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The Power In The Truth

By Neil Anderson

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 John 3:21 
He who practices the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.
 
Satan’s first and foremost strategy is deception. As long as Satan’s influence in a person’s life remains undetected, he is content to lie low and not show his hand. Like a snake in the grass, he quietly sneaks up on his prey and squeezes the life out of it.
 
But when you confront Satan’s deception and expose his lies with the truth, his strategy changes from stealth to a pretense of power. He becomes the roaring lion that Peter warned about (1 Peter 5:8). The procedure that most Christian counselors follow in dealing with people in whom demonic strongholds have been exposed is to challenge the spirit to manifest itself, and then to cast it out. Inevitably there is a power struggle which can provoke the victim to either lapse into a catatonic state, become generally disoriented, or run out of the room. I’ve seen people get physically injured during such confrontations. This procedure can potentially create more harm than help, especially for the novice.
 
We must avoid buying into Satan’s second strategy of power as much as we avoid swallowing his first strategy of deception. It isn’t power per se that sets the captive free; it’s truth (John 8:32). The power of the Christian is in the truth; the power of Satan is in the lie. To the Satanist, power is everything, but power is only effective in the darkness. The Christian is to pursue the truth because power and authority are already inherent in him. Truth is what makes an encounter with Satan effective. Satan’s demonstration of power (which is also deceptive because his power has actually been broken by the cross) is intended to provoke a fear response. When fear is controlling a believer, the Spirit of God is not, and Satan has the upper hand. Fear of the enemy and faith in God are mutually exclusive. 
 
Prayer:
Lord, I pray that Your presence will be manifested in my life today that Your name may be glorified in the world.


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Beating The System

By Neil Anderson

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December 4
Everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, and he who humbles himself shall be exalted
 
A small percentage of people defend against rejection by buying into the dog-eat-dog system of the world and learning to compete and scheme to get ahead of the pack. These are the movers and shakers, people who earn acceptance and strive for significance through their performance. They feel driven to get on top of every situation because winning is their passport to acceptance. They are characterized by perfectionism and emotional insulation and they struggle with anxiety and stress.
 
Spiritually, the beat-the-system individual refuses to come under God’s authority and has little fellowship with God. This person is committed to controlling and manipulating people and circumstances for his own ends, so it is difficult for him to yield control in his life to God. In our churches this person jockeys to be chairman of the ruling board or the most influential member on a committee. His motivation is not to serve God in this position, however, but to control his world because his self-worth is dependent on it. Beat-the-system controllers are some of the most insecure people you will meet.
 
Sadly, the controlling individual’s defensive strategy only delays inevitable rejection. Eventually his ability to control his family, his employees, and his church diminishes and he is replaced by a younger, stronger controller. Some survive this mid-life crisis, but many who make it to retirement don’t enjoy much of it. Studies show that high-powered executives live an average of nine months after they retire. They base their lives in the world system they seek to conquer, but inevitably the world claims its own. “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ” (Colossians 2:8).
 
Prayer: Gracious Lord, teach me to be in this world but not of it. I choose Your kingdom to be my standard.


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Never

Lessons in life always come with a price. Cheap, exspensive, or priceless are words I use to describe those events that taught me through pain, normally, how to, or not to conduct my existence. Of course, the cheap lesson would reflect a lesson without pain. An exspensive lesson is reflective of learning through monetary consequence like, I should have slowed down through that speed zone, I hope the fine is not more than $500!” The priceless lesson, however, is always a doozey. That’s the “big one” that can cost you everything short of death. Who would think that a simple statement could possibly turn your world upside down?

“Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles.” Prov.21:23 (NKJV)

I have observed and experienced how a statement can do just that. When I was younger, I was very involved in a particular church group, teaching, working with youth, asst. music “dude,” janitor, deacon….and arrogant. I had the “works” down pat. I didn’t think I could fall from grace because God “needed” me. Observing worldly behavior of the unbelievers, I made this foolish statement, How do they live like that? I’ll NEVER BE like them! I could NEVER LIVE that way! That’s the short of what happened. It began with words, and ended in actions that were “priceless.” Eighteen years of debaucherous living ensued.

This a good look at watching what we say. Written by Keith over at Think in Today, this article illustrates why we should not make some statements…as they may come back to haunt us. Words have tremendous power in our lives, and not just ours, but the lives of those who hear what we say. Lessons in life seldom come cheaply, and this is an honest look by Keith at an expensive one.

To finish reading this article, please head over to, http://thinkinglifetoday.com/2012/04/18/never/. While you are there, why not check out the rest of Keith’s site, let him know you were there and enjoyed something you read there!

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Yielding Control

     


by Neil Anderson
March 5
YIELDING CONTROL
2 Corinthians 2:11 
For we are not ignorant of his schemes
We generally agree that Christians are vulnerable to the enemy’s temptation, accusation and deception. But for some reason, we hesitate to admit that Christians can lose their freedom and can surrender to demonic influences. However, the evidence of Scripture is abundant and clear that believers who repeatedly succumb to Satan can come under bondage.
Demonic control does not mean satanic ownership. You have been purchased by the blood of the Lamb, and not even the powers of hell can take your salvation away from you (1 Peter 1:17-19; Romans 8:35-39). Satan knows he can never own you again. But if he can deceive you into yielding control of your life to him in some way, he can neutralize your growth and your impact in the world for Christ.
Since we live in a world whose god is Satan, the possibility of being tempted, deceived and accused is continuous. If you allow his schemes to influence you, you can lose control to the degree that you have been deceived. If he can persuade you to believe a lie, he can control your life.
The term demon possessed never occurs in the Bible after the cross. We lack theological precision as to what demon possession constitutes in the church age. But don’t come to any conclusion that you can’t be affected by Satan. We are more a target than we are immune to his strategies. However, we have all the sanctuary we need in Christ, and we have the armor of God to protect us.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for the armor You have provided to protect me from Satan. Keep me aware of his schemes today and help me resist him in the power and authority You provide.