Wednesday, October 28, 2020

The Night He-Man Saved My Family

Suggested Reading: Luke 10:1-20

When I was a kid of about six years old, I had a dream about Halloween. My family and I had gone to some kind of Halloween event where there were carnival rides, and hay, and a bunch of random, odd things that you only find together in a dream. Suddenly, a bunch of ghouls came out of nowhere and abducted my family. Now, I could have been a normal, scared six year old and started screaming. Instead, because it was my dream, I held aloft my magic sword and said, "By the power of Grayskull! I have the power!" and I turned into He-Man, the most powerful man in the universe. Then I used my sword against all of the ghouls, saved my family, and turned back into my normal six-year old self before anyone could figure out that I was He-Man. It was a good dream, especially for a six year old boy who absolutely loved the He-Man cartoons. It was so vivid that I still remember some details of the dream 35 years later.

Sometimes, we like to think about the power we have through the Holy Spirit over the forces of darkness. We like to read passages like Luke 10:19 where Jesus told his disciples, "I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you" (NIV). The verse neatly sums up the experiences that many of the disciples had when Jesus sent them out in pairs to spread news of the Kingdom, giving them power to heal the sick and to cast out demons. Verses like that, for some reason, reassure us that, not only is God in control but that the Holy Spirit enables us to overcome Satanic forces when they are arrayed against us. But Jesus did not allow the disciples to bask in their victories. In fact, the very next thing Jesus said was, "However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven" (Luke 10:20, NIV).

Jesus did not want the disciples to find their comfort in knowing that they could stand up to Satanic forces. After all, what would happen if they got caught on a weak day? What would happen if God's plan allowed for the enemy to triumph temporarily in order to demonstrate his grace and power even more? Instead, Jesus wanted the disciples - us - to be comforted by the fact that God has already won the war for us. And in a world that seems to celebrate the forces of evil, where people think it is harmless or even fun to embrace the demonic and the sadistic, and when the powers of darkness are romanticized, we find comfort not in the fact that the spirits are subject to us through the power of the Holy Spirit, but in knowing that God has already won the battle and soon everything will be made new.

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