“Trick or Treat!” This is what we’d say on Halloween when we’d go door to door, dressed up in some homemade costume, carrying pillowcases with the hope of getting candy at each door. Usually, someone would answer the door with a giant bowl of candy, smile, ask about our costumes and then dispense with the candy distribution.
When I was growing up, we might be gone for an hour or a few hours, depending on our stamina, and if we figured we could get a good haul of candy, going up one side of the street, crossing over, and coming back on the other side. The older kids would do the same thing for a few blocks or hide in the bushes, jump us and steal our candy. No matter what, everyone knew the candy mantra, “Trick or Treat!”
The idea behind this mantra is that the house owner should give us a treat, or we’d play a trick on them that would be unpleasant. As I think about the whole idea of trick or treat, I think that Satan tries to do the same kind of shifty stuff to us. Satan tries to trick us with deception, allure us with temporary pleasure, encourage our doubts in God, hurt us with memories from the past, discourage our faith, accuse and shame us with our failures as well as whisper hopeless thoughts and feelings into our souls.
Thankfully, we don’t have to fall victim to the enemy’s trick-or-treat schemes because God has given us Holy Spirit as a counterpart to Satan’s schemes. For starters, we know that Satan’s native language is lying and deception, based on John 8:44. He is tricky, conniving, deceptive and his ultimate goal is to kill, steal and destroy, disconnecting us from a vibrant relationship with God. On the other side, Jesus tells us that Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth, based on John 14:17 and John 16:13.
Let’s also consider that the enemy of our souls is in continual accusing mode, as we read in Revelation 12:10. In opposition to Satan and his accusing efforts, Holy Spirit is our Advocate, advocating and confirming our identity as God’s son / daughter, based on Romans 8:14 & 16. So as we head into the weekend for Halloween, let’s be aware of the trick or truth question and reality.
To that end, let’s decide to choose truth or trickery and deception. Let’s choose Holy Spirit advocating and affirming us rather than Satan accusing and condemning us. Let’s be purposeful to stay in the light and truth while rejecting deception and distortion, Satan’s tactics to separate us from God’s love for us.
While we are most certainly in the Halloween season, let’s remain committed to truth more than trickery!