Americans spent $9 billion on Halloween in 2018 with more than a third of that spending allocated to costumes. Top costumes for adults included witches, vampires, zombies, pirates, and Avengers characters. Children dressed as princesses, superheroes, Batman, Star Wars characters, and witches.1 Did you notice the costume that appears on both lists? Witches.
With its connections to the occult, Halloween presents Christians with a moral dilemma, but the Bible contains guiding principles for us to follow. This month we’ll consider strategies for confronting spiritual darkness on Halloween—and every other night of the year.
Prepare Your Heart and Mind
There once was a time in our society when the general population had a greater sense of good versus evil in the world. The population at large believed God and heaven were good, and Satan and hell were bad. They believed most conflicts could be traced back to that larger division.
Today things are different. Many professing Christians go through their day-to-day activities, attend church, and live quiet lives as good citizens. Spiritual conflict is taking place all around them, yet they often choose to isolate themselves rather than engage in the conflict. But in Ephesians 6:10-12, Paul issues a battle cry to every Christian: “Be strong…. Put on the whole armor of God.” God’s people are called to participate in the spiritual warfare that surrounds us.
Understand Your Enemy
Many people today don’t believe in spiritual warfare. Others recognize the struggle without giving it much thought. They assume conflicts arise within human relationships—but the Bible says our ultimate fight is a spiritual battle against Satan and his minions.
According to Ephesians 6:12, “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood.” In other words, the ghoulish goblins at your doorstep on Halloween night are not the enemy. No, God’s Word says that our battle is waged “against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
Satan commands a vast force of fallen angels who possess hierarchical levels of authority under his leadership. They are organized. And those of us who are Christians fall into his plans, for his strategy is to defeat us with whatever means he has available.
Take a Stand
Every morning, you initiate a series of decisions. How will you start the day? How will you speak to others? Will you practice self-care, or will you give in to the rush of life?
When you’re spiritually attacked in a way that exposes your weaknesses, what will you do? Will you fight? Satan is stronger than you. Will you run? Satan is faster than you. Will you try to endure? Satan is more patient than you. Or will you stand?
Take Ephesians 6:18 to heart and defend the battleground of your life by standing firm. Fight from the position of victory that is already yours in Jesus Christ (if you are a Christian). That is the only strategy that the enemy cannot defend against. Claim victory over Satan by standing firmly in the full power of God’s strength through Jesus Christ.
Subvert the Enemy
Napoleon Bonaparte once spread a map on a table in front of all his men. He put his finger down on a portion of the map and said, “Sirs, if it were not for that one red spot, I would have conquered the world!” His finger was placed on the British Isles. In the same way, I am certain the devil gathers his lieutenants around him, puts his map on the table, points at Calvary where the blood of Jesus Christ was shed, and says, “Sirs, if it were not for that one red spot, I could conquer the world.”
Our Commander in Chief has already won the war, and He wants us to live triumphantly each day. But it is our responsibility to claim that victory by wielding His weapons. Ephesians 6 does not tell us to sit back and let the Lord fight our battles—it instructs us to fight.
In your own words, what does the Bible say about your role in spiritual warfare?
Read 1 Corinthians 16:13 and 1 Peter 5:8. What do these passages suggest to you about the nature of the spiritual life? (Peaceful? Dangerous? Explain.) How does Satan attack your faith?
People may hurt us, but they’re not our enemy. What relationships need to be transformed by the Truth? How will you seek reconciliation this week?
Review Ephesians 6:12-18. Is there any aspect of God’s armor you tend to neglect? How will you commit to standing in the strength of that spiritual weapon?
Using a concordance, conduct a word study on “stand.” How many times does Scripture command believers to stand and for what purpose(s)? What outcome(s) can we anticipate when we stand in the Lord’s strength?
How will you fight for your family and for the souls of the little goblins knocking on your door this Halloween? How will you stand strong in your faith and express God’s love when they arrive?
Ephesians 6:18 says that we should be “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful.” As you prepare for Halloween, spend time in prayer and watch for opportunities to shine the light of the Gospel.
1Kimberly Amadeo, “Halloween Spending Statistics, Facts and Trends,” The Balance, November 26, 2018, https://www.thebalance.com/halloween-spending-statistics-facts-and-trends-3305716, accessed on September 27, 2019.