The story you are about to hear is true: I felt free. The conference had ended thirty minutes earlier. My feelings of spiritual relief weren’t because I was now outside the four walls of the training facility. God’s Word had cut through fear I believed about myself and my choices for my future. God gives fear as a natural response when our safety is threatened. Neil Anderson says, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but it is living by faith and doing what is right in the face of illegitimate fear objects.”I learned that behind my fears loomed lies I believed. God asked me to renounce these lies, and once I did this I could again be centered to believe the truth. Empowered, refreshed, and reaffirmed in my ministry, I couldn’t wait to see what God would do next.
Now in my car, I arranged my lunch so I could eat while driving home, and then my phone rang. A man’s commanding voice said, “Everything you have believed about God is not true. To listen to our weekly hour-long church service by phone, call this number.” Click. The call ended. I sat in shock for a moment and remembered the four-day truth encounter. I spoke aloud. “In the name of Jesus, I rebuke you. There is no weapon formed against me that will prosper. Greater is He who is in me than He who is in the world. Thank you Lord Jesus, that you have not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and of sound mind. I renounce this spirit of fear. I want to live by faith in you and in the power of the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Maybe you’ve never had a blatant spiritual attack. Deception can be a subtle yet slippery slope. The bottom line: We must know the voice of our Shepherd so that when the voice of a sleezy stranger such as discouragement, distrust, depression, or anything else contrary to God’s truth knocks, attempting to invade our peace, we recognize it. If we are familiar with the tactics of the enemy, we can say, “Oh no, you don’t. You are not welcome here. I refuse to let you in to my life.”
It’s essential to keep our mind focused on verses such as Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” And when we do, truth of God’s Word will cut through the dishonesty of the father of lies. The more you reinforce who you are in Christ, the more your behavior will reflect your beliefs about God.
Thank you, Heavenly Father, for giving us everything we need to live with victory in Jesus. Lord, you have loved us with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3) and declare us not guilty (Romans 8:1). Thank you that we who are born of God do not continue to sin, but you keep us safe and the evil one cannot touch us (1 John 5:18). Lord, we approach you with freedom and confidence (Ephesians 3:12), asking you to work in us to will and to act as you guide us according to your good purpose (Philippians 2:13). In Jesus’ name, amen.
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