Living Free Life Group–Notes and Quotes (From March 10th, 2013)

Remember:

One of Satan’s chief activities is accusing the saints (you and me) before God (see Zechariah 3:1-4). Though Satan has immense power, he still does not possess the characteristics of God (he is not omniscient, omnipresent, or omnipotent). Satan cannot read our minds; therefore it is important, when rebuking him, to speak out loud.

Quotes:

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“Recognize the fact that Satan and his hosts will begin to attack you as you grow in your knowledge of their secrets. Either devote yourself to a life of battle and victory, or decide to stay behind the lines.” Warren Wiersbe, The Strategy of Satan

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 “Who we are must always take precedence over what we do; and we cannot accomplish anything apart from Christ.” The Bondage Breaker, page 77

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“Believers have both the authority to do God’s will because of their position in Christ, and the power to do God’s will as long as they walk by the spirit…In the flesh you don’t have the power to resist Satan and his demons, but in Christ you do.” The Bondage Breaker, page 78

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“Jesus charged his disciples with the responsibility to proclaim the kingdom of God. Had He now also given them authority and power over the kingdom of darkness, the demons would have scoffed at their feeble attempts and sent them running for cover.” The Bondage Breaker, Page 78

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“The army saw Goliath in relation to themselves and trembled; David saw Goliath in relation to God and triumphed.” The Bondage Breaker, page 78

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“Fear of anything (other than the fear of God) is mutually exclusive to faith in God. When Satan tries to incite fear, we are to maintain our position in Christ and exhibit the fruit of the Spirit, which includes self-control.” The Bondage Breaker, page 81

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“How are we going to fulfill our calling in the world if we don’t believe what God says about the kingdom of darkness? Some are pleading, ‘O God, please help us! The devil is roaring at us!’ And God responds, ‘I’ve done all I’m going to do. I defeated and disarmed Satan at the cross. I conferred all authority on you in Christ. Now open your eyes. Realize who you are and start living accordingly.’” The Bondage Breaker, page 85

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“Apart from Christ we can do nothing, but that doesn’t mean we’re not supposed to do something. We humbly exercise His authority—in His strength and His name.” The Bondage Breaker, page 86

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“[Satan] doesn’t curl up his tail and pull in his fangs of he fails to keep you from coming to Christ. He is still committed to foul up your life and ‘prove’ that Christianity doesn’t work, that God’s Word isn’t true, and that nothing really happened when you were born again.” The Bondage Breaker, pp. 92-93

 ***

“If we accept the authority of the Bible, we must believe in the existence of demons. The Lord Jesus believed in demonic forces and often delivered helpless people from their power. Jesus taught that there was a definite enemy named Satan, and that he ruled over a kingdom of evil beings. Since Jesus came ‘to testify to the truth’ (John 18:37), we must believe that what he said was truth and not merely accommodation to the superstitions of the people.” Warren Wiersbe, The Strategy of Satan

 ***

“Demons work through people. This is why Paul instructs us not to fight against ‘flesh and blood.’ Satan works in and through unsaved people (see Ephesians 2:1-3), but he can also work in and through saved people. Remember Peter (Matthew 16:21-23) and Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5). The Christian soldier needs to be alert at all times…Demons can and do influence and use people who are saved. While we have no precedent in the Bible for casting demons out of saved people, we do have precedent for fighting demons who seek to influence saved people. Ephesians 6:10-18 was written to Christians.” Warren Wiersbe, The Strategy of Satan

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“The chief condition for the working of evil spirits in a human being, apart from sin, is passivity, in exact opposition to the condition which God requires from His children for His working in them.” Jessie Penn-Lewis, War on the Saints

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“If you are not experiencing some spiritual opposition to your ministry, there is a good chance that Satan doesn’t see you as any threat to his plans.” The Bondage Breaker, page 95

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“You are ascribing too much power to Satan if you think he can perfectly read your mind and know the future. Every occultic practice claims to know the mind (or influence it) or predict the future. But only God knows the thoughts and intents of your mind, and only He knows the future. You should never ascribe the divine attributes of God to Satan.” The Bondage Breaker, page 101

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“All too often we proclaim the virtues of Christianity to unbelievers like someone standing outside a prison compound proclaiming to the inmates the benefits of living in the outside world. But unless someone overpowers the prison guards and opens the gates, how can the prisoners experience the freedom we’re telling them about?” The Bondage Breaker, page 107

 ***

“Satan and his hosts are organized. If only believers could be united in their defense and their warfare, Satan would not win so many victories. Sad to say, Christians too often are so busy fighting one another that they have no time for fighting the devil.” Warren Wiersbe, The Strategy of Satan

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profilepic3Rebecca Aarup is a redeemed prodigal, set free from over a decade of mental illness, eating disorders, addiction, and more. She now enjoys sharing her story of freedom and transformation with a lost and hurting world, as well as teaching about spiritual warfare and the importance of understanding our identity in Christ.

Rebecca is also an author and freelance writer, having written devotionals and teaching articles for a variety of publications including The Secret Place (Judson press), Evangel (Light and Life Communications), and Mustard Seed Ministries. Beyond writing, Rebecca is a wife, home-schooling mom, and Bible student at Liberty University. She lives in Glendale, Az with her husband Chris and daughter, Samantha.  You can read more from Rebecca by following her on twitter and facebook.

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You can support Rebecca’s ministry with one click! If you enjoyed this post and others, please take a second to click the FOLLOW button on the space provided on the right hand side of the computer screen (or scroll to the bottom of your screen if using a smartphone) and you will receive new posts in your email inbox. This is absolutely free and your information is never shared!

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Teaching Our Children to Fight

Last night my daughter, once again, cried as she walked past my darkened office. Once again I asked her why she was crying. Once again she told me she was terrified of the darkness. I’ve been struggling with this for weeks now, my daughter crying when we walk outside at night, or when we’re turning off the lights to go to bed. Perhaps most parents would shrug this off as “normal” child behavior, but I knew it was more.

 

 
I asked her why she was afraid. In between sobs, she replied, “I think something bad will happen to me.” Ironically (not really) this extreme fear took hold of my daughter around the time I started teaching a new class about spiritual warfare. A lot of strange things have been happening since our life group met for the first time. In fact, a few of the ladies have had a hard time even getting to the church to meet for our study. Seems *something* is blocking the way—or at least sending a lot of distractions.

 

 
It’s been no different in my life. In a conversation with my Pastor this week I shared, “If you’re feeling comfortable, if you want to throw a monkey wrench in your cozy life, just start teaching a series on spiritual warfare. That’ll shake things up.” It’s true. When the opposition is ignored, we don’t notice its effect in our lives. But when we start perking up and paying attention, we see how much of a hand the devil really has in the details. This includes our children.

 

 
Recently, a Pastor and Author whom I have grown to respect and admire (his teaching has helped me a great deal) advised me to reconsider a portion of my book manuscript where I mention Satan’s activity in the lives of children, because too many people could have a problem with that, and might not like it or agree with it.

 

 
I thought about it for a few days, until this situation with my daughter came to the fore-front. No, I can’t ignore what I know is the truth. Satan seeks to kill, steal, and destroy, and there is no age limit on his schemes! It is true that God cares for and looks after children, and there is even some evidence in God’s word to suggest that special angels are given charge over children. Yet, that doesn’t make them exempt from the tricks and manipulations of demonic activity, any more than being a Christ follower makes us, as adults, exempt from temptation, testing, and trials (see the book of Job).

 

 
So last night, as my precious five-year-old laid on my bed weeping in fear, I knew it was time to share more with her about her Enemy. My daughter has a wonderful prayer life, and has memorized a great deal of Scripture (the truth—God’s word—is the most important thing we can fill our children’s minds with!), so I knew she would understand and be able to apply the truths we were about to discuss.

 

 
“Where do you think fear comes from?” I asked her.

 
“I don’t know,” she whispered.

 
“Well, you know how God has angels watching over us? Satan has his own angels too, and they are called demons. These demons try to trick us, make us fear, and get us to think about things that go against God’s word, but Jesus is in us, and He is wayyyy more powerful than those demons.”

 
“Ohhhhh,”her eyes were widening.

 
“Because we have Jesus in us, protecting us and watching over us, we also have Jesus’ power over these evil spirits. Whenever we feel afraid we need to pray. We need to thank God for helping us and watching over us, and then tell Satan and his demons to GO AWAY!”

 
“How do I do that?”

 
“First, we thank God for beating Satan the day he died on the cross and came back to life. Jesus beat Satan already, so we always need to thank Him for that. Next we need to say, ‘In the name of Jesus, I command the evil spirit of fear to leave me alone!’ And you know what? That evil spirit has to leave; he has no choice, because Jesus has already beaten him. Sometimes, though, those spirits need a reminder. Because you have Jesus living in you, you are able to tell those spirits to leave in the name of Jesus, because they hate that name and it causes them to run away.”

 
“Can we pray now?”

 
And we did. Samantha prayed first, she even said, “In the name of the Lord Jesus, you evil spirits have to leave!”

 

 
We proceeded to talk for nearly two hours about God, the Bible, and Satan. She kept asking, “Mom, can you tell me another story?” So we talked about all the stories of angels that Mommy could remember, and we talked about Jesus’s life, John the Baptist, and Balaam and his angel-seeing donkey. After a while Samantha, relieved, said, “Mommy, these stories are really helping me feel better!”

 

 
Before closing her eyes to sleep, she asked God to replace her bad dreams (another problem she’d been having) with good dreams of Jesus and angels. And for the first night in weeks she slept soundly—with the lights off.

 

 
This morning she woke up and the first thing she wanted to do was tell me about her dream. She recounted the angels, the pink grass, and Jesus coming to our house for lunch. At the end of her dream, Jesus told her He had to leave, but would be back soon.

 

 
I sat on the couch with my coffee, smiling from ear to ear. “Thank you, Jesus, for giving that gift to my daughter. Thank you for setting her little heart free with your truth.”

 

 
My daughter is only five years old, but she is already well-equipped to continue fighting this battle. She knows Philippians 2:5 and 2 Corinthians 10:5, and she knows how to pray and how to use Scripture to fight her enemy. Most importantly, she has learned not to fear her accuser. Because as big of a bully he is, Jesus is bigger.

 

 

 

This fight is real, friends, and it’s real for our kids too. What are we teaching them? We don’t need to freak them out, but we do need to teach them the truth—all of it, not just the parts we think they can handle. You see, if we try to wait until they’re “old enough” it’ll already be too late. By the time they are teenagers, they may well have succumbed to a variety of destructive thinking patterns if they have not learned how to deal with those thoughts and emotions in a biblical way. Instead of leaving them defenseless, we need to start teaching our children to fight back.

 

(See also Discerning the Devil: In Childhood)

 

 
Instead of singing this with our kids:

 
“I may never march in the infantry,
ride in the calvary,
shoot the artillery,
I may never fly o’er the enemy
but I’m in the Lord’s army yes sir!”

 
(What exactly is the Lord’s army doing, if not fighting? Should we scratch out Ephesians 6:10-18 too?)

 

 
We need to be singing this:

 
“There is power, power, wonder working power,
in the blood, of the Lamb!
There is power, power, wonder working power
in the precious blood of the Lamb!”

 

 

And this:

 

 

“I know Who goes before me,

I know Who stands behind.

The God of Angel Armies,

is always by my side!”

 

 

(This happens to be one of mine and my daughter’s favorites!)

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profilepic3Rebecca Aarup is a redeemed prodigal, set free from over a decade of mental illness, eating disorders, addiction, and more. She now enjoys sharing her story of freedom and transformation with a lost and hurting world, as well as teaching about spiritual warfare and the importance of understanding our identity in Christ.

Rebecca is also an author and freelance writer, having written devotionals and teaching articles for a variety of publications including The Secret Place (Judson press), Evangel (Light and Life Communications), and Mustard Seed Ministries. Beyond writing, Rebecca is a wife, home-schooling mom, and Bible student at Liberty University. She lives in Glendale, Az with her husband Chris and daughter, Samantha.  You can read more from Rebecca by following her on twitter and facebook.

_______________________________________

You can support Rebecca’s ministry with one click! If you enjoyed this post and others, please take a second to click the FOLLOW button on the space provided on the right hand side of the computer screen (or scroll to the bottom of your screen if using a smartphone) and you will receive new posts in your email inbox. This is absolutely free and your information is never shared!

Money Changes Everything…?

I’ll admit it, I like to watch The Voice, a singing competition where people get the opportunity to win a recording contract. One woman had a duet with famous rock singer, Cindi Lauper. The song was titled Money Changes Everything. The two women danced aggresively around the stage shouting, “Money, money money!” while large green dollar signs were projected over the walls.

Just what the world needs, a message showcasing the importance of financial gain. (Yes, that’s sarcasm.) I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, after all there are major religious sects that preach a “prosperity” driven gospel, emphasizing faith rewarded with material wealth.  As one who has experienced most levels of financial gain and ruin, even homelessness, I think I can say with the authority experience brings, money doesn’t change a thing. Some of the darkest moments in my life were during times of great material wealth. I had everything I wanted, more than I had dreamed of, but spiritually I was deader than a doorknob.

I’m reminded of 1 Timothy 6:6-20, probably the most well known passage regarding money. Verse 17 says, “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” My husband and I have gone through many levels of finances; from selling possessions to pay rent, to times where purchasing a large TV was hardly noticed in the register. God has used those times to teach me what is important. I have a tendency to get concerned when the well is running dry, so, God allows the well to dry up. I am brought back to this passage again and again. “But godliness with contenment is great gain.” 1 Timothy 6:6

What the world needs is more people to discover the love God has for them. Christians rising up and proclaiming the truth. Godliness is all the gain I need. Becoming the person of Christ is the only way anything will change for me. I’m glad I saw that episode last night because it brought me back to the truth of the gospel. Jesus is all I need. Jesus changes everything. God help me, as your beloved child, to remember to “flee from all this and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.” (1 Tim. 6:11) If my security is found in material things I will never be content and will likely be discouraged, disappointed, and deeply depressed.

I’ve been redeemed, I’ve been to the river and washed white as snow, I am a new creation,  I have a new life that is Jesus, and that changes everything. “In this way [I] will lay treasure for [myself] as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that [I] may take hold of life that is truly life.” (1 Tim. 6:19)