I recently saw a symbol on a public sign that made my skin crawl. It was based on a Satanic pentagram. I recoiled, appalled. But I was immediately convicted: “Would Yeshua react in such a way?” I could not imagine that he would, no. Not in a thousand years actually, come to think of it. I had felt disgust and disapproval, but it’s hard to imagine that Yeshua’s face would distort as mine had. So how would our Messiah react to obvious signs and indications of his enemy’s work? It got me thinking, and challenged me that my reaction was based on fear that I simply had no need to experience.
Halloween comes and goes, and along with it, the annual debates about these things, and the darkness associated with them. Many believers react as I had done that day – recoiling in abhorrence. Horrified and shocked. And there are plenty of other issues that cause concern in the body of the Messiah today as evil is prevalent in many forms. But are we really conforming to the likeness of God’s Son when we react this way? After trying to think through how Yeshua would react to an occult symbol, I considered that he would remain in perfect peace. Unrattled. It is HE who has the power and authority to rattle Satan’s gates, not the other way around.
“Oh, it’s you.”
The enemy has absolutely no power over our Lord, and presents no threat whatsoever to the One who beat sin and death. No, Yeshua has the freedom of laughing at his enemy. Nothing that Satan can ever do would shock or surprise Yeshua. He already knows all of the devil’s moves, millennia in advance. This chess game is over. Yeshua is the victor. He is delaying his return only for the sake of the many more people he wishes to save. He is waiting for as many as possible to repent, before he wraps this thing up, once and for all.
Yeshua’s almighty power, sovereign knowledge and total victory would mean there would be no trace of concern when he encounters darkness. He has nothing to worry about. And this, my friends, is our inheritance too.
There was a man of God, the tale goes, who was visited by the devil himself one night. Satan manifested in bodily form, and sat upon the man’s bed, waking him up. “Oh, it’s you”, the man said, unimpressed. He turned over and went back to sleep. This is the confidence that each one of us can have in the cross. The battle is over, and the blood of Yeshua has sealed Satan’s fate. We are on the winning side, and have nothing to fear.
Similarly, I met Brother Andrew once, a man who bravely takes the gospel where others fear to tread. He had shared about some extremely hair raising encounters with the spiritual leader of Hezbollah, in which he offered to take the place of a kidnapped journalist. The terrorist leaders were astounded at his willingness to sacrifice himself, and asked, “What kind of faith is this?!” The door was open for him to share how Yeshua had volunteered to take our place and sacrificed himself for us on the cross. I told Brother Andrew how amazed I was at his courage, and he replied gently, “Well my dear, we have nothing to fear, do we?” At the time I internally protested – “Are you mad?! YES WE DO!!” Although I was too ashamed to say it aloud. I failed to see how he could not see the dangers, but as time goes by, I realise that he was absolutely right. As sons and daughters of the King of Kings, we live on a totally different level, and different rules apply. It is God, not man, or even Satan, who gets to say what happens to us. We are safe in his hands. Nothing can happen to us that he does not permit, and no suffering of ours is eternal. It is Satan who should be afraid, not us.
Confidence, courage, and kindness
Here is my new plan to replace the rather ineffective strategy of recoiling with an ugly expression. I will commit to confidence, courage and kindness.
- I choose to be confident in Yeshua’s victory on the cross. He has won, his blood is the most powerful substance in the universe, and I know that I am his child. I do not need to be afraid at all. This is the freedom that Yeshua paid so dearly for, and I owe it to him to believe him when he says that I should not be afraid.
- I will have courage to move forward, not backwards. I can embrace rather than reject those engaged in evil, much as Yeshua welcomed tax collectors and prostitutes. We can reach out with God’s offer of freedom and forgiveness to whosoever would receive him. The confidence we can have in the cross liberates us to be brave men and women who are unafraid to reach out to all those who are perishing.
- I will treat with kindness all those who are trapped in the schemes of the enemy: those involved in witchcraft, worshiping false gods, those opposed to my faith. I will not treat people with rejection or disgust but with kindness and compassion, since Yeshua died for them, and paid a high price for their deliverance.
I need not fear. I need not recoil or step back. In fact, with my God I can march over into enemy territory and raid his camp, claiming back captives for him.
I do not say these things lightly, unaware of the suffering that there is in this world, or the real power of the enemy, but I now understand what Brother Andrew meant, even as he seemed to be at the mercy of Hezbollah. We have nothing to fear. I shall fear no evil, because God is with me.
1 A psalm of David.
Adonai is my shepherd, I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
3 He restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for His Name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for You are with me:
Your rod and Your staff comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You have anointed my head with oil, my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the House of Adonai forever.