Celebrating Life and Freedom! – Purity 767
Purity 767 06/24/2022
Today’s photo of a blazing sun over Waite Rd comes to us from yours truly as I captured this moment while walking my canine friend, Harley, back to our countryside home back on June 3rd.
Well we made it the weekend and those who love life and freedom have a reason to celebrate today! It’s 50th birthday my birthday and it is the 2 year Anniversary of my moving into “River House” My birthday is the celebration of my life. And the move to my home “down by the River” is definitely a significant moment that marks the freedom from the darkness of my past. So today’ I have Nina Simone’s Feeling Good in my mind: The opening lyrics state:
“Birds flying high, you
know how I feel
Sun in the sky, you know how I feel
Breeze driftin' on by, you know how I feel
It's a new dawn
It's a new day
It's a new life for me, yeah
It's a new dawn
It's a new day
It's a new life for me, ooh
And I'm feeling good”
There is a link on the blog today to hear that song on YouTube, enjoy. (https://youtu.be/oHs98TEYecM
Oh man, It’s so good.
I got to mail it in today guys. It’s my birthday and I’m feeling good. So I am going to share the truth of the spiritual reality that we can and should stand in by presenting the Who I am in Christ List and the Overcomer’s Covenant. I do these as a spiritual practice, reciting, praying, and meditating over them nearly every single day to remind myself of what the Lord has done: He has given me a new and eternal life where I am free from sin and death! And nothing and no one can stop me from being the person God created me to be, except me.
I could exercise my freedom of choice to do all kinds of wrong things. And trust me, in the darkness of my past I enthusiastically “did what ever I wanted, whenever I wanted” and sometimes had to face some very bad consequences for doing so, but not always. My “getting away with things” wasn’t a good thing as it caused me to think I could do what ever I wanted without consequence as long as I wasn’t discovered. That “do what ever I want” form of freedom only made me a slave to my selfish and sinful desires that isolated me from everyone else and never led to lasting satisfaction.
But the freedom God gave me, through faith in Jesus Christ, was the freedom to say no to those selfish desires that always led to pain and instead I began to understand that freedom really was best used in the pursuit of becoming the person God created me to be, a person who sought to do good instead of evil, a person who could receive and give love to others, a person who could know peace because I had peace with God.
So pursue that peace the goes beyond all understanding by seeking the Lord and His will for your life. And feel good about it.
Repeat after me, out loud or silently agree with Who I am in Christ:
Who I am in Christ
I AM ACCEPTED IN CHRIST
I am God’s Child (John 1:12)
I am Christ’s Friend (John 15:15)
I have been justified (Romans 5:1)
I am united with the Lord and one with Him in Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17)
I have been bought with a price; I belong to God (1 Corinthians 6:20)
I am a member of Christ’s body (1 Corinthians 12:27)
I am a saint (Ephesians 1:1)
I have been adopted as God’s child (Ephesians 1:5)
I have direct access to God through the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:18)
I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins (Colossians 1:14)
I am complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10)
I AM SECURE IN CHRIST
I am free forever from condemnation (Romans 8:1)
I am assured that all things work together for good (Romans 8:28)
I am free from the condemning charges against me (Romans 8:33-34)
I cannot be separated from the love of God (Romans 8:35, 38-39)
I have been established, anointed, and sealed by God (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)
I am a citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20)
I am hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3)
I can find grace and mercy to help me in time of need (Hebrews 4:16)
I am born of God, and the evil one cannot touch me (1 John 5:18)
I have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind (2 Tim 1:7)
I am confident that the good work God has begun in me will be perfected (Phil 1:6)
I AM SIGNIFICANT IN CHRIST
I am the salt and light of the earth (Matthew 5:13-14)
I am a branch of the true vine, a channel to His life (John 15:1,5)
I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit (John 15:16)
I am a personal witness of Christ (Acts 1:8)
I am God’s temple (1 Corinthians 3:16)
I am a minister of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:17-20)
I am God’s coworker (2 Corinthians 6:1)
I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 2:6)
I am God’s workmanship (Ephesians 2:10)
I may approach God with freedom and confidence (Ephesians 3:12)
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13)
Overcoming the darkness of a selfish, addicted, sinful life comes from knowing who you are in Christ. So say it, pray it, mean it and know it. And you can also pray:
The Overcomer's Covenant in Christ
I usually pray this, starting with Dear Heavenly Father,
1. I place all my trust and confidence in the Lord, I put no confidence in the flesh and I declare myself to be dependent upon God.
2. I consciously and deliberately choose to submit to God and resist the devil by denying myself, picking up my cross daily and following Jesus.
3. I choose to humble myself before the mighty hand of God in order that He may exalt me at the proper time.
4. I declare the truth that I am dead to sin, freed from it and alive to God in Christ Jesus, since I have died with Christ and was raised with Him.
5. I gladly embrace the truth that I am now a child of God who is unconditionally loved and accepted. I reject the lie that I have to perform to be accepted, and I reject my fallen and natural identity which was derived from the world.
6. I declare that sin shall no longer be master over me because I am not under the law, but under grace, and there is no more guilt or condemnation because I am spiritually alive in Christ Jesus.
7. I renounce every unrighteous use of my body and I commit myself to no longer be conformed to this world, but rather to be transformed by the renewing of my mind. I choose to believe the truth and walk in it, regardless of my feelings or circumstances.
8. I commit myself to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and choose to think upon that which is true, honorable, right, pure and lovely.
9. I commit myself to God's great goal for my life to conform to His image. I know that I will face many trials, but God has given me the victory and I am not a victim, but an overcomer in Christ.
10. I choose to adopt the attitude of Christ, which was to do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind. I will regard others as more important than myself; and not merely look out for my own personal interests but also the interests of others. I know that it is more blessed to give than to receive.
I also pray this short prayer that encompasses a lot of the above as a concluding prayer before my Bible Study.
Dear heavenly Father,
I submit myself to You as Your child, and I declare myself to be totally dependent upon You. I yield my body to You as a living sacrifice, and I ask You to fill me with Your Holy Spirit. I renounce the lies of the evil one and I choose to believe the truth as You have revealed it to us in Your holy Word. Give me the grace and the wisdom to resist the devil so that he will flee from me. I now commit myself to You, including my body as an instrument of righteousness. In Jesus' precious name I pray.
That’s it that’s some of my “daily spiritual practice” and I invite you to utilize any or all of it as a part of yours.
Happy Birthday to me! I pray on day where I can celebrate my life and my freedom that all who listen to or read this message will seek the Lord and the life and freedom He has for you, in Christ.
Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.
This morning’s meditation verse is:
38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.
39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Today’s Bible verse that nothing can separated us from God’s love.
He’s God guys. To quote Joe Cabot from Reservoir Dogs: “It’s my way, or the highway.” Well, following Joe Cabot led to everyone’s death in that film, spoiler, so I would say we should take the “High Way” and decide to have peace and life everlasting with God through faith in Jesus Christ.
God is sovereign. He is over and above all things. All must come before Him. And the only way to peace with Him is Jesus.
But when you put your faith in Christ, we need not fear ever again. For through Christ, we can know the love of God. When we are forgiven of our sins, we know God’s love through His mercy and grace.
And because God is all powerful and eternal, we can know that nothing and no one can separate us from his love, even death,
In Christ, we need never fear anything ever again and instead can pursue the meaning and purpose that God has for us and we can continually know His love when we stay in harmony with Him by seeking his strength and guidance to help us walk in HIS WAY.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue sharing from Clinton E. Arnold’s “Powers of Darkness”
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Clinton Arnold’s books for your own private study and to support his work. This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.
Situations Involving Evil Spirits
In the Old Testament the activity of evil spirits is described a few times, and usually with the author carefully subordinating them to God’s sovereign control. During the time of the Judges, Abimelech sought to rule over a segment of the northern kingdom, which included the city of Shechem (Judg 9). After soliciting and receiving the support of the citizens of Shechem, he quickly eliminated all his competition for the throne by murdering his seventy brothers (except for one, Jotham). Because of his treacherous bloodshed, “God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the citizens of Shechem” after he had ruled over Israel for three years (Judg 9:23a). This conflict resulted in a time of great civil strife, war and death.
Because an evil spirit tormented King Saul, his advisors counseled him to find someone who could play the harp, believing music would bring him relief (1 Sam 16:14–23). Saul’s attendants discovered the talents of a young man named David, who was then summoned into the king’s service. Whenever this malignant spirit afflicted Saul, David would play the harp, and Saul would be relieved. The text says, “He would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him” (1 Sam 16:23b). It was this same evil spirit who twice prompted Saul to attempt to kill David (1 Sam 18:10–11; 19:9–10).
One other account presents a situation in which an evil spirit inspired 400 prophets to give false advice to Ahab, king of Israel, when he inquired whether he should go to war to reclaim a foreign-occupied city (1 Kings 22:1–40). The text depicts a heavenly session with the Lord in which evil spirits were permitted to suggest to him ways of luring Ahab into attacking the city. Finally one of the wicked spirits suggests that it would go out and be “a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets” (1 Kings 22:21–22). Receiving Yahweh’s approval, the spirit was successful in its deceitful activity despite the Lord’s prophet disclosing to the king all the details of the heavenly plan as they had been revealed to him. Contrary to the advice of the Lord’s prophet, Ahab attacked the city, and in the ensuing battle he was killed. Some commentators on this text have much difficulty on deciding what to make of this “spiritual interpretation” of the events. It must be seen, however, in conjunction with the account of Satan asking Yahweh for permission to afflict Job (Job 1:6–12). All three of these scenarios not only stress God’s ultimate control over the realm of evil spirits, but also make the point that God even permits these forces to carry out their evil deeds as a means of accomplishing his own divine purposes.
The Serpent of Old
The Apocalypse of John brings its readers hope by predicting a future overthrow of “the serpent of old,” also known as Satan or the devil (Rev 20:2). This allusion is to the Genesis account of creation and the serpent’s temptation of Adam and Eve in the garden (Gen 3:1–15). Paul also spoke of this event in his second letter to the Corinthians, in which he compared the serpent’s effective cunning with the deceitful work of Satan on the Corinthians (2 Cor 11:3, 14–15). Although some scholars hesitate to identify the serpent in Genesis 3 with Satan, this was the unanimous early Christian (and Jewish) interpretation.
The scene in the garden is the classic portrayal of Satan’s character as the tempter—a motif found throughout the New Testament, especially in Paul’s treatment of the powers of darkness. This narrative does not reveal the devil as a spirit or angel, but his supernatural character comes to light for the reader when he animates a snake causing it to talk. The snake represented an “archetypal unclean animal” in the law of God (see Lev 11 and Deut 14).
This passage marks the beginning of salvation history. It establishes the need for the redemption of humanity because of the Fall. It points to the devil’s activity in promoting sin and rebellion against God and consequently to the need for this evil being to be dealt a crushing blow for God’s purposes to be brought to completion (Gen 3:15).
The Old Testament never explicitly addresses the origin of Satan or how or when he turned against God. It is possible that couched in the prophecies against the king of Tyre (Ezek 28) and the king of Babylon (Is 14) are insights into the original state and fall of Satan. This connection was certainly how early Jewish interpreters understood these passages. These texts, however, may also point to the heavenly angelic figures associated with those nations, as was the case with the angelic “prince of Persia” in Daniel 10:13.
Satan is mentioned only at three other places in the Old Testament (Job 1–2; Zech 3:1–2; 1 Chron 21:1). In all of these passages he appears as a supernatural enemy of both God and humanity. In Job Satan appears as an accuser and an afflicter. He challenges the genuineness of Job’s righteousness and commitment to God, claiming that Job fears God because God had so richly blessed him (Job 1:6–11). God sovereignly permits Satan to afflict Job. Satan then strips Job of his wealth, makes him dreadfully ill, kills all of his children and turns his wife against him. Yet Job responded to these overwhelming trials with integrity and did not sin or turn from God. This passage shows what great power the Lord God permits Satan to exercise on earth and even over his people. Not only does he function as an accuser, but God also gives him the authorization to control such things as sickness, robbery and even natural disasters that cause death.
The writer of 1 Chronicles reaffirms Satan’s activity as a tempter: “Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel” (1 Chron 21:1). In this passage Satan is also portrayed as Israel’s adversary—a role that corresponds to the meaning of the word “devil” (diabolos), which the Greek translators of the Old Testament chose to translate the term “Satan.”
Finally in the vision of Zechariah Satan accuses the high priest Jonathan for his past sins in an apparent attempt to disqualify him from his office (Zech 3:1–2). Satan’s activity of bringing accusation is more in line with the extended usage of the Hebrew term satan. In the Old Testament the word is used elsewhere with the simple meaning of “accuser” or “adversary.” The writer of 1 Samuel records, for instance, that the Philistines were opposed to David fighting with them, “lest in the battle he become an adversary [satan] to us” (1 Sam 29:4 RSV).
Satan is thus an accuser and a powerful adversary against God’s people. He performs his hostile functions against them by luring them into rebelling against the express will of God and by causing even physical destruction, pain and grief. In spite of Satan’s powerful malignant activity, God’s people are called to maintain their pure devotion to the Lord.
Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!
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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship
 Clinton E. Arnold, Powers of Darkness: Principalities & Powers in Paul’s Letters (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic: An Imprint of InterVarsity Press, 1992), 60–62.