Something Wicked This Way Cometh
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” ~ Ephesians 6:12
Out of the gloom, dawn emerged garbed in a ghostly shroud; dark forms loomed all around. Had those who slept only known, their rest would not have been so deep in spite of their exhaustion. One lone figure knelt, sobbing in abject horror at what was to be their fate, begging for a reprieve. He struggled alone, even in these last spare moments before the outcome of the battle would be realized, knowing full well the extent of the terrors this day would hold. Travailing to prevent the destruction of his people, his soul in agony, sweat fell in rivulets of blood, even as did his tears. He had fought the good fight and made his decision. He just prayed it would be enough, and they would sustain. He knew his brave soldiers would soon be scattered and he would no longer be there to lead them. The enemy’s troops loomed in the shadows beyond the mist; an impenetrable darkness that had nothing to do with the morning fog. Even as the malevolent forces advanced, he pleaded for a reprieve; not for himself, but on behalf of his subjects. A king’s life in exchange for the freedom of his people…that was the deal he had struck for a world that had given him little in exchange but derision, threats, and judgment. He would soon be taken from them…this life that, in the bargain, was their only hope. An unseen legion of warriors awaited his word, poised and ready. He had but to speak and they would overwhelm those that surrounded him, rushing in like the wind to rescue this brave martyr who so courageously faced his fate in these pain-filled hours before dawn. But the call never went out. Instead, this unacknowledged sovereign who was willing to give everything he had for his subjects knew his time had come, and merely said, “If it is possible, let this cup pass from me. But not my will, let your will be done.”
This was the battle that set us free. We were the people he gave his life to save. This was the King who conquered the darkness…alone…in prayer. This was Jesus Christ, the Messiah, giving himself for a lost and sinful world.
In this Halloween season we unwittingly glorify evil and ignore his sacrifice…denying the deeply evil reality that sent Jesus to the cross that day almost two thousand years ago. That is Satan’s most brilliant plan…to dupe people into denying he even exists. A Machiavellian tactic that is most effective on this holiday because it is fun to dress up and gaily gather with friends to the thrill of “trick or treat!” But true evil does exist in this world and the author of it is becoming more and more visible all the time…we only need to watch the news each night to see manifestations of his presence. And yet, Jesus has never left us. He lives inside us through the power of the Holy Spirit. All we have to do is ask, believe, and trust.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for saving us from the evil in this world. Forgive us when we fail to acknowledge all that you have done for us. Help us to remember to glorify you while turning away from evil. Open our hearts and minds to your loving presence, even as you open our eyes to recognize the evidence of the enemy around us. You know all too well the temptations we face because you faced them yourself. We ask for your protection over those who are in harm’s way due to the unspeakable evil from which you saved us. Thank you for setting us free. We love you, worship and praise you in your name, amen.
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” ~ 1 Peter 5:8
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.”
~ Ephesians 2:8-9