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    Spiritual Winters

    December 12, 2018 Aaron Yoder
    Filed Under:
    Faith, God's Character

    Recently, our family watched one of my favorite movies, ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.’  I’m drawn to the Narnia series because of the powerful and allegorical ways in which the author, C. S. Lewis, depicts spiritual realities.  For example, his depiction of the Creator and Savior of the world as Aslan the Lion is, in my opinion, a tremendously helpful way to understand the nature of our God.  Perhaps the most familiar quote about Aslan comes from this story.  “Who said anything about [Aslan being] safe?  ‘Course he isn’t safe.  But he’s good.  He’s the King, I tell you.” 

    Right now, we find ourselves in a season in which we celebrate the moment in human history when the Most High King came to dwell with us.

    However, Lewis also went to great lengths to describe the personification of evil as depicted in Jadis, the White Witch.  Her backstory comes from Lewis’ first book in the Narnia series entitled ‘The Magician’s Nephew.’  In short, Jadis was a sorceress in another world who feuded against her own sister.  In a final effort towards victory, she spoke a word that, when uttered, destroyed everything…except the person who spoke it.  She succeed and eventually made her way into Narnia.  Upon arrival, Jadis began to impose her will in this new world by crippling the creatures with fear and threatening to turn them into stone.  She also brought about a season which was “always winter but never Christmas.”

    Now, our world is not ruled by an embittered sorceress.  It’s actually worse than that.  Satan, the imposter who temporary rules this world as the “prince of the power of the air” and the “father of lies,” has successfully enticed humans into disobedient and lustful living (see Ephesians 2:2-3, John 8:44 and 12:31).  He convinces people to become ‘great’ at the expense of others and seeks to eliminate all possibilities for hope and lasting joy.  Satan aims for a winter upon the human soul - devoid of life, purpose and hope. 

    Perhaps you know of co-workers, friends or family members who communicate, in a variety of ways, that they only see a bleak landscape before them and live in this kind of perpetual, spiritual ‘winter.’  Indeed, the enemy of God has many held captive.

    Now, Narnia’s inhabitants had all but giving up hope until strange human visitors arrived and the beloved Father Christmas returned after being absent for 100 years.  From these signs, they could tell that “Aslan was on the move again.” 

    I love how Lewis depicts Christmas as a sign that the curse is fading away.  Each year, when we sing ‘Joy To The World,’ we celebrate this reality!   Remember the lyrics from the third verse of Isaac Watts’ most famous hymn:  “No more let sins and sorrows grow, nor thorns infest the ground.  He comes to make his blessings flow, far as the curse is found…”  Because of Jesus, the power of sin and Satan is broken.  Spiritual winters can fade and new life can flourish.

    As we continue in this season of Advent, I encourage you to pray for those who are stuck in spiritual winters and enslaved to the ‘prince of the air.’  The Lord often uses this time of the year to stir hearts towards him again – or even for the first time.  As we light the advent candles and sing the Christmas hymns, we celebrate the reality that our God, the King, is on the move and the curse is fading away!

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