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Ephesians 4:3-6 (NAS): Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is ONE body and ONE Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; ONE Lord, ONE faith, ONE baptism, ONE God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.

 

Matthew 16:19 (NAS): I will give YOU the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever YOU bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever YOU loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.”

 

There are at least 68 references in the New Testament about the Kingdom of God. Everything Jesus taught His followers to know and teach is THE KINGDOM, not anything outside of the Kingdom or fragments of the Kingdom. Every other reference about love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, salvation, humility, overcoming, having the mind of Christ, and every other topic all fall under the Kingdom – EVERYTHING. None are exclusive in and of themselves. We’ve had it backwards for centuries preaching only salvation and the cross, or prophecy, or healing, or deliverance, as somehow exclusive from God’s Kingdom. We need to be preaching exactly like Jesus – the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and nothing less. All other subjects fall under Kingdom heading.

If my great, great, great grandparents call dogs cats and teach their kids to call their dogs cats and I then continue such a practice and everyone in my family for generations thinks that dogs are called cats, does that make my family right? Of course not! It’s simply a matter of wrong thinking passed from generation to generation. I could argue until I’m blue in the face to convince people that I’m right, but I’m still wrong no matter how passionately and good intending I may be at heart hoping to bring someone into, in my estimation, truth that dogs are called cats.

So it is with religion. We, many (most) of God’s people, have practiced a garden variety of religious traditions for centuries. Does that make it right? Absolutely not! For most that fervently practice the religions of their forefathers do it wholeheartedly with good intentions. Needless to say, it’s still wrong. Jesus preached the Kingdom. Jesus came to tear down the wall that divides (Ephesians 2:13-16). Jesus came against the religious practices and man-made traditions that kept (and continue to keep) people of all walks of life in perpetual bondage and division.

Ladies and gentlemen, Christ came to bring all people freedom from religion, not create more religions. Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Pentecostal, Non-denominational, Church of God, Church of Christ, and countless other denominations inadvertently stand between people, their Creator and His Kingdom – our Kingdom – He graciously offers His people. Divisions of every kind (e.g. color, race, money, politics, etc.) stand as a tall, wide and deep barrier between imprisonment and liberty and it needs to stop. God has called His holy people to bring heaven down to earth, not become more like the earth.

When we begin to discover the Kingdom of God, His government, His mind, His ways, His plan, His purpose and all that fall under the umbrella of His Kingdom, we will cease hating each other, competing against one another, dividing ourselves from one another – killing each other instead of healing each other. He has equipped His people with power from on high and it’s time to learn it, understand it, apply it to our own lives, and then walk in it in a world full of sickness, sorrow, darkness and death.

 We who carry the name of Jesus are to be the walking, talking, physical manifestation of Jesus Himself. If He is in you, He needs to come through you and that requires unity in love. A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand. If you want to expand God’s Kingdom, stop the division. Recognize that possibly, just possibly, much of what your parents taught you may be incorrect. There’s no shame in this admission as no one is perfect. What is shameful is to know things need changing and pridefully refuse to change.

Supernatural love that is God is the key because it is the essence of His holy Kingdom. Know His heart and allow it flow through you.

……………..

Closing verses:

Philippians 2:2 (NAS): Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.

I Corinthians 1:10 (NAS): I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.

I Corinthians 6:17 (NAS): But the one who joins himself to the Lord is ONE spirit with Him.

 

I hope you’ll come back next time. If you’re interested in reading more, please go to my website and check out my books or my ministry Facebook page.

Peace and blessings,

 

Alexys V. Wolf

www.thefierysword.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Fiery-Sword-Global-Ministries/185299884822251

http://thefierysword.wordpress.com/

 


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OPEN DIALOGUE WITH YOUR CHILD


by Neil Anderson

June 30

Proverbs 25:11 
Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in right circumstances
 
All discipline must be based on prior instruction. Make a clear statement of your expectations for a given situation and the consequences for disobedience. Ask your child to repeat what you say to make sure he understands. Then invite his questions and comments.
 
Honest and open dialogue after disobedience is a powerful means of discipline. Many children would rather face a paddle than verbal confrontation. Even parental silence communicates volumes. For many children, sitting emotionally exposed before an authority figure is much more threatening and shameful than a simple spanking.
 
What is the motivating deterrent behind a verbal confrontation? The fear of being called into accountability. We find that in our relationship with the Lord. We fear Him because we are going to stand before Him someday and give an account of our lives (2 Corinthians 5:10, 11)–not to be punished but to be rewarded. Knowing that we are going to be personally accountable before the Lord is a great driving force in our lives. We want to hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
 
Your child feels the same way about having to answer to you. He doesn’t want to look bad in your eyes. That’s why it’s often difficult for him to confess his misdeeds in a confrontation. When you sit down with him it will be easy for him to say, “I’m sorry,” a little harder for him to say, “Will you forgive me?” and hardest for him to say, “I did it.”
 
Helping your child learn to speak the truth in love will take a lot of love and skill on your part, especially if your child is prone to lying. If you allow him to establish a pattern of deception as a means of avoiding confrontation, you are in for a lot of pain during his adolescence. You must work toward honest confession or any method of discipline will be ineffective.
 
Prayer: Lord, help me develop honesty and openness with You so I can model and teach these qualities to my children.

 


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FENCES AROUND THE LAWS


by Neil Anderson

June 3

Romans 6:14 
You are not under law, but under grace
 
In His ministry, Jesus often violated the traditional instructions surrounding the observance of the Sabbath because they were a clear distortion of God’s commandment. A common practice, born out of a desire to protect a known law or principle, is to establish additional rules to keep us from breaking the laws or violating the principles. We establish fences around the laws, but within a short time the fences become laws.
 
For instance, we are not to be unequally yoked (2 Corinthians 6:14, 15). To ensure that this doesn’t happen, we sometimes build a fence around the law by establishing additional rules such as, “You can’t associate with or date a non-Christian.” That may be advisable in some cases, but don’t make it a law. Some have gone to the extreme by requiring that their children never associate with non-Christians. This makes the Great Commission a formidable task!
 
Here’s another example. A common practice in many churches, left over from the Prohibition era, is to require total abstinence from alcohol. Again, that may be wise in many cases, but the Bible instructs against strong drink and drunkenness and teaches us to do all things in moderation. The major biblical concern is not the alcohol, but whether we’re being a stumbling block to a weaker brother. Total abstinence may actually keep some from the medicine they need or it may be detrimental when relating to a weaker brother.
 
The point is that we can easily distort the true Word of God by adding our own traditional practices and making them equal with the original intent of God. We may need to stand against Pharisaic practices as the Lord did–before we find ourselves in bondage to man-made traditions.
 
Prayer: Dear Father, make me sensitive to the spirit of Your law and nonjudgmental toward others no matter what their practices may be. Help me preserve the unity of the Spirit.


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THE LURE OF SATAN’S COUNTERFEITS


by Neil Anderson

May 29

Deuteronomy 18:9 
When you enter the land which the LORD your God gives you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable things of those nations
 
The lure of the occult is almost always on the basis of acquiring knowledge or power. We desire the power that comes from unusual insight and a knowledge of the unknown. We want to experience a power that is spiritual and supernatural in origin. In a sense these are God-given desires, but they are intended to be fulfilled by the knowledge and power which comes from God. However, Satan is busy trying to pass off his counterfeits for God’s knowledge and power as the real thing. If he can get you to accept his versions of knowledge and power, he has a foothold in your life.
 
The lure of satanic knowledge and power is nothing new. God’s people have been warned against it from the earliest times. The command in Deuteronomy 18:9-12 is as viable for us today as it was for the Israelites under Moses’ leadership. We live in a contemporary Canaan where it is socially acceptable to consult spiritists, mediums, palm-readers, psychic counselors and horoscopes for supernatural insights and abilities.
 
This was clearly brought home to me while I was finishing my doctorate in a class I took on business forecasting. One of the men in the class presented a paper describing a scenario of the future he had researched. He excitedly explained that we were on the threshold of new frontiers in the mind: astral projection, telepathic images, levitation, etc. This public school principal was promoting New Age and the occult and the other class members were eating it up.
 
After the class had enjoyed several minutes of lively discussion I asked, “In all your exploration of your subject, did you ever ask yourself if it is right for people to get involved in it?”
 
“Oh, I’m not interested in whether it’s right or not,” he replied. “I just know it works.”
 
“I have no question that it works,” I argued. “The question we need to answer is not whether or not it works, but whether or not it’s right. What you are presenting is as old as Bible history.”
 
Prayer: Create in me a constant thirst for knowing You, Lord, and a readiness to recognize and reject Satan’s counterfeits.


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CHOOSING TRUTH


by Neil Anderson

 

May 28
 
Ephesians 6:14 
Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth
 
Persons in bondage are not liberated by what I do as the pastor/counselor, but what they do with my help. It’s not what I believe that breaks the bonds; it’s what they believe, confess, renounce and forgive. Notice the progressive logic of Scripture:
 
You shall know the truth , and the truth shall make you free (John 8:32).
 
I am the way, and the truth , and the life (John 14:6).
 
But when He, the Spirit of truth , comes, He will guide you into all the truth (John 16:13).
 
I do not ask Thee to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. . . . Sanctify them in the truth ; Thy word is truth (John 17:15, 17.
 
Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth (Ephesians 6:14).
 
Finally, brethren, whatever is true . . . let your mind dwell on these things (Philippians 4:8).
 
When Satan harasses you, you may be prone to languish in the shadows of your misery. You cry out for God to deliver you, like Jesus miraculously and instantaneously delivered the demonized people in the Gospels. But when you read through the Epistles, it is obvious that your deliverance has already been accomplished in Christ’s work on the cross and His resurrection. Since you are with Christ in the light, you never again need to live in the shadows.
 
You must choose the truth and assume your responsibility to exercise your authority and resist the devil. From your position in Christ, you must resist the devil, renounce participation in his schemes, confess sin and forgive those who have offended you.
 
Prayer: Lord, Your truth gives me life and leads me in the everlasting way. I embrace Your truth to direct my steps today.


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SATAN’S PRIMARY STRATEGY


by Neil Anderson

 

May 20
 
Acts 5:3 
Why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit?
 
Satan’s primary strategy is deception. He will introduce his thoughts and ideas into your mind and deceive you into believing that they are yours. It happened to King David. Satan “moved David to number Israel” (1 Chronicles 21:1), an act God had forbidden, and David acted on Satan’s idea. Did Satan walk up to David one day and say, “I want you to number Israel”? I doubt it. David was a godly man and he wouldn’t have obeyed Satan. But what if Satan slipped the idea into David’s mind in first-person singular? What if the thought came to David as “I need to know how large my army is; I think I’ll count the troops”?
 
If Satan can place a thought in your mind–and he can–it isn’t much more of a trick for him to make you think it’s your idea. If you knew it was Satan, you’d reject the thought, wouldn’t you? But when he disguises his suggestion as your idea, you are more likely to accept it. That is his primary deception. If you knew where the thought came from, you wouldn’t be deceived.
 
I don’t think Judas realized that it was Satan’s idea to betray Jesus (John 13:2). It probably came to him as a way to prompt Jesus to deliver Israel from the Romans. Ananias and Sapphira might have thought that it was their idea to withhold some of their offering while getting the strokes and attention from others who believed they had given everything. If they knew that it was Satan’s idea, they probably wouldn’t have done it (Acts 5:1-3). If Satan can get you to believe a lie, he can control your life. That’s why it is truth that sets you free (John 8:32).
 
There is one common characteristic shared by everyone in bondage: They all lie. The alcoholic lies about his drinking. The anorexic lies about her eating. The first step to recovery is to get out of denial, stop lying and start telling the truth.
 
Prayer: Lord, I really want Your truth and the freedom it brings in my life at all times. Help me face up to the truth, receive it and act on it today.


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OUR CHILDREN, SATAN’S TARGETS


by Neil Anderson

May 16

Deuteronomy 6:6, 7 
These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your sons.
 
Christian children and teenagers populating our schools, attending our churches, and living in our homes are the targets of Satan’s strategy. Many Christian young people hear voices as if a subconscious self is talking to them. Satan seeks to destroy our families and churches by seducing our children away from their parents and from God (1 Timothy 4:1).
 
Is every evil thought in our mind the “voice” of Satan or a demon? No, the flesh–that part of our brain that urges us to operate independently of God and to center our interests on ourselves–also introduces sinful thoughts and suggests evil deeds. Furthermore, input from worldly movies, music, books, TV, etc. also introduces evil ideas into our minds. As we grow in Christ, we learn to say no to the deeds of the flesh and walk in the Spirit.
 
But the world and the flesh are not the only culprits, even though we tend to place most of the blame on them. The devil and “spiritual forces of wickedness” (Ephesians 6:12) are shrewdly at work introducing evil suggestions as thoughts or inner voices. Just as we learn to deal with worldly and fleshly influences, so we must learn to distinguish Satan’s subtle, personal influence and resist him, and we must teach our children to do the same. Whether your child’s evil thoughts are coming from the world, the flesh, or the devil, you need to help him bring “every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
 
Our children aren’t saying much about Satan’s seduction in their lives because most of them don’t know that he’s at the heart of it. Satan is the great deceiver. He doesn’t march into their lives accompanied by a brass band. He slyly worms his way in through the opportunities they and we give him. And since kids haven’t been taught what the Bible says about Satan’s strategies, they blame themselves, and their sense of guilt and fear of punishment further contributes to their silence.
 
Prayer: Father God, raise up a standard of truth to defeat the enemy in my children’s lives, and help me teach them to resist the enemy themselves.


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Kingdom of God: Authority and Power, part I

god stuff 4

“I will GIVE YOU the KEYS OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN; and whatever YOU bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever YOU loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven (Matthew 16:19, NAS).”

“And He called the twelve together, and gave them POWER and AUTHORITY over ALL the demons and to HEAL diseases…to PROCLAIM the KINGDOM OF GOD and to PERFORM HEALING…He began speaking to them about the KINGDOM OF GOD and CURING those who had need of HEALING…allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and PROCLAIM EVERYWHERE the KINGDOM OF GOD.’ Another also said, ‘I will follow You, Lord; but first permit me to say good-bye to those at home.’ But Jesus said to him, ‘No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the KINGDOM OF GOD (Luke 9:1-2, 11, 27, 60-62, NAS).’”

 

You, blood bought child of the King and Bride of Christ, possess in your inner man the keys to the Kingdom, to rule on earth on behalf of the King with intense power! God has given us His name (authority) through Jesus so that we are equipped to speak and function here on earth as though it was God Himself (power)! Ambassadors speak in foreign lands on behalf of their king and kingdom allowing them to carry the power of the royalty who sent them. From a heart of love of and loyalty to the King, obedience to God through Christ is what ushers the authority to utilize all the power and tools that God has laid before us from His Kingdom. We are strangers in the land called Earth.

In Luke 9, Jesus was asked about “saying goodbye” but He tells them, “Once you start your journey with God’s Kingdom, looking back to the dead or the living is disobedience and you are not fit!” Set your gaze upon the Kingdom of God and purpose in Christ’s strength to never look back. This Kingdom-walk is the most amazing, unearthly relationship with the King of kings; it is unequivocal! Why would any man, woman, boy or girl look back at that which is temporal when we have been given that which is eternal?

Once we’re established, we are to allow Christ, the true Testimony, to exude through our mortal bodies. Our relationship with Him should never be forced or some grueling task as denominational churches have made it. It should never be something based on shame, guilt or condemnation. Romans 8:1-5, KJV reads: “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do NOT walk according to the FLESH, but according to the SPIRIT…He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but ACCORDING TO THE SPIRIT”

“No more condemnation” comes exclusively through ceasing the lusts of the flesh and seeking the Kingdom of God, His righteousness. He condemned sin therefore, when we are conducting sin (external or internal), condemnation is an automatic reaction. The only exit from it is repentance and forward movement.

Religion brings condemnation even when good intentions are at the heart because its foundation is built on the criteria of the traditions of man instead of the government of God; it leaves God’s people powerless. Love, mercy, grace, self-discipline and things of the like are of the Kingdom of God; they empower God’s holy people.

When our foundation is the Kingdom of God, we will never be destroyed by the destroyer, try though he may. Christ and His disciples preached the Kingdom, not salvation. Salvation is only a part of the sum of the Kingdom. When we pigeonhole ourselves into teaching mere fragments of the Kingdom, we miss the power, the authority, the blessings, and the peace that can stem only from understanding and functioning through the Kingdom of God. When operating in and through God’s Kingdom, we speak things into existence as prompted by the Spirit. Not merely by saying, “I bind…I loose…” but in our everyday language because we speak the language of our Kingdom which is not of the earth.

What language are YOU speaking? What power is moving through you? Do you operate under the power of Holy Spirit of the nature of the old natural man? The choice belongs to you.

I hope you’ll come back next week. If you’re interested in reading more, please go to my website and check out my books or my ministry Facebook page.

Peace and blessings,

Alexys V. Wolf

 www.thefierysword.com

 https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Fiery-Sword-Global-Ministries/185299884822251

 http://thefierysword.wordpress.com/

 


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A Love Like No Other

I post this blog every year at this time of year, so I will do it again! :)

Matthew 27:32-56: 32 As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. 33 They came to a place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull). 34 There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it.35 When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. 36 And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. 37 Above his head they placed the written charge against him: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS. 38 Two robbers were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 39 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads 40 and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!”

41 In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. 42 “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 In the same way the robbers who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

The Death of Jesus

45 From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. 46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

47 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”

48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 49 The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”

50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.

51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. 52 The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”

55 Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. 56 Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.

Jesus went through torture beyond any of our imaginations. He went through personal humiliation, physical pain, and spiritual anguish. The worst of all was probably the suffering that came in verse 46. He experienced separation from God. That is the ultimate consequence of sin. Separation. Spiritual death. I can’t even imagine what he went through at that moment. The weight of sin for everyone who ever lived, was living, and would live was upon him at that moment. That full amount of God’s wrath was on Jesus. Jesus had never sinned, but God made him to be sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21). God’s Son, the Creator of the universe, was rejected by His creation and isolated from His Father. The separation had to be the worst suffering of all. The wrath of God was satisfied.  Because of Jesus’ suffering, we are restored to a right relationship with God if we accept His FREE gift of salvation.

According to John’s account (John 19:30) of Christ’s death, what Jesus said in verse 50 was “It is finished.” These words mark the end of his suffering. It marks the completion of Jesus’ mission to restore us to a right relationship with the Father. At the time Jesus Christ died, the “curtain of the temple” was torn from top to bottom. This symbolizes that the way into God’s presence was now open. Because of what Jesus did, we have permanent access to God for all those who give their lives to Christ.

Just one person’s sin would’ve been enough to put Him on the cross. ‎”A cross, 3 nails, the weight of my sin, loneliness, pain and sorrow. That was on my Savior’s,”to do list”,for today. I am the cause.”

“It was my sin that held him there. Until it was accomplished. His dying breath has brought me life. I know that it is finished.”

Jesus did all of this out of love. When He was hanging on that cross He was thinking of you. He gave salvation to anyone who comes into contact with His saving and delivering power. He paid the ultimate sacrifice so that we don’t have to be separated from God anymore. We now can have a relationship with Him through Jesus Christ.

“It wasn’t the nails that held Jesus to the cross, it was love.”

-Austin


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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.