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THE POWER OF THE BELIEVER


by Neil Anderson

April 14

John 8:32 
You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free
 
When I was a boy on the farm, my dad, my brother and I would visit our neighbor’s farm to share produce and labor. The neighbor had a yappy little dog that scared the socks off me. When it came barking around the corner, my dad and brother stood their ground, but I ran. Guess who the dog chased! I escaped to the top of our pickup truck while the little dog yapped at me from the ground.
 
Everyone except me could see that the little dog had no power over me except what I gave it. Furthermore, it had no inherent power to throw me up on the pickup; it was my belief that put me up there. That dog controlled me by using my mind, my emotions, my will, and my muscles, all of which were motivated by fear. Finally I gathered up my courage, jumped off the pickup, and kicked a small rock at the mutt. Lo and behold, it ran!
 
Satan is like that yappy little dog: deceiving people into fearing him more than God. His power is in the lie. He is the father of lies (John 8:44) who deceives the whole world (Revelation 12:9), and consequently the whole world is under the influence of the evil one (1 John 5:19). He can do nothing about your position in Christ, but if he can deceive you into believing his lies about you and God, you will spend a lot of time on top of the pickup truck! You don’t have to outshout him or outmuscle him to be free of his influence. You just have to outtruth him. Believe, declare, and act upon the truth of God’s Word, and you will thwart Satan’s strategy.
 
I have learned from the Scriptures and my experience that truth is the liberating agent. The power of Satan is in the lie, and the power of the believer is in knowing the truth. We are to pursue truth, not power.
 
Prayer: Father God, when Satan is badgering and confusing me, remind me that Your Holy Spirit within me is greater than all the evil around me.


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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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THE TRUE CHAIN OF COMMAND

By Neil Anderson

 Neil Anderson

March 3
 
Luke 10:17 
Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name
 
It was an eye-opening experience for the disciples to discover that the demons were subject to them in Jesus’ name. Subject ( hupotasso ) is a military term meaning “to arrange under.” It pictures a group of soldiers snapping to attention and following precisely the orders of their commanding officer.
 
Perhaps the disciples suffered under the same misconception which blinds many Christians today. We see God and His kingdom on one side and Satan and his kingdom on the other side. Both kingdoms seem to be very powerful, and here we are, stuck in the middle between the two, like the rope in a tug of war. On some days God seems to be winning and on other days the devil appears to have the upper hand. And we don’t seem to have anything to say about who wins the battle.
 
But the disciples came back from their mission with a new perspective, a true perspective. Spiritual authority is not a tug of war on a horizontal plane; it is a vertical chain of command. Jesus Christ has all authority in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18); He’s at the top. He has given His authority and power to His servants to be exercised in His name (Luke 10:17); we’re underneath Him. And Satan and his demons? They’re at the bottom, subject to the authority Christ has invested in us.
 
Why, then, does the kingdom of darkness exert such negative influence in the world and in the lives of Christians? In a word, the lie. Satan is not an equal power with God; he is a vanquished foe. But if he can deceive you into believing that he has more power and authority than you do, you will live as if he does! You have been given authority over the kingdom of darkness, but if you don’t believe it and exercise it, it’s as if you didn’t have it.
 
Authority is the right to rule based on position. You have the authority to do the will of God because of your position in Christ. It’s an authority you could never have independent of God, so you need to remain dependent on Him to live victoriously.
 
Prayer: I praise You, Lord, for the inexhaustible supply of power to defeat the enemy which You have provided for me in Your Son, Jesus Christ.


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Giving Your Child The Best

By Neil Anderson

 banner_secondary_who i am in christ

November 7
 
Ephesians 4:26, 27 
Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity
 
Suppose you possessed the means to give your child the best. What kind of parent would you be? What would be your role in determining what your child should be and do? Maybe you would be tempted to respond like the parents of a girl named Jill.
 
Jill’s parents were high-tech professionals and nominal Christians. Jill had always been given every opportunity to be the best. Driven by her parents to perfection, her grades were tops. Her parents wanted her to attend their alma mater and join her mother’s sorority, but she wanted to attend a Christian college.
 
When Jill came to my office she was anorexic, struggling with her thought life, and had been cutting herself. In making a list of the people she needed to forgive, her parents were right at the top. Her tears began slowly at first. “Lord, I forgive my father for never even considering what I would like to do with my life.” Then the floodgates opened, and she was able to find her freedom in Christ. The voices stopped, the cutting stopped and she was at peace in her mind. The spiritual component of her problem was resolved.
 
Soon the relational component was also resolved. Guided by her counselor, Jill reached a compromise with her parents. She attended their alma mater for one year, then transferred to a Christian school with their blessing.
 
I’m not saying that misguided, over-controlling parents cause their children to have spiritual problems. But parents who don’t learn how to speak the truth in love and express their anger without sinning may give the devil an opportunity in their family (Ephesians 4:25-27). And if you and your children don’t learn how to bear with each other and forgive one another in the close confinement of a family relationship, you may give Satan an advantage (Colossians 3:13; 2 Corinthians 2:10, 11). And if you don’t humble yourself, cast your potential anxieties on the Lord, and adopt an alert and sober spirit, you may be devoured by your adversary, the devil (1 Peter 5:8).
 
Prayer: Lord, help me be genuine and honest before my family, enabling them to be what You created them to be.


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What do Babies, Jesus, and Your Death (or not) Have in Common?

©Copyright πίστις 2013

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Babies are so cool…little bundles of cuteness, a new life created by God. Their needs are really pretty simple if at times very overwhelming! They want to be fed, held and loved. When they do not feel good…they look to us as the parent to fix it, make the problem go away.

So what do we as adults have in common with babies? Lots and at the same time little. Let me explain…

Babies all have one characteristic in common; they are completely helpless. Anything babies’ need is provided for them by the parents.

We all began life as this helpless little new life dependent on someone to take care of us; if someone did not fulfill the responsibility of taking care of us as babies…we would have surely perished. Then we grow up and outgrow this need…or do we?

Soon before you know it that baby is a toddler, and then in a blink of an eye they are the willful teenager…and right around the corner they morph into the young man or woman that knows it all while you the parent are an idiot that knows nothing. Not all kids are like this, but many are to some degree.

We live our lives, we learn our lessons in school, and we gain life experience. At some point we live on our own and manage our own lives. We are adults and can make our own decisions and take care of ourselves now right?

I would submit to you that this is an illusion. Don’t feel bad…we have all participated in this illusion and many still are. NO one is self sufficient…many think they are but it is not so. This is another lie fostered by Satan himself. If you truly believe you are self sufficient, then you have no need of God do you?

As I said before babies are born helpless. As a matter of fact, we are all helpless in a way and it does not end because we can manage our own household.

You see my friends…we are all born dead. Yes dead! We are born spiritually dead, separated from God. During the course of our lives we have opportunity to reverse this “spiritual deadness”. We are helpless to do this however without the help of our Creator…God.

You may very well get through life just fine without God…but what are you going to do when your physical body dies and your eternal soul stands before Christ? When Christ says to you why should I let you into my heaven…what are you going to say? You were a good person? Sorry…that does not count. There is only one correct answer to that question; I trust in Jesus.

As a baby is utterly helpless to take care of itself, we are utterly helpless to bring our eternal spirit to life without Christ. We are all born spiritually dead, the only way that condition changes is by accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

Why are we born spiritually dead? We all sin, sin is death and it only takes one. Not death of the body as we all will die unless Christ comes back first but that is another topic altogether. We are speaking of the death of your spirit. Let me make this as simple as possible. We all have a soul and spirit. Our soul is what makes us who we are; gives life to the otherwise inanimate body. Our spirit connects us to God. When we are born, the soul is alive so to speak, but the spirit is not as our spirit is not yet connected to God. If you die without connecting your spirit to God…well you will be separated from God forever and your spirit will die forever. However…your soul on the other hand will live on eternally…in hell. Yes that is right, your soul will life forever tormented in hell…Bibles words not mine.

The thing is loved ones…it does NOT have to be this way! Jesus Christ regardless of what you do or do not think of Him came here to save you! Jesus died on the cross so that you may go to Him, ask for forgiveness of your sins, change your life to live for Him and receive eternal life in heaven…your spirit alive and your body perfectly restored better than it was in life. What does not sound good about that?

Either you accept Christ and live forever with Him; no more pain either physical or emotional, no more death, no more anything bad ever! Or…you refuse Christ and you will suffer for that decision forever in hell. God sends no one to hell…you choose that eternal destination for your self at the same time you willingly choose to refuse the One who created you Lordship over your life.

You can refuse Christ now and party down and do anything you want to, but you WILL pay for that decision!! Please realize that your decisions now will affect you in eternity.

Christ is soon to return to this earth. Time is short…the need to accept Him as Lord and Savior is now, not tomorrow. You may not have a tomorrow.

Watch this video on our YouTube channel about how quickly one can be here today and gone tomorrow. WARNING…this video is VERY graphic. You will see people actually die.

To accept Christ simply pray to Him. Ask Him into your heart and confess all sins to Him. Believe that the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross was enough to pay for your sins. Place your trust in Jesus for your eternal life not yourself. Believe that Christ rose from the dead and lives even now with the Father in heaven.

Welcome to the family of God!

God bless you all
Greg


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Our Only Valid Weapon

By Neil Anderson

banner_secondary_who i am in christ

November 3

John 8;31, 32
If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free

We are more vulnerable to Satan’s deception than to any of his other schemes. Why? Because when he tempts you or accuses you, you know it, but when he deceives you, you don’t know it. If he can enter your church, your home, or your mind undetected and get you to believe a lie, he can control your life, home and ministry. Sad to say, he is doing just that across our land by deceiving many people.

You cannot overcome Satan’s deception by human reasoning; you can only do it by God’s revelation. Jesus said, “If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31, 32). Jesus prayed, “Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word s truth” (John 17:17). It is critical that when you put on the armor of God, you start with the belt of truth (Ephesians 6:14). The light of truth is the only valid weapon against the darkness of deception.

Here’s an encouraging letter from a young woman who was trapped in deception until Jesus Christ set her free as we walked through the steps to freedom:

Dear Dr. Anderson: I will always remember the day I came to you for counsel and prayer. Ever since that day I have felt such freedom. There are no more voices or feelings of heaviness in my brain. I’m even enjoying a physical sense of release. Satan has returned many times trying to clobber me with those old thoughts, but his hold on me has been broken.

I’ll never forget what you told me. You said that those negative thoughts about God and myself were lies from Satan. You said I have the power through Jesus Christ to rebuke Satan and get rid of the evil thoughts. It has taken me awhile to really believe that with all my heart, but lately I’ve decided to fight back–and it works!

Prayer: Today, Lord, I purpose not to lean on my own understanding or put more confidence in my reasoning than in Your revelation.


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Taking Every Thought Captive

By Neil Anderson

banner_secondary_who i am in christ

November 2
 
2 Corinthians 10:5 
We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
 
Satan’s perpetual aim is to infiltrate your thoughts with his thoughts and to promote his lie in the face of God’s truth. If Satan can control your thoughts, he can control your behavior. He can introduce his thoughts, tempting you to act independently of God, as if they were your own thoughts or even God’s thoughts, as he did with David (1 Chronicles 21:1), Judas (John 13:2) and Ananias (Acts 5:3).
 
One of my students exemplified how deceptive Satan’s thoughts can be. Jay came into my office one day and said, “Dr. Anderson, I’m in trouble. When I sit down to study, I get prickly sensations all over my body, my arms involuntarily raise, my vision gets blurry and I can’t concentrate.”
 
“Tell me about your walk with God,” I probed.
 
“I have a very close walk with God. When I leave school at noon each day, I ask God where He wants me to go for lunch. If I hear a thought that says Burger King, I go to Burger King. Then I ask Him what He wants me to eat. If the thought comes to order a Whopper, I order a Whopper.”
 
“What about your church attendance?” I continued.
 
“I go every Sunday wherever God tells me to go.” For the last three Sundays “God” told him to go to a Mormon church!
 
Jay sincerely wanted to do what God wanted him to do. But he was passively paying attention to a deceiving spirit (1 Timothy 4:1) instead of “taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). In so doing he had opened himself up to Satan’s activity in his life, resulting in the sabotage of his theological studies.
 
We must assume our responsibility for choosing the truth. We can’t always tell whether the thought comes from the TV set, our memory bank, our imagination or a deceiving spirit. Regardless of where a thought originates, examine it in the light of God’s Word and choose the truth.
 
Prayer: Lord, help me today as I assume my responsibility to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.


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Forgiving Your Past

By Neil Anderson

banner_secondary_who i am in christ

October 27
 
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you
 
The second step in resolving past conflicts is to forgive those who have offended you. After encouraging Cindy, a rape victim, to deal with the emotional trauma of her rape, I said, “Cindy, you also need to forgive the man who raped you.” Cindy’s response was typical of many believers who have suffered physical, sexual or emotional pain at the hands of others: “Why should I forgive him? You don’t know how badly he hurt me!”
 
“He’s still hurting you, Cindy,” I responded. “Forgiveness is how you stop the pain. You don’t forgive him for his sake; you do it for your sake.”
 
Why should you forgive those who have hurt you in the past?
 
First, forgiveness is required by God. As soon as Jesus spoke the amen to His model prayer–which included a petition for God’s forgiveness–He commented: “If you forgive men for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions” (Matthew 6:14, 15). We must base our relationships with others on the same criteria on which God bases His relationship with us: love, acceptance and forgiveness (Matthew 18:21-35).
 
Second, forgiveness is necessary to avoid entrapment by Satan. I have discovered from my counseling that unforgiveness is the number one avenue Satan uses to gain entrance to believers’ lives. Paul encouraged mutual forgiveness “in order that no advantage be taken of us by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his schemes” (2 Corinthians 2:11). Unforgiveness is an open invitation to Satan’s bondage in our lives.
 
Third, we are to forgive like Christ forgave in order to keep our hearts from bitterness. Paul wrote: “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:31, 32).
 
Your act of forgiveness will set the captive free, then you will realize that the captive was you!


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The Father Of Lies

By Neil Anderson

October 1

banner_secondary_who i am in christ
John 8:44 
He [the devil] was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies
 
Alyce was one of the most pathetic-looking young women I have ever met. She was so skinny that she literally had no more body fat to lose. She had lost her job three days earlier, and her vacant eyes conveyed that she had lost all hope for her life. She was a very talented girl and a committed Christian in many ways, but she was also a Darvon junkie who had even been arrested once for illegal possession of prescription drugs.
 
“I want you to tell me who you think you are,” I said to Alyce.
 
“I’m just a no-good failure,” she whimpered.
 
“You’re not a failure,” I responded. “You’re a child of God.” She continued to pour out the negative self-talk and evidences of demonic deception she had been living under, and I continued to counter her negativism with the good news of her identity in Christ. The more we talked, the more aware I became of Christ’s presence ministering to Alyce. We tested the spirit that was harassing her, and she knew firsthand that she had been deceived. Astonished, she said, “Do you mean to tell me that my whole problem has been deception, that I have been listening to a pack of lies?” Today she’s free.
 
The prevailing theme of the New Testament is the position we enjoy in Christ through our faith in Him. That’s the good news: Christ in you and you in Christ. If there is a prevailing negative theme in the New Testament which capsulizes the opposition we face in Satan, I believe it is deception. There are at least three avenues through which Satan will attempt to dissuade you from God’s truth and deceive you into believing his lies: self-deception, false prophets/teachers, and deceiving spirits. We are vulnerable to Satan’s deception in these areas if we fail to clothe ourselves daily with the spiritual armor of the belt of truth.
 
Prayer: Lord, I put on the belt of the truth of Your Word today and stand against the deception of Satan.


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So Why Do Christians Get Confused?

Vine of Life News / Cherylz1961

_Satan Whisper In Ear

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” John 10:27

He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.”  John 8:47 (NKJV)

But He said, ‘More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!’” Luke 11:28 (NKJV)

There have been many times in my life when confusion has caused me to stop dead in my tracks. With a muddled mind, I have been known to throw  my hands up in the air out of frustration.  This confusion almost always involves a decision that needs to be made.  Facts and details come flying in from all directions. One minute I think I have reached a decision, but then another detail rushes in and changes my mind.

Sorting through details, facts, possible outcomes, circumstances, and feasible consequences and blessings will always require diligence, patience, and prayer. A lack of patience and a desire to act immediately, instead of waiting for God to clarify things, is a mistake many of us make.

Instead of rushing ahead of God, we need to let Him lead and guide us. His timing is perfect and He knows hidden dangers that lie in wait.   This calls for a keen ear and quiet time in prayer.  The quiet still voice of the Holy Spirit will say, “Move, wait, this direction,” and we don’t want to miss out on His leading.

It is the soul who has tossed all decisions to God, knowing He will sort them out in His time and in His way, who will find a peace that transcends all understanding. Confusion robs us of peace and fuels our anxiety.  By handing God the things that concern us, we can be certain the best (not necessarily the easiest) outcome will occur.

So, when facts and details come flying past you, don’t allow them to become a hurricane that knocks you down. Cry out to God in prayer. Notify Him that you want to do what He thinks best. Tell Him you need His advice. You will be amazed how doors you were about to walk through suddenly close, and options you never even considered fall in your lap.

There are examples in the Bible when God sends a spirit of confusion to baffle the enemies of Israel. He uses this confusion to give His people victory in battle. However, if you are a child of the living God, any confusion you experience is not of Him.  Your confusion is birthed out of your flesh or brought about by the enemy. We are His sheep and John 10:27 makes note that we can hear our shepherd’s voice.

If you are facing confusion today, relax.  There is no reason for you to be perplexed and mystified. Let God sort things out for you, but keep an eager and intent ear open to His call. You don’t want to miss hearing His guidance, instructions, and advice.

Once you have heard the Word of God, be sure you keep it.  This may require big steps of faith into unknown lands. Please don’t hesitate, trust Him! He will be with you every step of the way, even if it feels like He’s moved you off your path and things still don’t make sense.

There is a difference between confusion and not knowing all the details in our future. God requires steps of faith, so He will intentionally withhold information. If you are certain you have heard His voice and found confirmation in the Word of God, stop worrying.  God has answered your prayer to sort out the confusion in your mind. He is now in charge; so let Him clear the cobwebs from your mind. Allow His peace to fill your heart and give you rest.

“But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.” 1 Corinthians 2:14 (NAS)

Lord, confuse the wicked, confound their words, 
for I see violence and strife in the city.” Psalm 55:9 (NIV))

“I will send My fear before you, I will cause confusion among all the people to whom you come, and will make all your enemies turn their backs to you.” Exodus 23:27 (NKJV)