five dollars. The scarecrow cost nothing. The time together was priceless. So free and cheap ideas boil down to teaching our children what we know and believe. In a survey of many children of all ages the thing they most wanted from the adults in their lives was to spend time with them, imagine that. Most of all spending time with them teaches them that we prize our relationship with them.
Assumed motives are never safe or productive. We cannot know another persons motives and can only test organizations motive with study and patience to see the fruit and then understand the results.
One of the biggest things in our other human relationships is that we cannot assume another persons motives. In Proverbs (Gods book about wisdom) 16:2 it states that “all a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the Lord.” It is clear here that even we do not actually know our own motives because we think we are innocent. I have prayed often to ask the Lord to show me the motives of my own heart, especially when that little child inside rises up and is throwing a fit because I did not get what I wanted. And what was it that I wanted or why was it so important? Often I would think I had the others best interest at heart. It was for their own good , what was best for them. This is so often a lie and we need to ask the Lord for clarity to understand our own unhappiness in issues.
A good example is recently my children have begun to plan a Christmas gathering. None of our family has a lot of extra capital and so a small home of one child will be full to the brim with kids. The rest will stay in a hotel nearby, again an added expense. It would be the first Christmas all the kids would be together in forever. It would be difficult for me to afford to be there at that time and so I probably wont go. The crowd event will make it hard to really visit with any individual and just the act of being together seems like a great loving picture. The reality may be arguments and fights or self centered fits when one of them does not get to control things and so it may not be all that much fun. But I want to be there. Not because I would really add to that interaction. Not because they would have fun with me coming. I want to be there so I wont be left out. The opportunity to visit each one individually would be much more enjoyable and fun but I do not want be excluded. I do not want them to have fun without me. The core fear I have is that they don’t need or want me in their lives. That is not basically true although often there actions speak volumes. So why do I want to be there with them. Not because it would be the best time I just want to be invited and wanted and loved. Not a pure motive, yet if I spoke to others I would hear oh you should be there with your kids. Christmas all together is the way it should be. And then my motives which were to have them fill me up would put pressure on the scene and then , no fun.
1corinth 4:5 “ Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.”
I could choose to be hurt by my children or accept that I am asking them to meet needs that I can fill with my relationship with Jesus. I can take pressure off my loved ones. I can truly love them and not think they are motivated to hurt me and continue to reach out and find them when they have time in busy lives to be with me. I can choose to find others that are alone during the holidays and add them to a place where I can minister Christ’s love to them and find hope in that relationship. I can humbly continue to ask God when the child like tantrum rises up in me where it is coming from and what He wants me to do with it. Then my inner Joy remains because Jesus loved me first.