On Thursday this week, around tables laden with turkey and pie, +300 million Americans will make lists of thing they are thankful for. Now that's a very nice sentiment, but it is not thanksgiving.

o PRAYER THANKSGIVING

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Webster’s defines “molt” as the “casting off or shedding of feathers, skin, or the like, in the process of renewal or growth.” I see it first-hand as my chickens go through a molt in the early Fall. For a few days, they lose piles of feathers, then they are almost naked for a few days. They look horrible and miserable. However, when the whole process is finished, they look young and beautiful again with clean, strong, new feathers which will keep them well-insulated through cold winter months.

This year, as I watched my chickens go through the molting process, I saw it as a picture of my own life in Christ lately. The Lord seems to be ridding me of my old ways of dealing with life that are not helpful for my faith in Him. My “old feathers” need shedding to allow the new, healthy, strong ones to replace them.

Recently in a sermon I read a rendition I wrote of Paul's poem from Philippians 2:5-11.

This small piece of scripture was written as a poem and should, I think, be read as one:

As we look at our identity as The Children of God it’s really important to understand our authority and to be able to exercise it. Sharon Gakin wrote a great article explaining her experience exercising her spiritual authority over demons (see below). 
Jesus encountered demons, and so will we. They are active all over the world, but we don’t have to fear them; Jesus gave us authority over them: Mark 16:17 "And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues;
 
But we must each have our own authority from Christ. Acts 19 tells the story of the Sons of Sceva who tried to cast out demons “in the name of Jesus whom Paul teaches about”. That didn’t turn out very well for them. We are saved directly by Christ, we are individually baptized into and by the Holy Spirit of God. We have a direct link, a relationship with God Himself. We also each have an identification and an authority directly from Jesus Christ. 
If you knocked on a door saying “Police! Open up!” you must have the identification that goes along with that claim. When the occupant asks for identification, it’s no good if your answer is, “well, I know a cop.” No, if you are a believer your authority identification comes to you directly from Jesus Christ, your Messiah. There is no demon that can stand against that name and that authority.
 
Thanks Sharon for sharing your experience with us!
 
Alan
 
 
Authority of the Believer - by Sharon Gakin
Authority1b1Understanding the gift and use of the authority of the believer came very late in my Christian walk. No sermons were preached, no Bible studies done, and no discussions ever came up. Somehow I sensed it had something to do with power over Satan but I wanted nothing to do with Satan. I knew he worked in our lives but I figured as long as I avoided evil, I was safe.
Wrong. That first sermon on authority opened my eyes to the power, necessity, and ease of its use. The battle before time even began centered on authority: who is in charge? God or Satan. Of course Satan lost that battle but retained an earthly domain where he could work for a short time.
That hardly seems fair to us weak humans, but Christ did not leave us defenseless. First, He limited Satan and his cohorts to work ONLY by permission. If God draws a boundary, he cannot cross it. The problem comes when we fail to recognize the permission we’ve granted by default through our ignorance, apathy or sin. 
As joint heirs with Christ,  we receive what He has: authority over heaven and earth. The disciples received this authority early on (Luke 10: 17, 19; Mk 16:17; Luke 10), therefore as disciples, we can receive this also. 

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