Posted 2014-11-07 00:00:00 -0800 by Ellie Stailey
What would Jesus be doing in our world today? What would Jesus be doing on a night like Halloween night, a night when darkness and evil and everything opposite of Jesus is celebrated? What would Jesus be doing?
Would He be hiding in the basement, all the upstairs lights turned off so as not to attract the trick-or-treaters? Would He be on the street corner with a sign above His head, yelling down fire and brimstone at every sinner walking by?
Unfortunately, we as Christians have done a poor job of imitating the Jesus of the Bible.
We hear words like witchcraft, paganism, or the occult, and we immediately put up walls of accusation, because we fear what we don’t understand. We are afraid of sin so we try to control it and lock our doors against it, in hopes that it won't come in and attack our worlds. We are terrified of the power of darkness, and think we have to protect what we believe.
In our fear, we turn people into threats. We dehumanize the ones we are called to love. Our judgement actually puts people into greater bondage and undoes the very thing Christ came to accomplish - set the captives free.
Jesus took a great risk when he gave us the keys of the kingdom. In one hand we have a set of keys, in the other we have a stone. The sinner crouches at the mercy of our careless hands. Will we extend a hand of grace? Or will we cast a stone?
Jesus was not the voice of accusation, but the voice of reconciliation. When He spoke, He reminded people of who they were. He spoke to them as lost sons and daughters. He didn’t see a sinner; He saw a person.
When we strip off the fear from titles like witch or pagan, we see the person. And the person is so beautiful!
This was my second year to attend the annual witch festival in Salem, MA. Teams of worshippers from all over the East Coast have gathered for this event every year. While thousands come to the town to take part in the rituals and festivities surrounding Salem’s culture of witchcraft, we come to do 60 hours of non-stop worship and to do undercover street ministry with the guise of spiritual readings, dream interpretation and free healing.
Last year, I had my entire ministry paradigm shift. Every fear I had towards people involved in witchcraft became irrelevant as I experienced the joy of sharing God’s love with not someone I saw as an enemy, but with a person. Initially, I had expected to face heavy spiritual oppression, so I was amazed when I experienced more of the Presence of God than I had experienced elsewhere.
This year was no different. From the place of worshiping Jesus, we got to show people the Way, the Truth, and the Life. We got to point people towards Eternity. We got to introduce people to Jesus.
I want to share all the stories, because each story is a life, a person, a heart that Jesus saw and said, “You’re worth it.” That heart is worth pursuing. That heart is worth going into the darkness for. That heart is worth dying for.
I’ll share one story that paints this picture...
I saw two girls staring at our posters - “FREE SPIRITUAL READINGS. FREE HEALING.” Their faces were a mixture of curiosity, uncertainty and good-natured fun. Maybe they were looking for a real spiritual experience or, more likely, they were looking for some entertainment.
I told them we believe in the Creator and He has good things to say to each of His creations. I told them we would take a minute to connect with His Spirit and then we would share what we heard.So they came over to where we were standing, off to the side of the throngs of people. They were giggling and glancing at each other, because they had no idea what they were getting themselves into.
I looked at one girl and said the first thing that came to mind. “Are you an actress?”
She looked at her friend in shock, then looked back at me. “Acting is my life,” she said emphatically.
I continued to tell her that I sensed there were going to be incredible doors that would open up for her and that she would become a huge voice of influence. Her influence was to help people. I specifically saw her influencing young people and children.
This girl was freaking out as I spoke. Apparently, everything I was saying was true. Our team continued prophesying life and destiny over her. Every time we paused, she broke out in exclamations like, “Everything is changing for me! This is shifting my entire perspective! I was not expecting this!”
We prophesied over the second girl as well. You could see her walls coming down and her heart being healed, as we talked to her about her value. We sensed she had felt overlooked and unwanted in life, but the Creator saw her.
We were able to minister the Father’s love over wounds she had from her father, as one of the guys in our group prayed a father’s blessing over her. There was such tenderness in her eyes and you could see her soaking up every word.
In our interaction with these girls, we came to a tipping point. There was hunger in their eyes. They wanted more.
“OK, can I be honest with you?” my friend, Jared, asked them. “The only way we know all of this about you is because the Creator, God, speaks to us. He’s not like the God you hear from the street preachers who yell shame and condemnation. He’s a God of love. He wants to speak to you every day. You can hear His voice, just like us.”
They didn’t believe it, but they wanted to. They were raised Catholic, but this was the first time they ever experienced the Presence of God. We told them all they had to do was ask. Jared had them close their eyes and ask God what He wanted to say to them.
The one girl looked up with a huge smile. “He said I’m worth it!”
“See,” Jared responded, “He knows every detail of you and He wants to be a part of your life. So... do you want Him a part of your life? Do you want to give your life to Jesus?”
“Woah! That’s a huge question,” one said as she realized the weight of the moment. After pausing and thinking about what was happening, she looked back up and said, in between bursts of laughter, “Yes! Yes, I want to give my life to Jesus!”
Right there, on the streets of Salem, MA, we watched Jesus pluck a life out of the darkness and crown it with glorious light.
That night we saw 20-30 people give their lives to Jesus. We’ve estimated that 100 people were healed of physical ailments. 2 people got up from their wheelchairs and walked away completely fine. A lady with arthritis all over her body was squatting and touching her toes after we prayed. There was also deep inner-healing that took place. In tears, people walked through forgiving family members who had hurt them. A man plagued with demons invited the Spirit of Light to come set him free.
This is what Jesus would be doing on Halloween. This is what He’s like. He’s not afraid of the darkness, and neither should we. May we always be the voice that reminds people of who they truly are.
This article first appeared HERE.