After suffering for years with discouragement, disappointment, and grief, I felt a wonderful peace. Like brilliant sunlight finally breaking through stubborn, black, rain cloud, God opened my spirit eyes to His goodness and faithfulness so my hope was restored. The training conference had ended thirty minutes ago. My feelings of spiritual relief weren’t because I was now outside the four walls of the training facility. God’s word had tenderly cut through fear I believed about myself and my recent choices for the future. It was a new revelation to me how God gives fear as a natural response when our safety is threatened. In renewed strength, I reveled in the purpose and plans God revealed for my future.
Neil Anderson says, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but it is living by faith and doing what is fright in the face of illegitimate fear objects.” I learned that behind my fears loomed lies I believed. The lies were about myself, my family, and even my thoughts about God. 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, my phone rang. A man’s loud and demanding voice shouted, “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 what I had learned during the past four days. I had marinated thoroughly in God’s word; truth broke through lies, unbelief, doubt. Through persistent prayers of the saints, I experienced a deep, nurturing encounter with the Holy Spirit. I knew what to do. 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, love, and 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.”
Some may think my negative spiritual encounter was unbelievable. Or maybe you think, “This will never happen to me.” And I really hope it doesn’t. I pray you will not have a such close encounter or blatant spiritual warfare. However, if you do, you know what to do: You must stand in your authority in Christ. (Speak out the Who I Am in Christ affirmations—see below.) You must cancel the plans the enemy has for you. God has a wonderful plan for your life. But our enemy, Satan, also has a plan for your life. He would like nothing more than to make you ineffective in your Christian life and testimony.
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” I Peter 5:8–9
Father, thank you for your word that speaks truth and hope into our situation. I stand in my authority in Christ and cancel the ground the enemy has gained over my brothers and sisters. I speak life and love over them. Thank you for your word found in 2 Corinthians 10:4–5, “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” Thank you, Jesus, for by your blood you have won the victory for us. Bring life, vibrant truth, and renewed peace. In Jesus’ name, amen.