|ENCOUNTER WEEKEND – WORKSHEETS
THE DIVINE EXCHANGE
God made him who had no sin (Jesus) to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Though he (Jesus) was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich. (2 Corinthians 8:9)
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us… so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit. (Galatians 3:13,14)
God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. (Galatians 4:5)
He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep (alive or dead) we might live together with him. (1 Thessalonians 5:10)
He himself (Jesus) bore our sins in his body on the tree. (1 Peter 2:24)
By his wounds you have been healed. (1 Peter 2:24)
KEYS TO FREEDOM
(The following keys are inspired by Neil T Anderson’s book, ‘The Bondage Breaker’, published by Harvest House Publishers. The book offers a very comprehensive treatment of the subject, and I highly recommend it and its sister book, ‘Victory over the Darkness’.)
Lord Jesus Christ, you are my Lord and my Saviour, and you have promised to be with me always. I offer to you my soul and body, to be a living sacrifice. Please fill me with your Holy Spirit and free me from all that holds me back in my relationship with you. Please guide me as I look back at my past, and keep me conscious of your forgiveness and peace. May I remain in you, and you in me. Amen.
I proclaim that God the almighty Father is the one true God, and that Jesus Christ is his only Son, my Lord and Saviour. I am united with Christ, and in his name I command Satan and all evil spirits to leave me, so that I may be free to live according to God’s will. I commit myself to do God’s will, with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Each key may be used on its own or together as part of an Encounter weekend. When used on its own, it is recommended to say the opening prayer and declaration beforehand. When used together in an Encounter weekend, prayers and declarations may contain some repeats. (Don’t worry about this; the repeat does not mean that the first time was not effective! However, if you prefer not to say something you have already said, simply leave it out.)
A BED-TIME PRAYER
Dear heavenly Father, I thank you and praise you that through Jesus Christ you have freed me from all the power of the evil one. I trust you to guard my mind and my body during my sleep. I commit myself to you for your protection from every attempt of Satan or his forces to attack me. I commit myself to you as my fortress and my resting place. I pray in the strong name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
KEYS TO FREEDOM
KEY 1 RELEASE FROM FALSE IDEAS
1. Say the following:
Spirit of truth, please teach me the truth. I have been deceived by the evil one, and I have deceived myself. Please show me where I have believed lies and deceptions, and help me to receive and believe the truth instead, through Jesus Christ my Lord and Saviour. Amen.
In union with Christ, and in his name, I now command all deceiving spirits, Go away from me.
I commit myself to believing all the truth God reveals to me, and to living by it, with the help of the Holy Spirit..
2. Look at the table of truths and lies below. Notice especially those truths Satan has been trying to blind you to. Write on your personal checklist any lies – not just ones on the list – Satan has been deceiving you with.
There is only one God. (Isaiah 44:6)
He is the maker and sustainer of everything, and deserves my praise and worship. (Revelation 4:11)
He is my Father and he cares about me. (Matthew 6:26)
Jesus is the promised Messiah, the Son of God, truly God and truly human. (Matthew 16:16, Hebrews 1:2,3)
He is Lord of all, and everyone is accountable to him. (Acts 36,42)
Jesus is the only Saviour; no one comes to the Father except through him (John 14:6).
He destroyed the work of the devil, and has authority over him and all his forces. (1 John 3:8, Ephesians 1:20-22)
God has rescued me from the dominion of darkness and brought me into the kingdom of his Son (Colossians 1:13).
I am united to Jesus Christ through my faith in him (Ephesians 1:13).
Apart from Jesus I can do nothing (John 15:5)
In union with Jesus:
I have been born again (1 Peter 1:23).
I am a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).
I am forgiven (Ephesians 1:7).
I am as righteous in God’s eyes as Christ himself (Philippians 3:9).
I am accepted by God (Romans 15:7).
I am God’s beloved child (1 John 3:1-3).
I am a co-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17).
I am appointed and equipped for fruitful service (John 15:5,16).
I can do everything through him who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13).
I have authority over Satan and his demons (Luke 10:19, Ephesians 1:19-23).
I am destined for glory (Romans 8:30).
I am special! (Galatians 2:20)
There is no God / there are lots of divine beings.
Everything evolved by chance and exists without God. There is no God who wants or deserves our praise and worship.
God could not care less about you.
Jesus was just an ordinary man.
Jesus is not Lord, and there will be no judgement.
There are lots of ways to God, and it doesn’t matter which you choose.
You don’t believe this rubbish, do you?
You are not yet free from the dominion of darkness – you’re a sinner.
You’re on your own, chum!
You can do anything, if you really want to.
Nothing spiritual has happened to you.
You’re the same as you always were.
You’re as guilty as sin.
Look at what you’ve done and still do. You can’t tell me you’re righteous!
You are unacceptable to God (or anyone).
Nobody loves you. You’re a mistake.
There is no after-life.
You’re a failure, and nothing will change that. You can’t do anything right.
You can’t order us about.
You’re a worthless nobody, a waste of space.
3. We use the left hand column as a declaration of faith together.
4. We make the following declaration:
I renounce the lies of the devil, and accept the truth about God and myself given to me in the Bible. I accept the Bible as inspired by God, and the ultimate authority for God’s truth1. I resist the devil, and command him in the name of Jesus Christ to leave me2. I know I am in a spiritual battle. I acknowledge that I have no power of my own; I choose to depend fully on Jesus, and I will be strong in his mighty power3. I reject any counterfeit gifts of knowledge or power.
I choose to remain in union with Christ in order to bear much fruit and to glorify my heavenly Father4. I renounce all selfish goals and choose to make love my goal5. I choose to love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength, to love my neighbour as myself6, to love my brother and sister Christians as God has loved me7, and to make disciples wherever God leads me8. I choose to speak the truth in love9. I choose to live by the Spirit10. I trust my Father to fill me with his Spirit11, and I trust the Holy Spirit to lead me into all truth12 and to enable me to live a life that pleases God13.
KEYS TO FREEDOM
KEY 2 RELEASE FROM FALSE GODS
Before you begin, pray the following:
Heavenly Father, please show me any involvement I have had in the past with occult practices or false religion of any kind, and any people who have taken your place. Please fill my mind and my heart with your peace, through Jesus Christ my Lord.
Read through the lists below, and write down on your personal checklist any you have been involved with, and any you think you may have been involved with (with a question mark beside them).
Occult Cult Other Religions
Ouija board Jehovah’s Witnesses Buddhism & Zen Buddhism
séance Mormonism (Latter Day Saints) Islam
fortune-telling Freemasons Hinduism
astrology (horoscopes) New Age Sikhism
tarot cards Christian Science Transcendental Meditation
palm-reading Unification Church Hare Krishna
black magic Scientology Bahaism
white magic Unitarianism Rosicrucianism
table/people lifting Children of God Shintoism
astral projection H W Armstrong (Worldwide Jainism
speaking in a trance Church of God – ‘Plain Truth’) Spiritualist Church
automatic writing Theosophical Society
visionary dreams Black Muslim
contacting ghosts & spirits Yoga
rod and pendulum (dowsing)
Dungeons and Dragons
incubi and succubi (sexual spirits)
wearing good luck charms and occult jewelry
Now pray the following prayer for each one on your list:
Lord, I confess that I have/may have participated in _________. I ask your forgiveness, and I renounce _________ as a false path to follow.
Under the heading ‘False Gods’ we include people who have had an unhealthy influence on our lives, in that our devotion to them replaces or takes precedence over our worship and dependence on God. We are tied to them by some kind of spiritual union. These ‘soul ties’ may be with any significant person in our lives – spouse, boy/girl friend, counsellor, child. Write down on your checklist any the Lord puts into your mind, and the reason the relationship is/was so important to you.
Now pray the following prayer for each person on your list:
Heavenly Father, I confess that my relationship with __________ has not been healthy, because ________ (give the reason why the relationship was not what it should have been). Please forgive me and cleanse me, and by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ break the spiritual tie between us. I renounce any harmful hold _______ has on me, and I take back every part of my own life and offer it all to you.
KEYS TO FREEDOM
RELEASE FROM BITTERNESS
Jesus said, ‘If you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.’ (Matthew 6:15)
Dear heavenly Father, thank you for loving me so much that you sent your only Son to die for me. Thank you that he bore all my sins on the cross, and that now I am forgiven. Please show me now anyone I am unwilling to forgive, in order that I may forgive them. Please show me also anyone whose forgiveness I need to seek, and what I need to do about it. I ask this in Jesus’ name.
Let God bring to mind people and incidents he wants you to deal with now. (Don’t be surprised if he reminds you of people who are dead, or far away – you may still need to forgive them.) Write them down on the checklist. If you feel God is the one who has hurt you, write him down too – that bitterness also needs to be dealt with.
Read the following and see if God points out any other specific incidents. If so, write them down.
betrayed by someone I trusted
abused (physically or verbally)
rejected by Mum, Dad, someone close, mate, friends, boy/girl-friend, spiritual leader, church, God (they’re unfair, I feel abandoned, misunderstood)
anger toward Mum (she’s too strict, angry, or doesn't care)
anger toward Dad (he’s too strict, angry, or doesn't care)
jealous of others that have something that I want or in a relationship
unforgiving toward someone who has hurt me
unhappy with life, family, distant with others, loneliness, with self
not loved by Mum, Dad, family, church, God; I feel neglected, overlooked
Look at the people or incidents you have written down. Acknowledge the hurt that you feel or felt. Don’t suppress your feelings, or your forgiveness may not be from the heart. (Forgiveness must be from the heart – Matthew 18:35.) Don’t suppress your feelings even if they have been caused by someone important to you (God, Mum, Dad, Spouse).
Look at the cross where Jesus bore the pain of your sin so that you may be forgiven. Forgiveness is unfair and costly; but Jesus did it for you, and therefore it is OK for you to forgive in your turn.
Accept the cost of forgiveness. Agree to live with the injustice, and with the unavoidable consequences of the person’s sin against you. Remember what Christ suffered for you.
Decide now to forgive. Do not pray, ‘Lord, help me.,’ nor, ‘Lord, I want to forgive.’ Pray simply, ‘Lord, I forgive ________ for __________.’ Decide to let them off the hook: let go of your right to get even, for ever. Do not hold their sin against them. The debt is written off.
Ask God to heal the hurt in your past.
(After this weekend:) Get in touch with any to whom you need to apologize, as the Lord leads you.
KEYS TO FREEDOM
4 RELEASE FROM FALSE PRIDE
Dear heavenly Father, I know that I have rebelled in my heart against you. In my pride, I have chosen to go my own way, and have centred my life around myself rather than around you. I have not denied myself, taken up my cross and followed Jesus. I have trusted in my own strength and resources.
I realize that doing these things gives the enemy a foothold in my life.
Please forgive me, and by the blood of Jesus remove any foothold that my rebelliousness and self-centredness has given any evil spirit. Please show me specific areas of my life where I am being rebellious or proud, and enable me to submit fully to you. Give me true humility, so that I do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but consider others better than myself (as you tell me to in Philippians 2:3). Give me the same attitude and desire to serve that Jesus has. I choose to submit to those you place in authority over me, according to your will. I choose to be humble rather than proud. I pray all this in Jesus’ name.
Allow God to show you where you have been rebellious, in act or attitude (eg by constant criticism).
Read the following Scriptures, and note those that God is pointing out to you:
Ephesians 5:21 (one another)
Hebrews 13:17 (church leaders).
1 Peter 2:13-17 (civil government)
1 Peter 2:18 (employer)
1 Peter 3:1 (husbands)
1 Peter 5:5 (elders)
Write on your checklist any areas of rebellion, including any not mentioned above.
If God commands us to submit to someone and we refuse, we are not only rebelling against that person, but we are also rebelling against God. Ask God’s forgiveness for each rebellion you have noted on your list, and choose to submit to all those God puts in authority over you, in the way he wants. The following suggested prayer may help:
Lord God, I confess that I have not submitted fully to ___________________. I have sinned against you, and I ask you to forgive me. I now give them their rightful authority over my life. Help me to honour and obey them in all things good, and not to undermine their authority by anything I say or do.
The root of rebellion is pride. Allow God to show you any areas where pride is a problem. The following statements may help:
I want to go my own way more than God’s.
I want to please people more than God.
I trust my own ability and resources more than God’s.
I think myself more important than others.
I think I am more humble than others.
I think my ideas and opinions are better than others.
I want to control others more than to exercise self control.
I want the recognition that comes from degrees, titles and positions.
I want to get the credit I deserve.
I find it difficult to admit I was wrong.
Write on your checklist those areas you have noted, and any others God shows you.
For each area on your check list, pray a prayer like the following:
Lord, I acknowledge that I __________________________(say what the problem is). Please forgive me for my self-centredness. I now choose to seek your honour and glory in this area. I choose to humble myself, to take up my cross and follow you.
KEYS TO FREEDOM
RELEASE FROM NEGATIVITY
Dear heavenly Father, please show me any areas of my life where I am too negative. I command any spirit of negativity to leave me, in the name of Christ.
Now write down on your checklist any areas that come to mind where you are too negative – whether they are to do with church, family, work, leisure, the world around, or simply yourself.
Ask God to show you what lies behind your negative attitude.
Heavenly Father, I confess that I have been too negative in ________________(Tell God all about it.) I am sorry for my faithless view of things, and I ask you by your Spirit to enable me to see them from your point of view. I choose to think about those things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable14. I choose to see myself as I am in union with Christ. I choose to use my tongue not to be negative but to build people up, according to their needs15. Please help me to be thankful in all circumstances16, and always to praise and pray. Please help me to cast all my anxieties on to you, because I know you care for me17.
If anxiety is a particular problem, take the following steps:
a) Read Philippians 4:4-7.
b) Take time to think about Jesus, and to rejoice in his love for you and what he has done for you.
c) Think about what you are anxious, and ask yourself, ‘What do I want God to do about this?’
d) Ask God to do it – be very specific.
e) Read Romans 8:28-39. Note especially verses 28, 32, 38-39. Thank God for those promises.
f) Thank God for hearing you and for caring about the matter you’ve asked him to deal with.
g) Leave it with him!
KEYS TO FREEDOM
RELEASE FROM SINS
Steps to release from habitual sin (this weekend we’ll take the first two and the last two steps together):
Realize who you are in Christ, and how you have been set free both from the punishment of sin and from the power of sin by his death on the cross. You are united to him in his death and in his new life, and that is why sin has lost its power over you. You don’t have to understand it, only to believe it (Romans 6:1-14).
Dear heavenly Father, thank you that I am in Christ. Thank you that in him I am dead to sin and alive to God18. Thank you that in him all my sins are forgiven, and that I have the power to resist all temptation19. However, I know that I need to acknowledge to you the sins I have committed in body and mind, so that I may be freed and cleansed by the blood of Jesus. Please put into my mind now the ways in which I have misused my body or my imagination and thinking, and have grieved you. I ask this in Jesus’ name.
Write down any sins that the Lord puts into your mind to deal with. They may be habitual sins, or they may be one off. Include those occasions when you feel you have been violated by others and made ‘unclean’. (Note that the Holy Spirit will not bring to mind those sins that have already been repented of, confessed and dealt with.)
Read through the following and write on your checklist any more sins that the Lord shows you have a problem with.
Sins of Mind, Thoughts, Will.
Suicide (thought of, or have tried)
Lust (sexual films, fantasies, thoughts of having sex)
Fear (of being alone, not living up to God's/parents expectations, the future, sinning, life, not having a mate, death, commitment)
Thoughts of being with someone of the same sex (sexually)
I have a problem with telling the truth
I tend to have unclean thoughts
I lack in the area of prayer
I lack in the area of reading of the word
Lack of love toward wife
Lack of love toward husband
Uncaring for kids
Bad provider (I have not provided the way I know I should)
Idolatrous of ministry (particular spiritual leaders)
Racism (I feel anger, hurt, resentment toward other race(s))
Self-righteousness (I have no problems, I feel this encounter is for others, not me)
Denominational pride (I feel my denomination is better than others)
Envy (in my heart towards other's ministry, mate, social wealth, life etc..)
Dead traditions and religion (going through the actions without really meaning them)
I have a spirit of competition (I tend to feel I have to do better than others in any area – including spiritual areas.)
Unhappy with the way God made me (body, hair, other things I don't like)
Sexual habits (Petting, heavy petting, masturbation, sex) I have been sexually abused (raped, molested, incest)
I have a problem with drugs (weed, cocaine, heroine, LSD, etc..)
I have a problem with alcohol/liquor
I am obsessed with my physical appearance
I have an eating disorder (Bulimia – I make myself vomit after I over-eat, anorexia – I starve myself)
I enjoy looking at pornographic magazines or images on the internet (naked women, naked men)
I do, or have, called a sex hot line or chat room
I go to strip clubs
I have a problem with stealing
I swear and say bad words
I am lazy (when I know I should be doing what needs to done, but choose not to do; I find myself always saying I will do it tomorrow)
I have a problem with anger (I get angry easily, I have no control when I'm angry)
I choose to be at home as little as possible
I have a problem with activism (I have always to be involved in something, I never can enjoy just sitting and relaxing)
I am addicted to music
I have a problem with gambling (lotteries, pools, races, casinos, gaming machines).
I am addicted to the computer/ the internet/ games/ crosswords/ videos/ TV/ films/ my hobby
Confess each sin to God and renounce it, using one of the prayers on the next page. If another person is involved with you in your sin, both renounce the sin and ask God to break any spiritual bonds that have developed between you. (1 Corinthians 6:16-20) If you are trapped in a cycle of sin-confess-be forgiven-same sin-confess, etc. then choose a trusted Christian person who will hold you in prayer and to whom you can be accountable as you seek by God’s grace to overcome this temptation. (1 John 1:9) Make a commitment to God to ask that person before the end of next week to help you in this way.
Renounce every lie the devil feeds you (e.g. ‘God made me this way’, ‘I am evil’) and affirm the truth aloud. (James 4:7)
This weekend we will take the next two steps together:
Claim cleansing through the blood of Jesus, according to his promise (1 John 1:7-9) Pray:
I now confess all these sins to you and claim through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ my forgiveness and cleansing. I cancel all ground that evil spirits have gained through my wilful involvement in sin. I ask this in the wonderful name of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Present your body – and the individual parts of it – to God as instruments of righteousness. (Romans 6:13) Pray as follows:
Dear heavenly Father, I now present to you my body, all that I am. I give you my mind and my thoughts, my eyes and my sight, my ears and my hearing, my voice and my speaking, my mouth and my eating, my private parts and my sexuality, my hands and my doing, my feet and my going, I give you every part of my body. I offer myself to you as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to you, and I reserve the sexual use of my body only for marriage. I renounce the lie of Satan that my body is unclean or dirty or in any way unacceptable to you. Thank you for cleansing and forgiving me completely. Thank you for loving and accepting me unconditionally. Because you have accepted me, I can accept myself, and I choose to do so: I accept myself and my body as cleansed. I pray all this in Jesus’ name.
Prayers of confession or renunciation:
Dear heavenly Father, I confess that I have sinned against you by doing _____. (Be specific about the sin). I renounce this misuse of my body and I ask you to break all bondages that Satan has brought into my life through this activity.
As the Lord brings to mind each occasion, whether done to you or willingly by you, pray:
Lord, I renounce (name the activity) with (name the person) and ask you to break that bond.
Lord, I renounce (name the activity) with (name the person) and ask you to break that bond. I acknowledge that homosexual activity is a sin. I renounce the lie that you have created me or anyone else to be homosexual. I renounce any bondages of Satan that have perverted my relationships with others. I affirm that you created me a man (or woman), and that I am now a new creation, free to relate to the opposite sex in the way that you intended. In Jesus’ name.
Lord God, you entrusted to me the life of another human being, and I confess that I rejected it. I ask your forgiveness. Thank you that you do forgive me. I also forgive myself, and I now entrust that child into your loving care, in the name of Jesus Christ.
I renounce the lie of the devil that I can find peace and freedom by taking my own life. Thank you for the fact that Jesus Christ came so that I might have abundant life. I choose life in union with him.
Eating disorders or cutting yourself
I renounce the lie that my significance depends on my appearance or performance, and that changing these will affect my self-worth. I acknowledge that I sin, and that the harming of my body is itself a sin, but I renounce the lie that I am evil or that any part of my body is evil. I declare that the blood of Jesus cleanses me from all sin, and I renounce all ways of trying to cleanse myself from evil. I affirm the truth that I am totally accepted by Christ just as I am, and that in him I am truly special.
Substance or drug abuse, addiction to particular forms of entertainment
Lord, I confess that I have misused _________ (state what you have used - alcohol, tobacco, food, prescription or street drugs, music, TV, computer, and say why you think you did it). I have abused my mind and body. I ask your forgiveness, and I renounce any satanic connection or influence in my life through my misuse of these things. I commit myself to my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to look after me and give me life in all its fullness, and I here and now make a commitment not to turn to any of these things, but to yield myself to the Holy Spirit. Heavenly Father, please fill me with the Holy Spirit. I ask these things in Jesus’ name.
KEYS TO FREEDOM
RELEASE FROM SPIRITUAL BONDAGE
By the authority which I have in Christ, I reject and disown all the sins of my ancestors, and break any curse that has been put upon me. I proclaim that I have been rescued from the dominion of darkness and brought into the kingdom of the Son God loves20,and that I have been crucified21 and raised with Jesus Christ and I sit with him in heavenly places22. In the name of Jesus Christ I cancel all demonic activity passed on to me from my ancestors, I declare that all satanic assignments against me and my activities are null and void. I proclaim to Satan and all his forces that I belong to the Lord Jesus Christ, who bought me at the price of his own blood23, and that you therefore have no claim whatsoever on me or my life. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I now command every demon and familiar spirit: Leave me completely. I commit myself fully into the hands of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit; and I undertake to love and serve him for the rest of my life.
Heavenly Father, I do indeed commit myself to you. Words cannot express the gratitude I owe you for what you have done for me through Jesus Christ your Son, who loved me and gave his life for me24. You made me alive with Christ, you raised me up with him and seated me with him in the heavenly places. You made me your child, a co-heir with Christ25, and nothing can now separate me from your love in Christ Jesus my Lord26.
I therefore present myself to you. All that I am, all that I have, I give to you. I offer you myself, my soul and body, to be a living sacrifice27. I want your honour and glory, yours alone. Fill me with the knowledge of your will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding, that I may live a life worthy of you, and may please you in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of you, being strengthened with all power according to your glorious might28 through your Spirit within me. May I, being rooted and grounded in love, have power together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that I may be filled to the measure of all your fulness.
Father, you are able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to your power that is at work within us. To you be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!29 Amen.
KEEPING THE VICTORY
If under spiritual attack – eg being tempted to continue in the old way, with the suggestion that nothing has changed – realize that this is a spiritual attack by the deceiver, Satan. Recognize where the attack is coming from, resist the thoughts and tell the enemy, ‘In the name of Christ, go away. I am free because of what Jesus has done, and you cannot take my freedom from me.’
If new memories surface
If you remember past sins you have not yet confessed, or notice lies you have not renounced, then deal with them straight away: confess them, renounce them, choose the truth, trust God’s deliverance through the cross of Christ Jesus, praise and thank him. You may find it helpful to go through some or all of the Steps to Freedom again.
When you sin:
Immediately confess it, renounce it, choose the truth, trust the blood of Jesus to cleanse you (1 John 1:7-9), thank and praise him.
Be a member of a Christian fellowship where you can be truly yourself - ‘walk in the light’ (1 John 1:7) – and where you can ‘speak the truth in love’ (Ephesians 4:15). Cell groups aim to provide this sort of fellowship.
Read your Bible daily, looking for what God is saying to you, in order to get to know, trust, love and obey him better. The only way to deal with the devil’s lies is to get to know the truth.
Pray and praise God continually. Have ‘quality time’ with God, and also ‘practise the presence of God’: remind yourself that he is with you always, and enjoy his company.
‘Remain in Christ’ (John 15:5). You are as a ‘branch of the vine’, so remind yourself that he is the one who is giving you spiritual life and growth and effectiveness; depend on him for these things, and stay in touch with his will and his love.
Guard your thoughts. Take responsibility for your thought life, reject the lie, watch against your imagination being led down the wrong path, choose the truth, and stand firm in your position in Christ as righteous, God’s beloved child, etc.
Don’t drift! Make sure you have someone who will support you in your spiritual life and act as your mentor, to whom you can make yourself accountable. But don’t rely on them to do the work for you – you are the one to pray, think, read the Bible, and choose the truth. (If wounded in the battle so that you can’t pray or read, others may need to do it for you, but generally you must take responsibility for your own spiritual life.)
Resist the devil. Put on the whole armour of God (see below).
The whole armour of God (Ephesians 6:10-18)
Prayerfully put on these pieces of spiritual armour:
The belt of TRUTH. ‘I put on truth as a belt around my waist. I choose to believe the truth as God reveals it in the Bible, and I choose to live by it, so that I am honest and true. I reject all Satan’s lies.’
The breastplate of RIGHTEOUSNESS. ‘I put on the righteousness of Christ, and I present to God my whole body as an instrument of righteousness. I affirm that no-one can condemn me, for Christ is for me.
The shoes of the gospel of PEACE. ‘I put on as my shoes the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. I am at peace with God through my faith in Jesus Christ, and I choose to make every effort to live at peace with my neighbour. I announce that I am ready to be a peacemaker, promoting peace with God and peace between people.’
The shield of FAITH. ‘I take to shield me from Satan’s accusations and temptations my faith in God’s truth , his promises, and in Jesus who has won the victory over Satan and all his forces. I believe, because God is faithful.’
The helmet of SALVATION. ‘I put on the helmet of salvation: through Jesus Christ, I am saved, I have eternal life, and no assaults of the evil one can change that, however well or badly I do in the battle.’
The sword of the Spirit, which is the WORD OF GOD. ‘I take the Bible as my sword against the devil, and I will speak God’s word in the name of Jesus in order to put the devil to flight.’ (Just saying the one word, ‘Jesus’, is enough to put demons to flight if you are being attacked.)
PRAY IN THE SPIRIT. Pray fervently, meaning what you say. Pray for those in the spiritual front line (either attacking or being attacked by evil) because of their work or ministry. If you have the gift of tongues, use that gift often.
AN ALL SAINTS’ MEMBERS COVENANT
‘We aim to grow in relationship with God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – and to bring others into that relationship.’
Having received Christ as my Lord and Saviour and been baptised, and being in agreement with the aims, beliefs and organisation of All Saints’ Church, Allesley, I now commit myself to God and to the other members of the church, and I undertake to do the following under the guidance of the Holy Spirit:
I will aim to grow my love for God
… by regular private prayer and Bible Study
… by regular worship at All Saints
… by giving generously
I will aim to grow my love for my neighbours
… by praying for them
… by using opportunities God gives me to serve them
… by promoting justice and reconciliation
I will aim to grow my love for other Christians
… by belonging to a cell and learning to love those in it
… by being friendly towards those I don’t know
… by following and supporting my leaders
I will aim to grow my disciple-making
… by discovering my gifts and talents
… by learning to live a godly life
… by learning to use opportunities God gives me to speak about Jesus and to promote his kingdom.