Title: Victory Over the Darkness: Realize the Power of Your Identity in Christ
Author: Neil T. Anderson
Every spiritual leader knows two things at minimum about spiritual warfare. First, that it is real. We have an enemy that works 24/7 to kill, steal, and destroy. And second, that we are grateful for the the biblical and practical insights that many authors have provided in confronting this daily reality. Certainly one of those who has made a formidable contribution to the field of spiritual warfare and spiritual formation over the years is Neil T. Anderson. The line-up of his books in lengthy. Listed among his many bestsellers is Victory Over Darkness: Realizing the Power of Your Identity in Christ. Early in its pages, he puts the cookies on the lower shelf with these words: Being a Christian is not just a matter of getting something; it is a matter of being someone. Christians are not simply people who are forgiven and go to heaven when they die. Christians, in terms of their deepest identity, are saints, spiritually born children of God, divine masterpieces, children of light, and citizens of heaven. Salvation is not addition. It is transformation. What we received as Christians isn’t the primary point; it is who we are. It is not what we do as Christians that determines who we are; it is who we are that determines what we do.
This book is a must-read for every leader who recognizes the need to have a comprehensive set of tools for helping people find freedom in Christ. Take a look at these Book Notes to get a look at the resources available.
Founder | Lead With Your Life
Ten years ago a breakthrough book launched a ministry that has helped more than one million people overcome this world and win the battle for their hearts and minds. Now Neil Anderson has revised and expanded Victory over the Darkness for a new generation of readers, outlining practical and more productive ways to Christian growth based on Christ’s promise, You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free. Victory Over the Darkness emphasizes the importance of believing and internalizing the cardinal truths of Scripture as a base from which to renew the mind and fend off the attempts of Satan to convince us that we are less than Christ empowers us to be.
It isn’t what we do that determines who we are; who we are determines what we do. LOCATION: 238
The real you, your immaterial inner self, needs your material outer self to live and function in this world. For example, your physical brain is like the hardware of a computer system, and your immaterial mind is like the software. A computer is basically worthless without software, but software needs a computer in order to function. You need your physical brain to control your body’s movements and responses, and you need your immaterial mind to reason and make value judgments. The brain can’t function independently of how it has been programmed. The finest organic brain can’t accomplish anything in a corpse that lacks a mind. LOCATION: 300
All sinful behavior is a wrong attempt at meeting basic needs. The essence of sin is man living independently of God, who has said that He will meet all of our needs as we live out life in Christ. LOCATION: 342
Adam and Eve were not only darkened in their understanding, but they also became fearful and anxious. The first emotion expressed after the fall was fear (see Genesis 3:10). The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom (see Proverbs 9:10), and is the basis for conquering all other fears. Fear is a God-given natural reaction anytime our physical or psychological safety is threatened. Phobias are irrational fears, which means that such feelings are not based on truth. Irrational fears of anything other than God are mutually exclusive to faith in God. Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent emotional illnesses of the world, and “fear not” is the most repeated command in Scripture. LOCATION: 384
Adam and Eve went from acceptance, security, and significance, to being fearful, anxious, shameful, guilty, depressed, and angry, and there was only one thing that precipitated that change. They died spiritually. They were separated from God. Therefore, what must happen in order for humanity to overcome spiritual, mental, and emotional depravity? Jesus said we must be born-again (see John 3:3). LOCATION: 414
1. Acceptance was replaced by rejection; therefore, we have a need to belong. Even before the fall, Adam had a need to belong. His need to belong to God was met by having fellowship with God in the garden. Of all the things that were good in the garden, the only thing that was “not good” was that Adam was alone (Genesis 2:18). God met that need by creating Eve. LOCATION: 419
2. Innocence was replaced by guilt and shame; therefore, there exists the need to fulfill a legitimate sense of worth. Those who work with people know that a suffering humanity struggles with a poor sense of worth. An identity crisis and a negative self-image have accompanied a suffering humanity since the fall. LOCATION: 427
3. Dominion was replaced by weakness and helplessness; therefore, we have the need for strength and self-control. People attempt to meet these needs through personal disciplines, or by seeking to control and manipulate others. Nobody is more insecure or sick than a controller. They wrongly believe they can fulfill themselves by trying to control and manipulate other people or circumstances in life. In other words, they are trying to play God. The fruit of the Spirit is not spouse control or staff control or environmental control; it is self-control (see Galatians 5:23). LOCATION: 433
Every temptation is an attempt by the devil to entice us to live independently of God. LOCATION: 450
Many Christians are not living free and productive lives because they don’t understand who they are and why they are here. If they don’t see themselves the way God sees them, they will suffer from a false identity and a poor sense of worth. Sadly, they don’t fully understand the gospel and the dramatic change that occurred in them the moment they trusted in Christ. LOCATION: 516
Many Christians are struggling because they understand only a third of the gospel. They believe that Jesus is the Messiah who died for their sins, and if they receive Christ, their sins would be forgiven and they would go to heaven when they die. Such a statement is not wrong, but it is incomplete, and it would give the impression that eternal life is something believers get when they die. LOCATION: 544
Too often we have left the Resurrection out of the gospel presentation. Consequently, new converts see themselves as forgiven sinners instead of redeemed saints who are new creations in Christ (see 2 Corinthians 5:17). LOCATION: 551
The death and resurrection of Jesus comprise two thirds of the gospel. Something had to be done about the ruler of this world. Two sovereigns cannot rule in the same sphere at the same time. “The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). This third of the gospel is what most of the world’s population is waiting to hear. Spiritism is the dominant religious orientation of earth’s inhabitants. There are more people practicing spiritism than any organized religion. They consult shamans, witch doctors, medicine men, avatars, and quack doctors to ward off evil spirits, or attempt to manipulate them for personal gain. They leave offerings to appease the “deities,” and live in fear of them. Imagine what would happen if they knew that Satan and his demons are disarmed, and that those who are alive in Christ have authority over them. New Age practitioners have spirit guides to enlighten them. Others consult psychics to have their tea leaves and palms read, or read their daily horoscope seeking direction for their lives. LOCATION: 553
Being spiritually alive in Christ is the central theme of the Epistles. For example, in the six chapters of the book of Ephesians alone we find forty references to being “in Christ” and having Christ in you. For every biblical passage that teaches that Christ is in you, there are ten passages that teach that you are “in Christ.” It is also the primary basis for Paul’s theology. LOCATION: 569
Dear believer, you are spiritually alive “in Christ” right now. You will never be more spiritually alive than you are right now. The only thing that will change when you die physically is that you will exchange your perishable body for an imperishable one. Your spiritual life in Christ, which began when you personally trusted Him, will continue on. LOCATION: 579
Being a Christian is not just a matter of getting something; it is a matter of being someone. Christians are not simply people who are forgiven and go to heaven when they die. Christians, in terms of their deepest identity, are saints, spiritually born children of God, divine masterpieces, children of light, and citizens of heaven. Salvation is not addition. It is transformation. What we received as Christians isn’t the primary point; it is who we are. It is not what we do as Christians that determines who we are; it is who we are that determines what we do (see 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 2:10; 1 Peter 2:9–10; 1 John 3:1–2). LOCATION: 583
Understanding your identity in Christ is essential for living the Christian life. People cannot consistently behave in ways that are inconsistent with what they believe about themselves. You don’t change yourself by your perception. You change your perception of yourself by believing the truth. If you perceive yourself wrongly, you will live wrongly, because what you are believing is not true. If you think you are a no-good bum, you will probably live like a no-good bum. If, however, you see yourself as a child of God who is spiritually alive in Christ, you will begin to live accordingly. Next to a knowledge of God, a knowledge of who you are is the most important truth you can possess. LOCATION: 587
Have you noticed that one of the most frequently used words of identity for Christians in the New Testament is saint? Paul and the other writers of the Epistles used the word generously to describe common, ordinary, everyday Christians like you and me. Being a saint describes our position in Christ—not necessarily our maturity in Christ. LOCATION: 595
Although the New Testament provides plenty of evidence that believers do sin, it never identifies the believer as a sinner. LOCATION: 607
We are saints who sin, but we have all the resources in Christ we need so as not to sin. LOCATION: 641
As believers, we are not trying to become saints; we are saints who are becoming like Christ. In no way does this deny the continuous struggle with sin, but it does give the believer hope. LOCATION: 645
The following list itemizes in first-person language who you really are in Christ. These are some of the scriptural traits that reflect who you became at spiritual birth.
Who Am I?
• I am the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13).
• I am the light of the world (Matthew 5:14).
• I am a child of God (John 1:12).
• I am part of the true vine, a channel of Christ’s life (John 15:1, 5).
• I am Christ’s friend (John 15:15).
• I am chosen and appointed by Christ to bear His fruit (John 15:16).
• I am a slave of righteousness (Romans 6:18).
• I am enslaved to God (Romans 6:22).
• I am a son of God; God is spiritually my Father (Romans 8:14–15; Galatians 3:26; 4:6).
• I am a joint heir with Christ, sharing in His inheritance with Him (Romans 8:17).
• I am a temple—a dwelling place—of God. His Spirit and His life dwell in me (1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19).
• I am united to the Lord and am one spirit with Him (1 Corinthians 6:17).
• I am a member of Christ’s body (1 Corinthians 12:27; Ephesians 5:30).
• I am a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).
• I am reconciled to God and am a minister of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18–19).
• I am a son of God and one in Christ (Galatians 3:26, 28).
• I am an heir of God since I am a son of God (Galatians 4:6–7).
• I am a saint (1 Corinthians 1:2; Ephesians 1:1; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:2).
• I am God’s workmanship—His handiwork—born anew in Christ to do His work (Ephesians 2:10).
• I am a fellow citizen with the rest of God’s family (Ephesians 2:19).
• I am a prisoner of Christ (Ephesians 3:1; 4:1).
• I am righteous and holy (Ephesians 4:24).
• I am a citizen of heaven, seated in heaven right now (Ephesians 2:6; Philippians 3:20).
• I am hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3).
• I am an expression of the life of Christ because He is my life (Colossians 3:4).
• I am chosen of God, holy and dearly loved (Colossians 3:12; 1 Thessalonians 1:4).
• I am a son of light and not of darkness (1 Thessalonians 5:5).
• I am a holy partaker of a heavenly calling (Hebrews 3:1).
• I am a partaker of Christ; I share in His life (Hebrews 3:14).
• I am one of God’s living stones, being built up in Christ as a spiritual house (1 Peter 2:5).
• I am a member of a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession (1 Peter 2:9–10).
• I am an alien and stranger to this world in which I temporarily live (1 Peter 2:11).
• I am an enemy of the devil (1 Peter 5:8).
• I am a child of God and I will resemble Christ when He returns (1 John 3:2).
• I am born of God, and the evil one—the devil—cannot touch me (1 John 5:18).
• I am not the great “I am” (Exodus 3:14; John 8:24, 28, 58), but by the grace of God, I am what I am (1 Corinthians 15:10). LOCATION: 673-677
One of the greatest ways to help yourself grow into maturity in Christ is to continually remind yourself who you are “in Him.” LOCATION: 711
If you abide in Christ, you will bear fruit. The fruit is the evidence that you are abiding in Christ. Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). The scriptural order is being before doing, character before career, and maturity before ministry. LOCATION: 807
Since I am alive in Christ, by the grace of God . . .
• I have been justified—completely forgiven and made righteous (Romans 5:1).
• I died with Christ and died to the power of sin’s rule over my life (Romans 6:1–6).
• I am free forever from condemnation (Romans 8:1).
• I have been placed into Christ by God’s doing (1 Corinthians 1:30).
• I have received the Spirit of God into my life that I might know the things freely given to me by God (1 Corinthians 2:12).
• I have been given the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16).
• I have been bought with a price; I am not my own; I belong to God (1 Corinthians 6:19–20).
• I have been established, anointed, and sealed by God in Christ, and I have been given the Holy Spirit as a pledge guaranteeing our inheritance to come (2 Corinthians 1:21–22; Ephesians 1:13–14).
• Since I have died, I no longer live for myself, but for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:14–15).
• I have been made righteous (2 Corinthians 5:21).
• I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. The life I am now living is Christ’s life (Galatians 2:20).
• I have been blessed with every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3).
• I was chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and am without blame before Him (Ephesians 1:4).
• I was predestined—determined by God—to be adopted as God’s son (Ephesians 1:5).
• I have been redeemed and forgiven, and I am a recipient of His lavish grace (Ephesians 1:7–8).
• I have been made alive together with Christ (Ephesians 2:5).
• I have been raised up and seated with Christ in heaven (Ephesians 2:6).
• I have direct access to God through the Spirit (Ephesians 2:18).
• I may approach God with boldness, freedom, and confidence (Ephesians 3:12).
• I have been rescued from the domain of Satan’s rule and transferred to the kingdom of Christ (Colossians 1:13).
• I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins. The debt against me has been canceled (Colossians 1:14; 2:14).
• Christ himself is in me (Colossians 1:27).
• I am firmly rooted in Christ and am now being built in Him (Colossians 2:7).
• I have been made complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10).
• I have been spiritually circumcised (Colossians 2:11).
• I have been buried, raised, and made alive with Christ (Colossians 2:12–13).
• I died with Christ, and I have been raised up with Christ. My life is now hidden with Christ in God. Christ is now my life (Colossians 3:1–4).
• I have been given a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7).
• I have been saved and set apart according to God’s doing (2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 3:5).
• Because I am sanctified and am one with the Sanctifier, He is not ashamed to call me brother (Hebrews 2:11).
• I have the right to come boldly before the throne of God to find mercy and grace in time of need (Hebrews 4:16).
• I have been given exceedingly great and precious promises by God by which I am a partaker of God’s divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). LOCATION: 855
Can I do anything that will interfere with the harmony of my relationship with God? Of course! Harmony with God is based on the same concerns as harmony with my earthly father: trust and obedience. When I trust and obey God, I live in harmony with Him. When I don’t perfectly respond to God, the harmony of our relationship is disturbed and my life will reflect it. LOCATION: 915
Despite all that we are in Christ, we are still far less than perfect. We are saints who sin, who encounter daily struggles with the world, the flesh, and the devil. LOCATION: 998
According to Scripture, the center of the person is the heart. It is the wellspring of life (Proverbs 4:23). In our natural state, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure” (Jeremiah 17:9 NIV). It is deceitful because it has been conditioned from the time of our natural birth by the deceitfulness of a fallen world, rather than by the truth of God’s Word. LOCATION: 1060
When you were dead in your trespasses and sins, you also served under a cruel, self-serving captain. The admiral of that fleet is Satan, the prince of darkness, the god and ruler of this world. By God’s grace, you have been “rescued . . . from the domain of darkness, and transferred . . . to the kingdom of His beloved Son” (Colossians 1:13). You now have a new captain; your new self is infused with the divine nature of Jesus Christ, your new admiral. As a child of God, you are no longer under the authority of Satan and dominated by sin and death. The old man is dead. LOCATION: 1094
We cannot do for ourselves what Christ has already accomplished for us. LOCATION: 1146
We are saved by faith and we walk or live by faith. We have been sanctified by faith and we are being sanctified by faith. We are neither saved nor sanctified by how we behave but by how we believe. This is not wishful-thinking faith. It is faith that results in good works. We change our behavior by changing what we believe. LOCATION: 1149
Ignorance, lack of repentance and faith in God, and unresolved conflicts keep people from growing. LOCATION: 1346
No matter how mature you are, you can never bear fruit unless you are walking by faith in the power of the Holy Spirit. LOCATION: 1354
When it comes to walking according to the flesh and walking in the Spirit, our wills are like toggle switches. The wills of new Christians seem to be spring-loaded toward fleshly behavior. New believers are going to live according to what they know, and they don’t know very much about the Spirit-filled life. The wills of mature Christians are spring-loaded toward the Spirit. They occasionally make poor choices, but they have learned to ignore the flesh and walk by faith in the power of the Holy Spirit. LOCATION: 1355
Some Christians wrongly assert that walking by the Spirit and living under grace means they can do whatever they want. But living by the Spirit doesn’t mean you are free to do whatever you want to do—that would be license. It means you are free to live a responsible, moral life—something you were incapable of doing when you were in bondage to sin. LOCATION: 1364
What some people think is freedom is actually license that leads to bondage. Freedom doesn’t just lie in the exercise of choice; it ultimately lies in the consequences of those choices. The Spirit of Truth will always lead us to freedom, but the desires of the flesh will lead us to sin and bondage. The commandments of God are not restrictive; they are protective. Real freedom is the ability to choose to live responsibly within the context of the protective guidelines God has established for us. LOCATION: 1375
Our freedom in Christ is one of the most precious benefits we have received from our spiritual union with God. Because the Spirit of the Lord is in you, you are free to become the person God created you to be. You are no longer compelled to walk according to the flesh as you were before conversion. You are not even compelled to walk according to the Spirit, but you are inwardly bent in that direction. You have the choice to walk according to the Spirit or walk according to the flesh. LOCATION: 1405
When people struggle with their faith in God, it is not because their faith object has failed or is insufficient. It is because they don’t have a true and complete knowledge of God and His ways. LOCATION: 1554
Real faith is demonstrated by our works. Everything we do is essentially a product of what we have chosen to believe. People don’t always live according to what they profess, but they do live according to what they believe. LOCATION: 1584
When the church limps along in unbelief, it is viewed as an infirmary where sick people go. The church is not an infirmary; it is a military outpost under orders to storm the gates of hell. Every believer is on active duty, called to take part in fulfilling the Great Commission (see Matthew 28:19–20). Thankfully, the church has an infirmary that ministers to the casualties of war, but the infirmary exists for the purpose of the military outpost. Our real calling is to be change agents in the world, taking a stand, living by faith, and fulfilling our purpose for being here. LOCATION: 1607
Twenty Cans of Success
• Why should I say I can’t when the Bible says I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13)?
• Why should I worry about my needs when I know that God will take care of all my needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19)?
• Why should I fear when the Bible says God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7 KJV)?
• Why should I lack faith to live for Christ when God has given me a measure of faith (Romans 12:3)?
• Why should I be weak when the Bible says that the Lord is the strength of my life and that I will display strength and take action because I know God (Psalm 27:1; Daniel 11:32)?
• Why should I allow Satan control over my life when He that is in me is greater than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4)?
• Why should I accept defeat when the Bible says that God always leads me in victory (2 Corinthians 2:14)?
• Why should I lack wisdom when I know that Christ became wisdom to me from God, and God gives wisdom to me generously when I ask Him for it (1 Corinthians 1:30; James 1:5)?
• Why should I be depressed when I have hope and can recall to mind God’s loving-kindness, compassion, and faithfulness (Lamentations 3:21–23)?
• Why should I worry and be upset when I can cast all my anxieties on Christ who cares for me (1 Peter 5:7)?
• Why should I ever be in bondage knowing that there is freedom where the Spirit of the Lord is (2 Corinthians 3:17)?
• Why should I feel condemned when the Bible says there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1)?
• Why should I feel alone when Jesus said He is with me always and He will never leave me nor forsake me (Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5)?
• Why should I feel as if I’m cursed or have bad luck when the Bible says that Christ rescued me from the curse of the law that I might receive His Spirit by faith (Galatians 3:13–14)?
• Why should I be unhappy when I, like Paul, can learn to be content whatever the circumstances (Philippians 4:11)?
• Why should I feel worthless when Christ became sin for me so that I might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21)?
• Why should I feel helpless in the presence of others when I know that if God is for me, who can be against me (Romans 8:31)?
• Why should I be confused when God is the author of peace and He gives me knowledge through His Spirit who lives in me (1 Corinthians 2:12; 14:33)?
• Why should I feel like a failure when I am more than a conqueror through Christ who loved me (Romans 8:37)?
• Why should I let the pressures of life bother me when I can take courage knowing that Jesus has overcome the world and its problems (John 16:33)? LOCATION: 1659
We feel angry when something or somebody is preventing us from accomplishing a goal.
You will likely feel anxious when your goal is uncertain. LOCATION: 1785
When you base your future on something that can never happen, you have an impossible, hopeless goal. Depression may be signaling that your goal, no matter how spiritual or noble, may never be reached. LOCATION: 1791
To be successful, we have to distinguish between a godly goal and a godly desire…A godly goal is any specific orientation that reflects God’s purpose for our lives and is not dependent on people or circumstances beyond our ability or right to control…A godly desire is any result that depends on the cooperation of other people, the success of events, or favorable circumstances that we have no right or ability to control. LOCATION: 1833-1838
During stressful times, our emotions raise their warning flags, signaling blocked, uncertain, or impossible goals that are based on our desires instead of God’s goal of proven character. LOCATION: 1878
Joshua’s success did not depend on favorable circumstances in the Promised Land, nor the cooperation of the Philistines. They would be successful and prosperous if they understood and believed God’s Word and lived accordingly. The first biblical principle of success is to know God and His ways. LOCATION: 1967
Those who were educated with a Western worldview, like me, have been taught to look for a natural and rational explanation of reality. I was a natural man in touch with a natural world, which I observed through my five natural senses. That was what I believed when I began my career as an aerospace engineer, and I lived as though the reality of the spiritual world didn’t exist. Then I became a Christian and went through several paradigm shifts before developing a more biblical worldview. LOCATION: 2140
Mental strongholds are memories burned into our brains over time or by the intensity of traumatic experiences. These flesh patterns include defense mechanisms such as denial, fantasy, emotional insulation, displaced anger, rationalization, and lying. If you got punished for telling the truth, you may have learned to lie to protect yourself. Some have learned to live in denial rather than face reality. LOCATION: 2165
Temptation always begins with a thought, and the key to resisting temptation is to take that initial thought captive to the obedience of Christ. LOCATION: 2172
Strongholds are neural pathways in the brain. They are memory traces learned over time or by the intensity of traumatic experiences. When we think and make a choice not to go down those old paths, we are actually changing the chemical makeup of the brain. LOCATION: 2241
Because Satan’s primary weapon is the lie, our defense is the truth. That is why Jesus prayed in the High Priestly Prayer, “I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. . . . Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth” (John 17:15, 17). Confronting Satan and his demons is not a power encounter; it is a truth encounter. When you expose Satan’s lie with God’s truth, his power is broken. That is why Jesus said, “You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:32). That is also why the first piece of armor Paul mentions for standing against the schemes of the devil is “the belt of truth” (Ephesians 6:14 NIV). LOCATION: 2292
Emotions are to our souls what physical feelings are to our bodies. If we didn’t feel anger, sadness, remorse, conviction, joy, etc., our souls would be in trouble. By themselves, feelings and emotions are amoral, a vital part of our humanity. Just as we respond to the warnings of physical pain, so we need to respond to our emotional indicators. LOCATION: 2423
Emotions are like an indicator light on the dashboard of a car, signaling that something is wrong. You can respond to the light’s warning in three different ways: you can cover it with a piece of duct tape and ignore the problem—this is called suppression; you can smash the light with a hammer—this is called indiscriminate expression; or you can respond to the light as the manufacturers intended, by looking under the hood and fixing the problem—this is called acknowledgment. LOCATION: 2425
I call the residual effect of past traumas primary emotions. The intensity of primary emotions is determined by previous life history. The more traumatic your experience, the more intense will be your primary emotion. Notice the sequence of events: Previous Life History (Determines the intensity of primary emotions); Present Event (Triggers the primary emotion); Primary Emotion Mental Evaluation (The management stage); Secondary Emotion (The result of your thought process and primary emotion). LOCATION: 2585
Forgiving is not forgetting. Forgetting may be a long-term by-product of forgiving, but it is never a means to forgiveness. When God says He will remember our sins no more (see Hebrews 10:17), He is not saying “I will forget them.” God is omniscient; He cannot forget. Rather, He will never use the past against us. He will remove it as far from us as “the east is from the west” (Psalm 103:12). LOCATION: 2682
Forgiveness does not mean tolerating sin. LOCATION: 2685
Forgiveness does not seek revenge or demand repayment for offenses suffered. LOCATION: 2692
Forgiveness is resolving to live with the consequences of another person’s sin. In reality, you will have to live with the consequences of the offender’s sin whether you forgive that person or not. LOCATION: 2697
The following steps will help you unchain yourself from the past and get on with your life:
1. Ask the Lord to reveal to your mind the people you need to forgive.
2. Acknowledge the hurt and the hate.
3. Embrace the Cross.
4. Decide to bear the burden of each person’s sin (see Galatians 6:1–2).
5. Decide to forgive…Forgiveness is a crisis of the will, a conscious choice to let the other person off the hook and to free yourself from the past. You may not feel like doing it, but it is necessary for your sake.
6. Take your list to God and pray the following: “Lord, I forgive (name) for (list all the offenses and how they made you feel).”
7. Destroy the list…You are now free. Do not tell the offenders that you have forgiven them unless they have asked for your forgiveness. Your need to forgive others is between you and God only! The person you may need to forgive could be dead. Forgiveness may lead you to be reconciled to others, but whether or not that happens is not totally dependent upon you. Your freedom in Christ cannot be dependent upon others whom you have no right or ability to control…Do not expect that your decision to forgive will result in major changes in the other persons.
9. Try to understand the people you have forgiven, but don’t rationalize their behavior.
10. Expect positive results of forgiving others. In time you will be able to think about the people without triggering primary emotions.
11. Thank God for the lessons you have learned, the freedom you have gained, and for the ability to move forward without being chained to the past (see Romans 8:28–29).
12. When deeply wounded by others, we have a tendency to overlook our own sins. Wounds that aren’t healed are transferred to others. Confess any wrongdoing on your part (see 1 John 1:9). If someone has something against you, go to that person and be reconciled (see Matthew 5:23–26). LOCATION: 2709-2745
When we stand before Christ, He will not ask us if we received everything our rights entitled us to have. He will reward us for how well we fulfilled our responsibilities. LOCATION: 2901
The Steps to Freedom in Christ is a repentance process facilitated by a trained encourager—enabled by God’s presence—that resolves personal and spiritual conflicts. LOCATION: 2992
No leader can be too self-aware. The better you know and manage yourself, the better you will be able to lead and serve your team. LOCATION: 216
If you want a better team in a better organization that produces better results, you need to become better at leading yourself. LOCATION: 250
Note: should you wish to find any quote in its original context, the Kindle “location” is provided after each entry.
Chuck OlsonAs founder and president of Lead With Your Life, Dr. Chuck Olson is passionate about inspiring, resourcing and equipping Kingdom leaders to lead from the inside out. To lead, not with the external shell of positions, achievements or titles, but from an internal commitment to a deep, abiding and transparent relationship with Jesus. Serving as a pastor and leadership coach for over forty years, Chuck has a track record of building these truths deep into the lives of both ministry and marketplace leaders.
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Compiled by Chuck Olson
Compiled by Chuck Olson
Compiled by Chuck Olson
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