There was a media story that recently caught my attention. At the end of October, Mexican police arrested 31 suspects in separate raids that allegedly belonged to the La Union Tepito drug cartel and then a judge promptly let most of them go.
Beneath one of the houses was an underground labyrinth of tunnels, that also included what appeared to be drug laboratories. During the arrests they found several weapons, grenades and of course drugs.
But what caught everyone’s attention was the appearance of satanic altar on the main floor of a house along with 42 humans skulls some of which were covered in blood. Four of the skulls were embedded in the altar. Authorities suspect these skulls were cartel murder victims.
The wall behind the altar had several symbols painted on it including a pyramid with a hand on top of it and a goat head with a hexagram drawn between its horns.
According to an article in the Daily Mail, people living in the neighborhood said gang members performed satanic rituals every three days to protect them from arrest. And one individual with some knowledge of these type of rituals said the blood on the skulls was specifically tied to avoiding arrest. If that is the case it may have worked as a judge let 27 of them go.
Maybe it is just me, but there seems to be a growing interest in the satanic and it’s becoming more emboldened.
So how are Christians to respond?
Well I think the first crucial step is by fully grasping your position in Christ, which is where I think we make our biggest mistake.
In Luke 9:1, we read that Jesus sent out his disciples, but notice what the Lord says:
The Bible says that the Lord gave them authority. Later we read that Jesus gave the same authority to the 70 disciples (Luke 10:17), who returned shocked by how the demons were forced to listen to them.
You probably agree that we have authority in Christ, but I think you are missing this key ingredient — it is your personal authority.
Let me illustrate what I mean.
The government gives the police authority to make an arrest. When a police officers sees a person breaking the law, they don’t have to text the mayor to see if they have permission to arrest the person.
They have the inherent authority to do this. They just do it. The police understand their position and use it to enforce the law.
The same thing with the disciples given authority by Christ. When they encountered a demon-possessed person, they didn’t hike up their robes and run back to Jesus to get permission, they just dealt with the situation because they had personal authority.
When Peter and John encountered the blind man in front of the temple, most of us are familiar with the words the Apostle said as he pulled the man to his feet in a dramatic healing:
But so often we gloss over the key point of this verse. Peter said “what I do have.” Peter understood the authority he had in Jesus name and just as importantly understood it was his authority. It was something he had. The power to heal was also in him, by the infilling of the Holy Spirit.
Certainly our authority rests in Christ who has been given all authority (Matthew 28:18), but the Lord has in turn given His authority to those who believe.
I will never forget the unusual prayer that Martin Luther made when he found out his dear friend and co-worker in the reformation, Friedrich Myconius, was on his deathbed:
As soon as Myconius read this prayer, he was instantly healed. But notice what Martin Luther wrote. First he said “I command thee in the name of God to live.” That makes sense.
But then look what Luther said towards the end of the prayer, “this is my will, may my will be done.” Luther was saying it was his will, and he wanted his will to be done.
Luther understood his authority in God. It was his personal authority and he used it. Then just as incredibly God answered Luther’s prayer.
We have to move in our thinking from being a person who has authority to being a person “of” authority, one who has ownership of the authority Jesus has given them.