I haven't gone to see M. Night Shyamalan's latest film, "Devil," yet, but I am interested. It seems that we are fascinated with the darker side of spirituality, and this often finds its way into cinema. Ever since "The Exorcist," films have portrayed the struggle for the human soul that Christians have seen as a normal part of our spiritual life. Of course, these films are delving into the most dramatic aspect of that struggle, namely demonic possession, but the struggle goes on for each of us in perhaps less exciting ways.
The proliferation of evil-spirit-bothers-poor-humans movies makes me think as well. Recently, we have seen movies like "Paranormal Activity" (which has a sequel coming), "The Exorcism of Emily Rose," and, most recently, "The Last Exorcism." These movies, while dramatizations and fiction, do have an element of truth to them. Evil is real; evil spirits are real; the devil is real. To deny that is to become vulnerable to the very evil that we ignore. However, just as true is the reality of God and His power to conquer evil. The nastiness portrayed in these sorts of movies should not terrify us as much as the thought that, as some say, God is powerless against these things.
I think that this recent fascination with the devil and possession is a corollary to another fascination that our world and culture would rather not admit. I see it, though. We are fascinated with God. It's a natural part of our humanity - that longing to know the One who called us into being and sustains us even now. Even through the struggles of life, we still cannot help but turn to the One who, in sending His only Son, entered into that struggle Himself and conquered it. In Him - and only in Him - do we, too, have power over evil.
"If you believe in God, you must believe in the devil."
Yes; but if you believe in God, you also must believe that He is the victor.