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THE SEDUCTION OF OUR CHILDREN


by Neil Anderson

 

April 17
 
Ephesians 6:4 
Bring them [your children] up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord
 
What are parents, Sunday school teachers, youth workers, and pastors to do in the face of Satan’s assault on the minds of our children? Let’s begin by stating what we can’t do.
 
First, we can’t bury our heads in the sand. This is not the time to respond in denial or claim that our Christian kids are immune to this kind of problem. Satan’s seductive activities are aimed at destroying the church at its point of greatest vulnerability: the family. The enemy is after Christian families in general and the families of Christian leaders in particular. Half of all my counseling regarding demonic influence has been with Christian leaders and their families.
 
Second, we can’t run in fear. Remember: Thanks to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, Satan is a defeated foe. The war against the seduction of our children is a winnable war. If we retreat instead of advance, we forfeit ground to the enemy that doesn’t belong to him. We must exert our authority in Jesus Christ and claim His victory in the lives of our children.
 
How can we do that?
 
First, we must become aware of the spiritual nature of the world we live in. Our children are growing up in a seductive world. Many of the things that surround them are subtly influenced by the New Age Movement, the occult, and Satanism.
 
Second, we need to understand how parents and parenting styles can either assist or block the resolution of a child’s spiritual conflicts. If a child comes from a dysfunctional home, it’s rather pointless to deal with his problem only to send him back into the home that caused the problem in the first place.
 
Third, we need definite strategies for protecting our children from spiritual assault and helping them resolve their spiritual conflicts. This is a winnable war, and it is a war we must win for the sake of our kids and the cause of Christ.
 
Prayer: Dear Father, keep me alert to spiritual opposition and bondage in my children, and equip me to assist them in appropriating Your freedom.
Easter-3 Croses


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Will YOU Share In The Sufferings Of Christ?

Easter-3 Croses

“And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center.”  John 19:17-18 (NKJV)

For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.” 2 Corinthians 1:5 (NIV)

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, understands our pain. He IS our friend and blessed Redeemer. When He left His heavenly throne and took on human form (for our sakes), He endured all the frailty found in our fleshly bodies. Not one abuse, sorrow, trouble, struggle or upset we experience was absent from His life. He lived them all. He is a Lord full of great compassion and understanding when it comes to mankind.

Jesus had siblings and is well aware of the ins and outs of family life.  There were bound to be jealousies and misunderstandings within His earthly family. Although He was without sin, He experienced the sting of insults from those closest to Him. He understands family dynamics.

He knew the pain of a friend’s betrayal. Disappointment was no stranger to our Savior. Emotional ties are often entangled with some sort of sin and can cause great pain, for love is a tender feeling. Surely Judas broke His heart.

If you have had to suffer through a desperate and painful time without the support of friends and family, Jesus understands your struggle. Did He not face His death with only His mother, His Aunt, Mary Magdalene, and the apostle John? Where were the rest of the apostles? Where were His earthly siblings?

When Christ carried His cross to Golgotha, He did so in a weakened state. His 40 lashes and beatings had weakened Him to the point of utter exhaustion.  Here comes a wondrous concept. Jesus, of the holy Trinity and God in flesh, could not physically carry His cross. It was too much for Him to bear. He experienced human weakness and the Roman soldiers compelled a Simon a Cyrenian to bear His cross. 

“Then they compelled a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, the father of Alexander and Rufus, as he was coming out of the country and passing by, to bear His cross.  And they brought Him to the place Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a Skull.”  Mark 15:21-22 (NKJV)

We are all expected to carry our own burdens in life but when a strain comes our way that is beyond our ability to withstand, God will send us help. He will provide ways to endure and carry on with the task He has assigned.

By showing kindness to those suffering, we share in their sufferings. Just as Simon helped to carry the same cross of Jesus, we are to carry the same cross of others when they are too worn to move forward. God permits us the blessing of sharing in His sufferings. This is a gift worth rejoicing over!

Praise the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! He knows our weaknesses and understands our limitations. He calls on and provides others to share in our anguish. In love, they willingly take on burdens we cannot shoulder or sustain. Through prayers, acts of love, and physical acts of assistance we can all share in each others trouble and connect as one church and one body, through the blood of our Savior.….. Jesus Christ.

Certainly it is by His wounds that we are all healed.

“But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5 (NKJV)

“Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” Romans 8:17 (NIV)

“Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, ‘Woman, behold your son!’  Then He said to the disciple, ‘Behold your mother!’ And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.” John 19:25-17 (NKJV)

“No healthy Christian ever chooses suffering; he chooses God’s will, as Jesus did, whether it means suffering or not.”
― Oswald Chambers


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A SOLID BELIEF SYSTEM


by Neil Anderson

April 16
Romans 8:15 
You have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”
Claire attended a church college ministry I was involved in several years ago. On a physical, material level, Claire had absolutely nothing going for her. She had a dumpy figure and a bad complexion. Her father was a drunken bum who had deserted his family. Her mother worked two menial jobs just to make ends meet. Her older brother, a drug addict, was always in and out of the house.
When I first met Claire I was sure she was the ultimate wallflower. I didn’t think there was any way she could compete for acceptance in a college-aged society which is attracted to physical beauty and material success. But to my delight, I learned that everybody in the group liked Claire and loved to be around her. She had lots of friends. And eventually she married the nicest guy in our college department.
What was her secret? Claire simply believed what she perceived herself to be: a child of God. She accepted herself for who God said she was in Christ, and she confidently committed herself to God’s great goal for her life: to be conformed to His image and to love people. She wasn’t a threat to anyone. Instead, she was so positive and caring toward others that everyone loved her.
Claire’s experiences illustrate the importance of establishing our Christian lives on what we believe instead of how we behave. She knew that she couldn’t compete with the world, so she gladly accepted her spiritual heritage, believed God, and lived accordingly. We need a firm grip on God’s Word before we will experience much success at practical Christianity. We need to understand who we are as a result of who God is and what He has done. A productive Christian behavior system is the byproduct of a solid Christian belief system, not the other way around.
Prayer: Thank You for the Claires in my world, Lord, who reflect Your beauty. Forgive me for focusing on myself instead of looking to You and seeking Your eternal qualities.


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SATAN’S VOICE


by Neil Anderson

April 15

1 John 4:1 
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
 
Paul warned us against the deception which comes through demonic influence (1 Timothy 4:1). John also cautioned us to test the spirits and to distinguish the spirit of truth from the spirit of error (1 John 4:1-6). Satan’s demonic forces are at work attempting to pollute your mind with lies in order to keep you from walking in the truth. Hannah Whitehall Smith wrote:
 
There are the voices of evil and deceiving spirits, who lie in wait to entrap every traveler entering these higher regions of spiritual life. . . . These spiritual enemies, whoever or whatever they may be, must necessarily communicate with us by means of our spiritual faculties, and their voices, as the voice of God, are an inward impression made upon our spirit. Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit may tell us by impressions what the will of God is concerning us, so also will these spiritual enemies tell us by impression what is their will concerning us, though not, of course, giving it their name” (Quoted from Martin Wells Knapp, Impressions , Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishing, Inc., 1984, pp. 14-15).
 
Due to the deceptive nature of his impressions, Satan’s voice may not always be detected objectively. You need to pray in order to disassociate yourself from deceiving spirits.
 
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I commit myself unreservedly to Your will. If I have been deceived in any way, I pray that You will open my eyes to the deception. I command in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ that all deceiving spirits depart from me, and I renounce and reject all counterfeit gifts (or any other spiritual phenomena). Lord, if it is from You, bless it and cause it to grow that Your body may be blessed and edified through it.


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Using the “F” Word

Sherri singing

I sang at church two weeks ago, less than twenty-four hours after receiving the news that a second pathology review of my mammogram and biopsy determined that the abnormal mass in my body was not good after all. It needed to be removed. The sweet monotone voice on the other end of the phone told me I needed to see a surgeon for a consultation. That was on Friday. She made the appointment for Monday.

In between those two wonderful days, I was set to sing one of my all-time favorite worship songs at church that weekend, one I’d been dying to sing for months. And all I kept thinking was, Really? This weekend?

Everything in me wanted to cancel. I didn’t think I’d be able to make it through the song without bawling like a baby. I wanted it to be awesome. I wanted to sing my little heart out without my voice cracking and causing everybody to squirm in their seats, unable to focus on worship.

But as much as I wanted to, I couldn’t back out. It simply would have been the wrong thing to do. So, I sang my heart out anyway, fighting back tears each service, praying that the audience didn’t notice all of my “off” notes or worn-out vocals. Oh, there were some great vocal moments, but there were some not-so-great ones too.

Which is why it happened. That’s what finally did me in and prompted me to use the word. It was after Saturday night’s service when my husband asked me how it went, that the word came out of me with a surprising confidence and deep-felt conviction I didn’t realize had been growing inside of me over the past few years. I was so depleted, so tired, so worn out, so done trying to do and be all things to all people, in all ways… that I finally had had enough. And gave in. And said the four-letter “f” word:

Fine.

It was glorious.

Instead of describing in detail, like I usually do, which note I hit, missed, where I did great or didn’t do so great, how I felt, what people said, what people didn’t say – I simply said to my wonderful man, It was fine. And smiled a big, fat smile. And ate my dinner.

I’d forgotten what a great word “fine” is. You see, I always strive for awesome. Excellent. Incredible. But that night, that weekend, something snapped. I no longer wanted to care if things were awesome or not. I just wanted to be able to live with “fine” and be really, really good with it.

How freeing! Instead of wallowing in anxiety about upcoming singing and speaking engagements, I have been preparing my best and then letting myself rest, knowing that the outcome will be good enough – no matter what that turns out to be. Yes. Do my best and then rest. It will be just fine.

There is so much freedom in wrapping our efforts in the blanket of God’s grace. And self-grace. I’ve noticed myself daring a bit more, saying “yes” to more engagements, and living a bit more courageously.

How about you? Where could you use a little more “fine”? Maybe you need to be fine with not being able to exercise as much as you want to right now, or fine with some relationship you’ve been waiting to turn into “awesome” someday.

I know for me, I’m going to give myself permission to write a little more often, unrefined, just-because-I-want-to, blogs. I need to practice being fine. I hope you start using the “fine” word a little more often too, allowing yourself to be exactly who you are without any apologies or unnecessary descriptives.

Oh, and just to keep you up to speed, I saw the surgeon and will be having surgery sometime in May to remove this mass. I’ll keep you updated and would appreciate your prayers. I’m counting on everything being fine. :)


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THE ENEMY’S POTENTIAL


by Neil Anderson

 

April 12
 
Matthew 12:29 
How can anyone enter the strong man’s house and carry off his property, unless he first binds the strong man?
 
Another common misconception of the spiritual world is that some problems are psychological and some are spiritual. This misconception implies a division between the human soul and spirit, which does not exist. There is no inner conflict which is not psychological, because there is never a time when your mind, emotions and will are not involved. Similarly, there is no problem which is not spiritual. There is no time when God is not present or when it is safe for you to take off the armor of God. The tendency is to polarize into a deliverance ministry, ignoring the realities of the physical realm, or a psychotherapeutic ministry, ignoring the spiritual realm.
 
Dr. Paul Hiebert, a missions specialist, contends that, as long as believers accept a two-tier worldview with God confined to the supernatural and the natural world operating for all practical purposes according to autonomous scientific laws, Christianity will continue to be a secularizing force in the world. If your worldview does not recognize the activity of the god of this world in human problems, it is at best incomplete and at worst a distortion of reality.
 
Another misconception is that Christian aren’t subject to demon activity . The prevailing belief among evangelicals today is that Christians cannot be severely oppressed by demons. Even the suggestion that demonic influence can be part of the problem often prompts the hasty disclaimer, “Impossible! I’m a Christian!”
 
Nothing has done greater damage to diagnosing spiritual problems than this untruth. If Satan can’t touch the church, why are we instructed to put on the armor of God, to resist the devil, to stand firm, and to be alert? If we aren’t susceptible to being wounded or trapped by Satan, why does Paul describe our relationship to the powers of darkness as a wrestling match? Those who deny the enemy’s potential for destruction are the most vulnerable to it.
 
Prayer: Father, I don’t want to be ignorant in matters of the spiritual world. Remove all blinders from my eyes so I may see clearly and share the truth with others.


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CONFRONTING SPIRITUAL OPPOSITION


by Neil Anderson

 

April 10
 
Ephesians 6:12 
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places
 
One of the main reasons I fumbled and failed in my early days of ministering to people in bondage was because I labored under a number of misconceptions about the spiritual world. Perhaps you are struggling with some of these same faulty ideas which keep Christians in darkness. We’ll consider these misconceptions over the next several days.
 
One common misconception is that demons were active when Christ was on earth, but their activity has subsided today . Christians who hold this extreme view in light of what God’s Word says and what is transpiring in the world today are not facing reality. The New Testament clearly states that believers will wrestle against the powers of darkness (Ephesians 6:12). Paul goes on to itemize the pieces of spiritual armor that we are to put on in order to defend ourselves against “the flaming missiles of the evil one” (verses 13-17). In 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 Paul again specifies that believers are engaged in a spiritual battle against forces which oppose the knowledge of God. If dark spiritual powers are no longer attacking believers, why would Paul alert us to them and insist that we arm ourselves against them?
 
The powers and forces that Paul wrote about in the first century are still around at the dawn of the twenty-first century, evident in the popularity of the New Age Movement and the proliferation of Satanism and the occult.
 
God’s people wrestling against dark spiritual forces is not a first-century phenomenon, nor is it an option for the Christian today; it’s unavoidable. The kingdom of darkness is still present and Satan is intent on making your life miserable and keeping you from enjoying and exercising your inheritance in Christ. Your only options in confronting spiritual opposition are how and to what extent you’re going to wage the battle.
 
Prayer: Thank You, Father, that I don’t battle the forces of darkness alone. You have provided all the weapons I need to overcome and stand free.


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Sermon 4/6/2014: Faith

I received a request to post a written copy of the sermon I preached tonight! God completely took over this sermon! People were literally healed, set free, and slain in the Spirit. What I got to witness tonight was incredible and I can’t express how happy I am that God allowed me to participate in this. He is a God of awesome power. And as I witnessed so powerfully tonight, miracles still happen. We just have to believe!

-Austin

 

Mark 5:21- 43:

 

When Jesus had crossed over again in the boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered around Him; and so He stayed by the seashore. 22 One of the synagogue officials named Jairus came up, and on seeing Him, fell at His feet 23 and implored Him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death; please come and lay Your hands on her, so that she will get well and live.” 24 And He went off with him; and a large crowd was following Him and pressing in on Him. 25 A woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years, 26 and had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but rather had grown worse – 27 after hearing about Jesus, she came up in the crowd behind Him and touched His cloak. 28 For she thought, “If I just touch His garments, I will get well.” 29 Immediately the flow of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction. 30 Immediately Jesus, perceiving in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My garments?” 31 And His disciples said to Him, “You see the crowd pressing in on You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’ ” 32 And He looked around to see the woman who had done this. 33 But the woman fearing and trembling, aware of what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. 34 And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction.” 35 While He was still speaking, they came from the house of the synagogue official, saying, “Your daughter has died; why trouble the Teacher anymore?” 36 But Jesus, overhearing what was being spoken, said to the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid any longer, only believe.” 37 And He allowed no one to accompany Him, except Peter and James and John the brother of James. 38 They came to the house of the synagogue official; and He saw a commotion, and people loudly weeping and wailing. 39 And entering in, He said to them, “Why make a commotion and weep? The child has not died, but is asleep.” 40 They began laughing at Him. But putting them all out, He took along the child’s father and mother and His own companions, and entered the room where the child was. 41 Taking the child by the hand, He said to her, “Talitha kum!” (which translated means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). 42 Immediately the girl got up and began to walk, for she was twelve years old. And immediately they were completely astounded. 43 And He gave them strict orders that no one should know about this, and He said that something should be given her to eat.”

 

 

Note that the woman should have been outside the city. She was unclean and should not have been around anyone. During this whole 12 years that she had the issue, she was unclean according to the Law. Actually, when she pushed through the crowd, everyone that she even slightly brushed against became unclean. So, she didn’t care about what the law said or what might happen to her if she were to get caught. All she wanted is to act on her faith that Jesus could heal her. She was convinced that even coming into contact with Jesus’ clothes could heal her.

 

She had also seen many doctors who couldn’t do anything for her. She tried putting her trust in man, but they failed her. Sometimes doctors can’t help with our ailments. If you put your stock in other people, they will fail you. This goes for all circumstances. You can’t rely on other people to bring you happiness. But God knows every cell in our body. He created us. God can heal anything from a common cold to cancer. Jesus can heal what man can’t even touch. Nothing is impossible with Him.

 

What I want to focus on however is the statement Jesus makes in verse 34. Jesus says, “Daughter, your faith has healed you.” He could have told her that it was his power that healed her. That’s certainly true, but there’s something deeper here that Jesus is getting at. The woman’s faith is what made the difference. She came in a terrible state. She had had this hemorrhage for 12 long years. She was in pain. Suffering for 12 years with the same constant, nagging problem was probably getting unbearable. Just look at her. She had spent all that she had on doctors and had only gotten worse. She was feeling completely hopeless. Then, she heard about Jesus. It seems likely to me that she had heard from the people around the area she was in what Jesus has done for many others and what he had been teaching (Man with the 5,000 demon spirits). That’s what her faith was built upon. She knew that Jesus had worked miracles. At this point, talk had to be getting around at what Jesus of Nazareth was doing. She knew Jesus was her last hope at healing. And she truly believed Jesus could heal her. Not only did she believe it, but also she expected it. She expected to be healed of her affliction. That’s the faith Jesus wants from us. When you come wanting and expecting the power of God, His power will fall. That’s when the miracles happen. I think it’s incredible that she didn’t want Jesus to touch her with his hands. All she wanted was to simply touch his garments. That’s knowing the power of Christ!

 

She was immediately healed! She didn’t have to wait or do any special ritual. It happened at that very instant! Mark use “immediately” several times in the passage we just read. It’s also a key word throughout the whole book. He repeats this style throughout his account of the Gospel to emphasize the fact that when Jesus worked miracles, the manifestation occurred at that instant. They didn’t have to wait. Because they had faith of healing for that moment, that’s what happened.

 

In verses 30-32 how did Jesus know who touched his clothes? This is so cool. I talked to Pastor about this. At first, I didn’t think he knew who did it. Verse 30 indicates that he knew power had gone from him, but I was failing to see how or even if he knew who touched him. Then Pastor showed me the Greek word used for “perceiving” in verse 30. That word is epiginōskō. The meaning of epiginōskō is to recognize. But not only that it means to perceive who a person is. With the crowd surrounding him, Jesus couldn’t have possibly seen at first who touched him, so he had to be seeing something in the spiritual realm. For example, have you ever seen someone who was hopeless? They have no faith in Jesus and they’re at rock bottom. You can see the deadness and the hollowness in their eyes. But, when you see someone who was made alive through the power of Christ, you see an abundance of life in their eyes. In verse 31, his disciples question him like he’s gone completely off his rocker. I think the King James Version has a better translation of verse 32: “And he looked around to see the woman who had done this.” Now it doesn’t seem like Jesus was looking around aimlessly. Pastor helped me see what the text was saying here. Jesus seems to look directly at that woman and waits for her to present herself to him. At that point she came forward and fell to ground in fear. This is the same way people responded to the presence of God in the Old Testament. The woman acknowledged the divinity of Jesus. She knew he was the Christ!

 

Let’s look at the second part of this passage again because it ties directly in with what I’m trying to get across here (pickup in verse 35): While He was still speaking, they came from the house of the synagogue official, saying, “Your daughter has died; why trouble the Teacher anymore?”

 

Many will come along and try to discourage your faith. Those who came telling Jairus that his daughter was dead were actually just saying, “This man doesn’t have the power to anything anymore.” They lacked the faith Jairus had. Sometimes what you are seeking seems impossible. The world likes to tell us it is too. The Enemy loves nothing more than to cause us to lose faith in God and His promise. But verse 36 tells us that Jesus says not to fear! Just believe. Now skip down to verse 39:

 

39 And entering in, He said to them, “Why make a commotion and weep? The child has not died, but is asleep.” 40 They began laughing at Him.

 

Again here are people trying to make a fool out of Jesus. They are faithless. Jesus was trying to teach them something here. You see, for Jesus death isn’t final. Those who are without faith view death as the end of existence. Death is it. The end. But for the people of faith, death is really just the beginning because Jesus conquered death. For us, we have faith that when we die, we immediately wake up in the presence of God.

 

I want to look at another miracle that Jesus performed that has similar circumstances. 

 

Matthew 8:5-13

 

“When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6 “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering.” 7 Jesus said to him, “I will go and heal him.” 8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 10 When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, “I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! It will be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that very hour.”

 

Again Jesus talks about faith as playing a key role in the healing that was taking place. The centurion was Roman, first of all. That’s what’s so incredible about his faith. The Jews were God’s chosen people (and that still hasn’t changed, it’s just the Gentiles like us are now included in God’s Promise). However, most Jews did not believe Jesus. They didn’t have the faith this Roman did. Actually the other Romans didn’t share this faith either. Jesus rewarded the centurion with what he believed and expected to happen. His servant was set free from his suffering. And again, this miracle occurred immediately.

 

Jesus says in Matthew 7:7: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

 

 

Matthew 17:20-

 

He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. “

 

Church, faith is not only the fact that we believe in Christ. That’s an important part, but that’s not all. The Greek word for faith used in Mark 5 is the word pistis. Pistis not only means a belief, it’s a belief that causes action The woman with the issue of blood had faith that Jesus could heal her. That faith caused her to push through the crowd even when she wasn’t supposed to be in contact with others! In the same way, our faith had better cause action. It should cause us to worship God at any given moment, whether we feel like it or not. Everything we do should be done in a way that pleases God.

 

 

A Christian’s entire life begins at the point of faith. Our faith is what saves us; it’s our ticket to Heaven. Much of today’s church has lost faith. Pressure from the world has deflated our spiritual balloon. Many people no longer believe in miracles, the gifts of the spirit, or that God still moves in His people today. We know that’s false. It seems that week after week, God has been telling this particular church to reach out and He will move. He always fulfills His promises. We have had powerful services here when we reach out and leave all we are before God. When we put all of the faith we have, God moves.

 

 

When we finally started doing that God has moved in ways I’ve never seen before. But guess what? That’s not all He has for us. If we continue to reach out to God, He will move in an even more powerful and unique way. Miracles will begin to just flow again. Will you reach out? Isaiah tells us that if we don’t stand firm in our faith we won’t stand at all. Will you have faith? Church, Jesus will meet you at the level of your faith. Are you willing to push through the crowd to get to him? 


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INTERNAL INTERFERENCE

 


by Neil Anderson

April 4

1 John 4:6 

We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
 
People who know they are having spiritual problems usually have severe perceptual problems too. Satan seems to be more present, real and powerful to them. These types of people usually hear opposing arguments in their head. They are constantly confronted with lies, told to get out of the counseling setting, or threatened with harm or embarrassment.
 
One dear lady I was ministering to suddenly bolted for the door. “Tell me what you’re hearing,” I said.
 
“You’re going to hurt me,” she answered fearfully.
 
“That’s a lie,” I assured her. Slowly she returned to her chair.
 
Some people experience internal interference when demonic powers are confronted by the truth. They may become dizzy or glassy-eyed. If you proceed without regard for their reaction, they may lapse into catatonia.
 
The goal in helping people find freedom in Christ is to avoid all demonic activity which would short-circuit their ability to participate in the process. With this in mind, I usually begin the time of ministry with prayer, acknowledging God’s presence, claiming His authority, and binding the enemy to silence.
 
I require one major point of cooperation from all those who want help: They must tell me what inner opposition they are experiencing. If they have a thought that is contrary to what we are doing, they are to share it with me. Some thoughts can be very hostile or threatening. Others will be very deceptive, such as “This isn’t going to work.” The power of Satan is in his lie. The moment the counselees bring the contrary thought to light, the power of it is broken. The power for the Christian is in the truth. That is why it is truth that sets us free.
 
Prayer: Lord, I desire to be a committed student of Your Word. I know the truth of Your Word dispels the darkness in my life. Thank You for this powerful weapon.


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SEATED WITH CHRIST


by Neil Anderson

 

April 3 

Ephesians 2:4-6 
God . . . made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus
 
The New Testament clearly reveals that Christ’s power and authority over Satan and his kingdom have been conferred to those of us who are in Christ. In Ephesians 2:4-6, Paul explains that when Christ was raised from the dead, those of us who have believed in Him were also resurrected from our condition of spiritual death and made alive “together with Christ.” It’s only logical that the head (Christ) and the body (His church) should be raised together.
 
Furthermore, when God seated Christ at His right hand and conferred on Him all authority (Ephesians 1:20, 21), He also seated us at His right hand and conferred on us through Christ all authority because we are “together with Christ.” The moment you receive Christ, you take possession of what God did for you 2000 years ago. Your identity as a child of God and your authority over spiritual powers are not things you are receiving or will receive at some time in the future; you have them right now. You are a spiritually-alive child of God right now . You are seated in the heavenlies with Christ right now . You have power and authority over the kingdom of darkness right now . We have the authority because of our position in Christ, and we have the power when we are filled with the Holy Spirit.
 
Paul also related this life-changing truth in his letter to the Colossians: “In Him [Christ] you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority” (Colossians 2:10). Notice again that the action is past: We have been made complete. When? At the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. And since Christ is the God-appointed head over all rule and authority, and since we are seated with Him in the heavenlies, we have the authority and power to live responsible lives.
 
Prayer: Father, help me want to live responsibly, to claim my position as Your child, and to grow to full stature in You.