The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” And He said to them, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning. “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you. “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.” - Luke 10:17-20
The first visible sign I saw of the Kingdom of God advancing in power in this East Central neighborhood was when another brother and I, drove out a demon from a tormented woman and mother. The demon had visited her son at his window. The boy would tell her that he saw him. Then one day it possessed him. In her motherly concern and fright, she told the spirit to enter her instead...it did. When we entered the room, she was against the wall and visibly not in her right mind. We ushered out some of the family that had gathered, closed the door and in the name of Jesus told that demon to leave her. Instantly she slumped to the floor and came into her right mind. After ministering to the gathered family, we left. The healed family started attending the church we were ministering within. It was an amazing moment and story of the power over devils that is available in Jesus.
It was the first encounter with snakes and scorpions that I had in this area and when we moved here to plant a church, I didnt expect it to be our last.
Jesus said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well." (Mark 16:15-18).
The church is called to move into the dens of scorpions and serpents. To exercise the dominion of the resurrected and triumphant Lord of glory who "...disarmed the rulers and the authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in the cross."-Colossians 2:15.
We are not to fear darkness but expose it with light, bind it, drive it out and crush it by the living and ever powerful One who lives within us. We are living out the prophetic words of our Lord who said: "Now judgement is upon this world; now the rule of this world will be cast out and I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself. (John 12:31-32). He spoke of a day of plunder after the "strongman would be bound": “If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. “If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. “If Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but he is finished! “But no one can enter the strong man’s house and plunder his property unless he first binds the strong man, and then he will plunder his house. (Mark 3:24-27).With such marching orders, can we do less than dare to enter the strong man's house too? Isn't the ache to see those men and women drawn to Jesus motivation enough to put oneself in harms way? Is there danger? Yes. The odds are against us, the willing are few, the audacity of our God inspired and awakened faith is lamb like in comparison to the foe's that we face.
"After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. "Go; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves." (Luke 10:1-3).
We more than likely will die in the war but even death has been conquered...and what better way to die than standing in dark places...among snakes, scorpions and overwhelming odds?
I have but one candle of life to burn, and I would rather burn it out in a land filled with darkness than a land flooded with light.