Introduction to Victory Over the Darkness
As we embark on this year-long journey through the book, Victory Over the Darkness, there is an excitement in my spirit that is responding to the freedom that is so eloquently presented in this book. The freedom that our lives can be permanently changed as we are transformed by the truth of God’s Word…..only if we let it, allow it, and believe it. “Lend Me Your Hope” is the opening line of the Introduction to Victory Over the Darkness. I work with men on a daily basis who have lost their way, lost their hope. Hope that life can be better, different, more fulfilling. Most of the men I encounter at Renewed Life Ministries Outreach (RLMO) have very little hope that their lives can be different. But we know that is not the truth. Remember, it is the Truth that sets us free!
When we enter into a one-on-one relationship with someone with the express purpose of helping them grow as a Christian, we have entered a Paul-and-Timothy relationship and are discipling them. Neil Anderson states in his book that he began this discipling relationship with “Russ.” Russ was looking forward to taking some major steps of growth as a Christian and Dr. Anderson was eager to help him develop into a mature believer. They eventually stopped meeting, however, because they were not getting anywhere and there was no visible progress.
A few years later Dr. Anderson became convinced that his attempts at discipleship failed because “Russ” was struggling with unresolved conflict in his life and was therefore not able to receive the solid food of God’s Word. Paul says in I Corinthians 3:2,3 – “I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?”
The discipleship process is so much more than simply going through a Bible study. I had a head knowledge of the Bible, yet I still struggled for years under the false belief that I had no value; I was doomed to be a failure; that God had no purpose for my life. I simply did not know who I was as a believer nor did I understand what it meant to be a child of God. Why not? There is a battle going on in each of us and it is a battle for our minds – personal and spiritual conflict can only be resolved through repentance by submitting to God and resisting the devil (James 4:7).
Dr. Anderson says, “We must have a true knowledge of God and know who we are as children of God. If we really knew God, our behavior would change radically and instantly.” He goes on to say, “A good theology is an indispensable prerequisite to a good psychology. Knowing God is indispensable to maturity and freedom. You need to know what to believe before you can understand what to do.” One thing I have found to be true – our beliefs determine our behavior. What we think, will influence the choices we make. Dr. Anderson states, “They are Christians, but they are not growing and they are not bearing fruit. They want to serve Christ, but they can’t seem to get over the top and get on with their lives in a meaningful and productive way. They need to have their hope reestablished in Christ.”
Man, do I ever get this! We have GOT to get past our past! Stop believing the lies ingrained in our psyche and allow God’s Word to transform us from the inside out. Romans 12:2, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (NASB)
As we progress through the months and chapters of this book my hope is that someone will receive this message, and their lives will be forever changed.