Alexa: The Voice of the Enemy?
Purity 460 07/02/2021 Purity 460 Podcast
Today’s photo of Gouverneur beach’s white sand and aqua waters under a blue sky with a cloud formation that looks like a “happy face” comes from my brother’s wife as they are vacationing in Saint Barthelemy with friends. Maybe I am just seeing what I want to see with that happy face in the clouds, but I couldn’t think of a better photo to share to bring us into what I pray will be a happy Independence Day weekend for all.
As I have stated before I firmly believe that, because God is sovereign over all time and space, the Lord puts signs and wonders in our everyday experience to encourages us and to give us peace and joy. If we live our lives by faith and keep our perspective on the things above, we will have experiences that will reveal the Lord’s care, concern, and love for us.
However, there is also a kingdom of darkness to contend with. Our lives of faith aren’t necessarily going to be all God and angels. The spiritual forces of darkness are opposed to us as scripture reveals that the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy.
Last night I taught from chapter 6 of Neil Anderson’s The Bondage Breaker, and I was reminded that our evangelistic efforts to bring people in the kingdom must be supported by prayer. I know that most Christians understand that we are to pray that the lost would come to have faith, but Anderson pointed out that our prayers for the lost may need to be “in the Spirit” in terms of aligning with the word of God.
I know when I lose focus I tend to offer a lot of general prayers for people that come to my attention even though I understand that we should be specific in our petitions. We do this for two reasons:
1. So we will be asking for the exact needs of those we are praying for in hopes of a solution to their particular problems.
2. So, we can know whether the Lord answers our prayers.
Anderson pointed out that in our evangelism we may need to pray specifically for two things:
1. For the spiritual eyes of those outside of the faith to be opened.
2. To bind the demonic forces of darkness that are holding the lost in bondage.
In my prayers for those outside of the faith, I often phrase my prayers to request that the Holy Spirit come and open the eyes of the spiritually blind to see the truth of the gospel, but I really haven’t prayed for the enemy to be bound and to release those he has captive.
So this morning, I decided to start praying with commands to bind Satan and his spiritual forces that may be holding specific people in bondage. And when I did, I got an unexpected response.
In the midst of praying out loud about binding the enemy, I was interrupted by a voice that that “I don’t know that”
Alexa in my Amazon Echo chimed in during my prayers for deliverance. To my knowledge, I didn’t say anything remotely like Alexa to prompt her participation, but her response was in opposition to what I said.
I didn’t think much of it, so I continued in prayer. Suddenly my “older” I-phone – that doesn’t have cell service and that I just use for music- sprang to life – and said, in Alexa’s voice: “The enemy by blah blah blah is whatever, and I cannot purchase it on this device”..
This took me by surprise, so I told Alexa, on my phone – which I never use to talk to Alexa, to stop it. To which she said something like “I can’t do that.”
Well after that I finished my prayers without further interruption.
As I write this I was trying to remember everything Alexa said and decided to check the history through the Alexa App on my phone. It may surprise you that the dialog from Alexa during my prayer session wasn’t listed in the history. Also now my Echo is having trouble connecting to the Wi-Fi that is operating without interruption!
So do I believe the enemy decided to voice their opposition through my electronic devices?
I know it’s a possibility and the fact that the responses were timely and appropriate to the situation, added to the disruption in the service of the echo, along with no history of the responses in my phone are too much for me to dismiss.
The enemy has caused disruptions in my sleep and dreams as of late and I have had some other suspect things happen that could be from the demonic realm, so I think this is just more of the same.
So am I afraid? Will I stop teaching about the enemy’s tactics or stop proclaiming the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ?
No, because I am a born-again child of God through my faith in Jesus Christ, I know that I have the Lord’s protection and authority to deal with anything demonic or otherwise that comes my way. The benefits of my covenant relationship with the Lord far outweigh any troubles I may experience along the path of Christian Discipleship.
So stand strong in your faith, if we are in Christ we have all power and authority over the forces of darkness and we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us to lead us in the way we should go as we cultivate the fruit of the Spirit.
This morning’s meditation verse is:
Romans 13:11 (NLT2)
11 This is all the more urgent, for you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.
Today’s verse reminds us that time is of the essence in terms of our repentance.
The “This” in the phrase “This is all the more urgent” is referring to the previous verses that are expounding the need to turn from our sins. Scripture makes many references to the fate of those who sin as those who will face God’s wrath and as those who have no part in the kingdom of God.
The Apostle Paul doesn’t know the condition of the hearts of those who will read his letter to the Romans or who will hear this message and he is stating in no uncertain terms that people need to come to Christ and demonstrate their faith in the Lord by turning from their sinful ways.
As Christians we are to be examples of the grace of God by the transformation that occurs when we go from death to life by placing our faith in Christ. The “day of our ultimate salvation”, when Christ returns or when we join Him victoriously in eternity, is closer every day.
The Apostle Paul is warning those outside of the faith to come to Christ and at the same time is encouraging those who have placed their faith in Jesus to turn from the darkness of their former ways and to start representing the kingdom of God by conforming to the image of Christ.
So if you have areas of sin you still struggle with, wake up to your salvation and ask for the Lord to grant you the grace of repentance and begin the work of renewing your mind to live according to God’s ways.
When we live by faith, we turn from sin and turn towards God. The further we walk away from our former darkness the more we grow the fruit of the Spirit and experience the peace, love, and joy that comes from our harmonious relationship with the Lord that only comes through faith in Jesus Christ.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue with Dr. Neil Anderson’s Victory Over the Darkness, beginning Chapter 6.
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Anderson’s books for your own private study and to support his work. If you need this title you can find it online at several sites for less than $15.00:
The Power of Believing the Truth
Nearly 60 years ago outside Nashville, Tennessee, a little girl was born with major health problems that left her crippled. She had a large, wonderful Christian family. While her brothers and sisters enjoyed running and playing outside, she was confined to braces.
Her parents took her into Nashville periodically for physical therapy, but the little girl's hope was dim. "Will I ever be able to run and play like the other children?" she asked her parents.
"Honey, you only have to believe," they responded. "You have to trust in God because with God all things are possible."
She took her parents' counsel to heart and began to believe that God could make her walk without braces. Unbeknownst to her parents and doctors, she practiced walking without her braces with the aid of her brothers and sisters. On her 12th birthday, she surprised her elders by removing her braces and walking around the doctor's office unassisted. Her doctors couldn't believe her progress. She never wore the braces again.
Her next goal was to play basketball. She continued to exercise her faith and courage—as well as her underdeveloped legs—and tried out for the school basketball team. The coach selected her older sister for the team, but the courageous girl was told she wasn't good enough to play. Her father, a wise, loving man, told the coach, "My daughters come in pairs. If you want one, you have to take the other also." Reluctantly, the coach added the girl to the team. She was given an outdated uniform and allowed to work out with the other players.
One day she approached the coach. "If you will give me an extra 10 minutes of coaching each day, I'll give you a world-class athlete." He laughed, then realized she was serious. He halfheartedly agreed to give her some additional time playing two on two with her best friend and a couple of boys. Before long her determination started to pay off. She showed tremendous athletic skill and courage, and soon she was one of the team's best players.
Her team went to the state basketball championships. One of the referees at the tournament noticed her exceptional ability and asked if she had ever run track. Of course she hadn't! The referee, who also happened to be the coach of the internationally famous Tiger Belles track club, encouraged her to try running. So after the basketball season she tried out for track. She began running and winning races. She also earned a berth in the state track championships.
At the age of 16, she was one of the best young runners in the country. She went to the Olympics in Australia and won a bronze medal for anchoring the 400-meter relay team. Not satisfied with her accomplishment, she worked diligently for four more years and returned to the Olympics in Rome in 1960. There, Wilma Rudolph won the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash and anchored the winning 400-meter relay team—all in world-record times. She capped the year by receiving the prestigious Sullivan Award as the most outstanding amateur athlete in the United States. Wilma Rudolph's faith and hard work had paid off.
When you hear inspiring stories of faith such as Wilma Rudolph's, do you sometimes wonder, Is faith really the critical element that allows some people to rise above seemingly incredible odds and achieve things others cannot? Can faith also do great things for me?
Victory Over the Darkness: Realizing the Power of Your Identity in Christ.
God bless you all!
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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship