It's Halloween, and Christians should see it as an opportunity, not a threat, writes David Mathis, executive editor for desiringGod.org, explaining how believers can "join our King as He haunts the devil and all his minions."
"Christian, you have both a shield and a sword on Halloween," writes Mathis, pastor at Cities Church in Minneapolis/Saint Paul, and adjunct professor for Bethlehem College & Seminary, in a blog post on the designingGod website.
Every fiery shot from Satan, including his massive Halloween campaign, can be extinguished with "the shield of faith," and we are outfitted also for offence with "the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God," he adds, referring to Ephesians 6:16–17.
Cowering before the demonic façade of Halloween betrays the fullness of Christ's power, Mathis goes on to say, sharing five ways "to prepare your heart and home for advancing the Gospel, dressed with the invincible power of God and His Word."
One, rehearse the authority of Jesus, Mathis writes, highlighting biblical passages that refer to Christ's full authority in Heaven and on Earth. "That includes All Hallows Eve, and every futile attempt made by the demonic hordes."
Two, remember Jesus' power at work in you, as He "dwells within you by His Spirit."
"And so we look every Halloween fear or darkness in the face and say, 'He who is in me is greater than he who is in the world,'" Mathis writes, quoting 1 John 4:4. "In Christ, we are no longer slaves to death, or slaves to Satan, but glad servants of the Almighty God."
Three, it is important to recognize who the enemy is, the author says. "Your enemy is not the neighbors with the creepy skeletons in the yard," he explains. "Or the silly teenage trick-or-treaters dressed up as zombies. The adversary is not fellow humans, gruesome or God-belittling as they can be, but 'the rulers, the authorities, the cosmic powers over this present darkness, the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places,'" as Ephesians 6:12 says.
"We take him seriously, but we do not fear him. We will not be outwitted by Satan's Halloween schemes," Mathis adds.
Four, Christians should reach out with kindness.
Recognizing the authority of Jesus and His power within us and remembering that Satan is our enemy, not our neighbors, help us "lean into Halloween, not away," he explains.
"We open the door wide and linger in conversation. We plan ahead about how to make the most of this unique opportunity, when a society of people who increasingly keep to themselves in the neighborhood turn on lights and knock on doors."
Five, recall the promises of Christ, Mathis says. "As we answer the doorbell, or walk the block with kids in tow, we feed our souls with the unbending promises of Christ. He will build His church, and the ghosts of Halloween will not prevail against it."
Mathis concludes by saying that the Halloween harvest is great, but the laborers are still too few. "Pray earnestly that the Lord of the Harvest would send out his workers to chase away the darkness," he writes, referring to Matthew 9:37–38.