Can you believe it? At 5 years old I had no mental or historical context for Halloween.
How can that be? The first four years of my life were spent living in an atmosphere of a late 1950s Bible school campus.
Then when I was 5, we moved to a small South Jersey community. It was one of those postcard towns with a historical church, town store and an intersection.
Halloween had come. No one bothered to prep the little guy. While playing in the living room I heard steps on the porch and looked up to see monsters looking in the window!
That day I discovered the world held surprise and horror, and people did not always protect me. Fear had encroached into my life. I didn't understand what was happening.
Admittedly, compared to the horrors of abuse, divorce, abandonment and the like, this experience was not truly a bad thing. However, in the life of a 5-year-old, it was definitely an overwhelming moment.
Fear is an immobilizing force in our emotions. Fear robs us of victory. Fear keeps us from the freedom that is ordained for us.
Fear is a conduit to evil, paranoia, defeat, disease, psychosis and numerous maladies.
I love the line that the apostle Paul wrote: "You did not receive a spirit of bondage or (enslavement) to fear," Amplified Version.
At conception, you did not receive an attitude of fear in your DNA. We understand that our spirit is more than an attitude but our attitude reflects the condition of our spirit. That is why Paul says we have received a spirit of adoption, which helps us cry out, "Papa," meaning, "Our Father."
What a place of security we can come into when we recognize God as our Father.
When this concept is secure, you know the answer to three important questions. Where am I from? Why am I here? Where am I going?
When you understand by the "spirit of adoption" that you are a child of God, those questions are answered.
What a thrill!
Faith frees us. Fear freezes us.
Eventually my folks did coax me out from behind the sofa. They helped me to understand the circumstances that scared me. In due course, I began to actually enjoy the idea of costumes and masks.
I wonder today how many friends we have who live as victims of fear as they go through life because they do not understand or even perceive freedom.
Paul reminded us of two choices: the spirit of fear or the spirit of adoption.
Which spirit is yours? My hope for you is that as you gaze out from the window of your life you will understand what you see.
Robert Reasner is senior pastor at Abundant Life Assembly of God in Sterling. Abundant Life is at Mile 81.5 of the Sterling Highway. The phone number is 262-7266 and Reasner can be reached at alag @acsalaska.net or www.abun dantlifealaska.org.
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