Your Next Stop...The Twilight Zone!
I have important news for you...
You are in the Twilight Zone (cue the creepy music - do do do do - do do do do).
Maybe you've heard of being in the Twilight Zone, but never knew where that phrase came from. The Twilight Zone was a wildly popular television show in the 1960's where seemingly ordinary people and situations turned into unbelievable events that is the stuff of nightmares. So now when someone says "I think we're in the Twilight Zone" - they usually mean something really weird is going down.
Ooo! Ooo! Can I tell you about one of my favorite Twilight Zone episodes of all time?
OK, so there's this American who is taking a walking trip through Europe, and he suddenly gets caught in a killer storm. As he stumbles and staggers through the blinding rain, he discovers he is right outside a huge medieval castle. Turns out it's the home to a group of monks (the really religious guys who wear hoods and ring bells). He begs them to take him in for the night, and they reluctantly allow him in. Later that night, the American discovers a cell with a man locked inside by an ancient wooden staff that bolts the door. The prisoner claims he's being held captive by the "insane" head monk, Brother Jerome and he pleads for the American to release him. At first he doesn't want to, but the prisoner has a kind face and gentle voice that eventually wins him over.
So the American confronts Brother Jerome, who declares that the prisoner is actually none other than Satan, who the Bible calls 'the father of lies', and he is being held captive by the Staff of Truth, the one barrier he cannot pass. Well, this incredible claim is all it took to convince the American that Jerome really is nuts, so as soon as he gets the chance, he releases the prisoner who immediately transforms into a hideous, demon and vanishes in a puff of smoke!
The stunned American is horrified at the realization of what he has done. Jerome responds to him with pity and says,
"I'm sorry for you, my son. All your life you will remember this night and whom you have turned loose upon the world."
"I didn't believe you," the American replies. "I saw him and didn't recognize him," to which Jerome sadly observes, "That is man's weakness and Satan's strength."
Cue the creepy music - do do do do - do do do do!
Welcome to your every day Twilight Zone, because every day you make the choice to keep Satan prisoner or let him loose in your life. Every day you choose whether or not to get tricked by his kind face and gentle words. Every day you decide if the staff of truth stays or comes off the door of your life.
I think you know what I'm talking about, and I also think we all need to fight a little harder against the spiritual attacks that blast our lives on a daily basis. So I'm going to let you in on the 'secret' to spiritual warfare that really isn't a secret at all. It's right here in black and white courtesy of The Apostle Paul - who I think kept the door shut pretty well. Here's what he says:
"We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5).
This is the 'staff of truth' that keeps the door shut and Satan locked out of your life. It's a simple strategy that is won or lost on the battlefield of your mind. Why? Because that's most often where Satan attacks. If he can get you to think evil thoughts, the evil behavior won't be far behind. So Paul is saying: "Identify, capture, and kill any and all thoughts that are tempting you in any way to disobey God."
How? Well, this is where God's word becomes 'the sword of the Spirit'. Take it out and show no mercy to the seemingly kind but devastatingly destructive thoughts that bombard you every day. For example...
Guys - when your brain is trying to coax you into directing your internet surfing to the shore of lust, meet it head on with this sword move -
"I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust upon a young woman." (Job 31:1)
Girls - when you're brain is sweet talking you into souring your life by being a 'friend with benefits', pierce right through that thought by quoting 1 Corinthians 6:18 -
"Run away from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body."
Or guys and girls - when the army of gossipy, hateful, unforgiving, self-righteous thoughts marches on your mind, slaughter them with this masterful move -
"Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." (Philippians 4:8)
See what I mean? For every temptation Satan throws your way, there is at least one passage of Scripture that will help you take that thought captive and keep the door of your life shut from the powerful being who has sworn to steal your joy, kill your body, and ultimately destroy your life.
So welcome to your Twilight Zone...hopefully your episode will turn out better than one I told you about.
Do do do do - do do do do!
Head: What you need to know about this truth
One of the key areas of spiritual warfare is the battle for the mind, so we must take every thought captive by memorizing and applying the truth of the Bible against the lies of Satan.
Heart: What you need to feel about this truth
The Twilight Zone emotions I get out of this truth are anger, disgust, and excitement. I am angry that there is an enemy who is hell bent on making my life a living hell. I am disgusted at the times when I give into the lies and let the devil loose in my life. I am excited that I have the weaponry at my disposal to roundly and soundly defeat the enemy with the truth and save my life from destructive choices.
How do you feel?
Hands: What you need to do about this truth
One of the basic and most fundamental ways to engage in spiritual warfare is to put on God's armor for protection from the enemy. Read the Soul Fuel that talks more about God's armor as protection from the enemy.