Friday, October 26, 2007

The Best Ghost Story

by Kathy Lay

This Week’s Power Verse: John 14:17 (NLT): He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.

Lean in around the campfire or the glow of your screen for a ghost story, Friends...

It was a dark, damp, foggy night in late October. My kids were putting the final touches on their Halloween costumes so we made the trek into town for a few last minute accessories. The spectacle of the new supercenter had a carnival-like atmosphere, with familiar faces, pleasant aromas, and tempting goods everywhere. Little did we know that peering at us from between carefully stacked bags of candy and fun costume accessories were two real-life, honest-to-goodness monsters!

Oh, we were vulnerable alright. The eerie invaders no doubt sized us up as easy targets and plotted how to seize and take control of us. The destroyers slinked out from their lair of temptation to get their slimy grasp on us. Have you seen these monsters? One has green eyes and the other can devour you from the inside out in no time at all. Their names? Envy and Greed.

Envy’s green eyes force its victim to focus on all the cool stuff others have, material or otherwise. The victim can become obsessed with not only “keeping up with the Joneses” but also one-upping them. The victim lives by comparison and always keeps score. This then paves the way for Greed who takes up residence in the victim’s core, driving him or her to always want more, more, MORE. Even if it means compromising what was once important.

So facing these forces, what was I to do? How could I conquer evil? If I was going to do battle right there in the aisle, I needed my sword of truth—the Word. Proverbs 23:17, “Don’t envy sinners, but always continue to fear the Lord.” Take THAT, you green-eyed beast! Luke 12:15, “Then he said, ‘Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.’” You’re goin’ down, Greed! I Timothy 6:8, “So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content.” I, equipped by the God of the universe, hereby conquer evil in the name of the Lord! Waa Hahahaha…

Now, ghost stories can be a bit oversimplified and they are definitely heavy on dramatic embellishments, but this one contains some truth. We have an advocate spirit—the Holy Ghost—who lives in us and equips us to fight the enemy, no matter what monstrous form he takes. Pure and simple.

According to my copy of The Student Bible Dictionary, “hallowed” means “something set apart, separated from ordinary things.” In Old English it was equivalent to “saint” and All Hallows Eve was the evening before All Saints Day, a day set apart to glorify God. Unfortunately, as cultures blended and pagan influence became more widespread, Halloween began to take on a much more secular flavor. I encourage you this Halloween and every day, to get back to the root word—Hallow God by setting yourself apart for him, and make it a point to share your favorite Holy Ghost story. That’s the best kind of ghost story there is!

Our Father, who art in Heaven, Hallowed be your Name! How we praise you that when we give you our lives, you dwell in us! Your spirit guides and leads us into what is best, helping to bring your Kingdom “here on earth as it is in Heaven.” Let this difference in us notably set us apart in such a way as to attract others to your wonderful truth. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

What battles is the enemy launching at you? Have you allowed Jesus to stake you as his claim? (If not, you can by clicking on “Need Saved?” in the side bar. -->) Once you’re his, you’ll never have to fight alone again.

Power Verses:
James 2:19-20 (NLT)
You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?

Eph. 6:13-18 (NIV)
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

Galatians 5:16 (NLT)
[ Living by the Spirit’s Power ] So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.


M. Milbourn said...

sharing Holy Ghost stories. That would be a great tradition to start!

Marsha said...

I finally found you gals! Thanks to a good friend and the help of my 10 year old daughter's mind blowing computer skills. (not mind blowing to most, but to me, well..)
Andyway, we discussed in our Wednesday night class at FCC about
Halloween being what you make of it.
Just like Christmas. It can be a secular event or it can be a "hallowed" one. Thanks for reminding me that every holiday should be a "holyday".