There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritualist, or one who calls up the dead. For whoever does these things is detestable to the LORD (Deuteronomy 18:10-12).
The dark side of Satan's version of spiritual knowledge and power mentioned by Moses - ritual sacrifice, witchcraft, sorcery - is also thriving in our culture, though not as openly as some of the more socially acceptable New Age practices. Our police departments are trying to tell parents today "Wake up! Your kids are not just into drugs and illicit sex. They're into Satanism. We've seen the blood and the mutilated animals." It's getting so bad that one of the animal control agencies in our area will no longer release a black dog or cat at Halloween for fear that it will become the victim of satanic ritual abuse.
The man who heads up our campus security belongs to a group of security officers from campuses across Southern California, which meets once a month. When it was our school's turn to host the meeting, he asked me to speak to the group about spiritual phenomena in our culture. "There aren't many Christians in the group," he said, "but they'll be on our campus, so I want you to speak to them." I agreed to do so.
It was a veteran crowd of former military men and police officers. When I started talking about the rise of Satanism and ritual abuse in our community, there wasn't a doubter or a scoffer in the bunch. Every one of them had a story to share about finding grisly evidence of Satanism being active on their respective campuses.
Every aberration of spiritual knowledge and power that Moses warned the Israelites to avoid in Canaan from "harmless" horoscopes to unthinkable atrocities of animal and human sacrifice is in place and operating in our culture today. We must wake up to the reality that "our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual forces of wickedness" (Ephesians 6:12).
Mighty Lord, equip me today not just to stand my ground against the enemy but to actively reclaim in Jesus' name territory he has stolen.