After reviewing all the disastrous events that occurred during October, I have sensed an atmosphere of fear being generated throughout our nation. Fear is a natural consequence of anticipation of danger. It is powerful enough to produce extreme terror or panic which pushes us to move toward avoidance and away from danger.
A few recent fear generators that occurred in October:
There is no competition in any of these events; they are all equally horrifying, and their characteristics ignite prolific fear.
In addition to the multiple dread-filled disasters, there is an event of historically mixed origins that takes place in October and is regarded as an innocent celebration by too many who do not know the truth.
Its symbols and phenomena associated with paganism, the occult, and fear, place it at the top of the list as an influencer in these dread-filled events. When someone says, “Happy Halloween,” what do they mean? Just who or what are we celebrating?
Beginning with Pope Gregory IV's designation of “All Saints Day” or All Hallow’s Day” on November 1, AD 835, a new event emerged. In its original form, October 31 was the eve (“Hallow Evening”) before the church holiday. A shortening of “Hallowed Eve” resulted in Halloween¹.
When the Celtic people settled in Europe–Northern France and the British Isles, Halloween became their religious holiday presided over by their priests known as “Druids.” Characteristic of their religion was the worship of many gods with their focus on lords of their festivals: summer (Beltane-Fire of the Bel), and winter (Samhain (pronounced Sah win)-Lord of the Dead). During these festivals, fear of the Lord of Death was overcome through human sacrifice and the offering of prayers and gifts to him.
In the 1900s, America embraced Halloween with all the pagan symbols of the ancient Celtic religion: pumpkins and Jack-O-Lanterns, witches, ghosts, skeletons, trick or treat-costumes, costume dressing, and Halloween parties and events, which are all symbols that support witchcraft and eliminate light and love. Estimates for the massive amounts spent on Halloween merchandising sales for this celebration tops $2.4 million, second only to the Christmas holiday.
By participating in the activities of those who worship idols and other gods, we are bound to be affected. We are specifically directed not to imitate evil (3 John 11), not because God wants to quash our fun, but to protect us from evil.
There was an almost overwhelming amount of fear placed on our doorsteps during October. For the future, avoid bankruptcy and skip the trip to the amusement park, Halloween fest or scary movie that will almost scare your clothes off, leave you in terror and dread of the dark, or gift you with sleepless nights.
Even more important, to what damage are we subjecting our children by exposing them to outright danger during their door-to-door quest for candy? (Besides, why do they need that much sugar?)
We are reminded that God is love, and there is no fear in love (1 John 4:8). We are encouraged not to be fearful because we are blessed with power, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). Finally, God is the Giver of all good, therefore, He is the God of Peace. Focus your celebrations on He who brings light, gives peace and redeemed us from our transgressions.
Rest in the spiritual peace of Christ and do not let your heart be troubled, and above all, do not be afraid. (John 14:27)
Watching people stand in endless lines for hours waiting to board the popular roller coaster ride filled me with amazement. Each time the cars whooshed around on narrow tracks and descended downhill toward a steep drop, the peoples’ laughter and screams became louder. Fear of a calamitous mechanical malfunction was masked as the people seemed blindly engaged in gleeful mirth. They had put their faith in the assurance of the safety of an amusement park ride.
God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, is not a roller coaster! Yet we often face a major challenge in placing our faith in Him. Rather, we place our faith in worldly assurances and look to ourselves and others.
Since creation, humankind has attempted to escape reliance on a trustworthy God. We discredit The unseen, yet trustworthy God who sees the future as the present and the invisible as seen. (Hebrews 11:1-3) We impatiently treat His delayed response to our requests as reasons to doubt his trustworthiness and faithfulness.
To overcome our faithlessness, we build foundations that support our reality of security, firmness, and truth, none of which guarantee security. Humans disappoint or change, financial markets are like balloons and eventually fail or collapse. Like Iguanas (lizards), who can change colors, political ideologies also change. Worldly love (without Christ) lacks the nature of God. It overlooks the intrinsic worth of another through forgiveness and mercy.
Among the multiple attributes of the self-existing God are His faithfulness and truthfulness. He always keeps His promises, and it is impossible for Him to lie. (Joshua 23:14; 2 Corinthians 1:20; Hebrews 6:18). Not one of the items man has created as objects to faith can compare with God’s unchangeable and constant truth.
Often the question arises concerning the proof that God exists. Some say, “Show me the evidence of His existence.” Along these lines, science and atheists have advanced several theories to discount the Deity of God and Christ.
It is a useless effort to try and convince those who are unwilling to abandon man’s tangible passports to faith and embrace Godly faith. (1 Timothy 1:4) Creation, the Bible, miracles, everlasting love, and eternal life are foolishness to those who are faithless. (Psalm 14:1)
When a small child tightly holds his father’s hand as he walks along the narrow ridge of a brick wall, the child has complete confidence that his father will not let him fall should he slip.
Faith in The unseen God, our spiritual Father, invites us to believe and rely on the fidelity, faithfulness, truthfulness, unchangeableness, and eternal love of God and His redemptive work through Christ.
Faith is the guaranty of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (proof). (Hebrews 11:1)
I don’t know about their popularity in other cities, but in the beach city in which I live, E-Scooters are plentiful and as popular as chocolate.
These 2-wheel mobility enablers have a narrow platform on which the rider stands with feet in a personal launch position which allows the occupant to travel at about 15 mph. Each scooter is designed for one person who is fully responsible for arriving at the intended destination.
In like manner, each of us is accountable for the door we open and the road we travel during our life journey. Our worldly environment is always ready to open wide the door of possibilities filled with various circumstances, opportunities, relationships, sidebars, etc.
Entrance through this wide door may seem to offer us a road to happiness, success, fame, fortune, beauty, love, pleasure, and other supposedly ideal visions. Any one of these directions is a reinforcement to define us as one of the majorities.
On the other hand, the door of the spiritually driven is very narrow. It may be characterized by hardships, suffering, and disappointments—and who wants any of that?
As hard as it is to believe, these are the characteristics that discipline us and infuse life into our souls. They bring growth into our hearts and unite us with God. Although the road behind the narrow door may not be as easy, it is the gateway to eternal life.
When we discipline our children, it should be about love and not abuse. God’s love responds in the same manner toward His children.
Did you ever notice when facing a potentially life-changing experience how your human devices to find a solution do not work? You feel stuck inside your door and are drawn to detour off the narrow road. Some of us will not want to wait for Divine intervention. At such a moment, we may consider giving up on life. It’s too painful and too hard. It’s as if we have let go of our faith and continue to throw stuff up against the wall that doesn’t work. (Mark 11:22)
Discouragement and depression will eventually suggest that we step off the narrow road and go back through the easier wide door. This is when God shows up at exactly the right moment and applies the best solution to the problem. He has resources beyond our human capabilities and miracles are part of His nature. He has seen the end and has the answer.
As the guarantee of life in Him, He offers us the Spirit of His Son, Jesus to live within us. (Galatians 2:20) His Spirit gives us power to become super conquerors. (Romans 8:31,37)
Many people will cautiously go through the narrow door and carefully begin their walk along that slim road. Sadly, many will not maintain their spiritual commitment to remain on the thin, and often very difficult road; life will become a vapor. (Matthew 7:13-14)
Believe that God is always there and will never leave you or forsake you (Shammah: He’s there). (Matthew 28:20) The door may be narrow that leads to the thin road and may be difficult, and you may feel squeezed like a stress ball, but in Him is eternal life. Stay within the narrow door!