The Dark Side

I remember walking into the movie theater in June 1977 to sit down and watch what I assumed was just another science fiction fantasy adventure movie film. It all started with this fantastic musical score and a simple statement: “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.” Then I saw a space ship, like one I’ve never seen before, it filled the screen, it seemed to go on and on, and the detail on the outer skin of that ship was as amazing as a night skyline ablaze in lights. That’s pretty much all it took and I was completely mesmerized and engrossed. I was swept up into a world that was in an epic struggle of good vs. evil, light vs. dark – The Force vs. The Dark Side. You may know this movie as Star Wars, Episode 4: A New Hope. And if you are around my age, you may remember rushing to the theater to see each new installment (waiting for the next installment was almost torturous). If you are one of the younger age set that saw the series starting with episode one (which was the fourth movie to be released), then you most likely did not, or perhaps could not, grasp just how much we were “hooked” by George Lucas’ very wise decision to start out the movies series in the middle. We didn’t know about what happened before, we didn’t know exactly who Obi-Wan, Leia, Luke, or Darth Vader were. What we eventually learned was that the person who became Darth Vader actually started out being a good person, and a slip into frustration, hatred, and anger became a foothold, and soon they were lost to the Dark Side. The Dark Side consumed them and turned them into a very powerful, very dangerous, ultra evil person.

There’s much to learn from watching the Star Wars saga, or perhaps I should call it a modern soap opera. But one of the biggest lessons for me is watching how evil takes a very tiny step in the life of one man and pretty soon, he’s consumed, and beyond redemption (well, maybe not totally beyond redemption). I sort of picture it like this – start with a simple snowball and place that snowball on the top of a mountain, give it a gentle push, as the snowball rolls down the mountain it starts picking up snow, with each rotation it picks up more and more snow, pretty soon that small little snowball can be big enough to trigger an avalanche and destroy everything in its path.

The Bible too warns us against taking a wrong step, even seemingly small, away from God’s presence. God knows that all it could take is one minor incident of dabbling in the wrong thing. That’s the reason why we have warnings in the Bible such as: 1 John 1:5 “This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” 1 Peter 5:8 “Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 2 Corinthians 11:14-15 “And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.” God knows what is best for us, and he sees a bigger picture than we do. He knows that even something that seems so very innocent or entertaining, such as succumbing to the pressure that others exert to consult a fortune teller, or a psychic, or perhaps your astrological sign/horoscope, can lure us into dangerous territory and give the enemy a tiny foothold.

Once the enemy gains that foothold, they can lure us deeper and deeper into their trap. Since God is light, He cannot co-exist within us when we are full of demonic influences. God is pure, so corruption is an offense to Him. We cannot experience his blessings, when we are walking with the enemy. I’ve seen and personally experienced blessings from God, and I’ve seen and personally experienced the destructive forces of the enemy. Logically, I only want to dwell in the blessings of God, so I start out each and every day in God’s Word. Also, I have to moment-by-moment choose to be in communion with God and the Holy Spirit. When I have doubts and concerns, I must not act in haste, taking matters into my own hands. I must stop, I must choose to first consult my handbook, the Bible. And, I must talk with a few well-grounded, trusted, godly Christian friends. I must will myself to always look vertically towards God’s goodness, mercy, and grace – and walk away from “The Dark Side.”

p.s.: If you are are inclined to, and have not already done so, watch the whole Star War series – but do yourself a favor, start with episodes 4, 5, and 6.

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