An undergraduate student stopped by my (Neil’s) office one day and said that she was researching satanism, and wanted to ask me some questions. After talking with her for a few minutes, I suggested that she probably shouldn’t be studying that subject.
“Why not?” She asked.
“Because you aren’t living a free life in Christ yourself,” I responded.
“What do you mean by that?” She asked.
I told her, “You are probably struggling in your Bible classes just trying to pay attention. I would suspect that your devotional and prayer life is virtually nonexistent. I would guess that your self-esteem is probably down in the mud somewhere, and you probably entertain a lot of thoughts about suicide.”
She almost came out of her chair. “How did you know that?” She asked.
After years of helping people find their freedom in Christ, I can frequently discern whether a person is living free in Christ. She got permission as an undergraduate student to take my graduate-level class that covered the material in my books Victory Over the Darkness and The Bondage Breaker. After the class, and with no further counseling, she wrote me this letter:
“What I have discovered this last week is this feeling of control. Like my mind is my own. I haven’t sat and had these strung out periods of thought and contemplation; that is, conversations with myself. My mind just simply feels quieted. It is really a strange feeling.
My emotions have been stable. I haven’t felt depressed once this week. My will is mine. I feel like I have been able to choose to live my life abiding in Christ. Scripture seems different. I have a totally different perspective. I actually understand what it is saying. I feel left alone. Not in a bad way. I’m not lonely, just a single person. For the first time in my life, I believe I actually understand what it means to be a Christian, know who Christ is, and who I am in Him.
I’ve already had an idea to develop a Bible study from your material and use it next year on my floor for a Bible study. I feel capable of helping people and capable of handling myself. I’ve been a codependent for years, but this last week I haven’t had the slightest need for someone else.
I guess I am describing what it is like to be at peace. I feel this quiet, soft joy in my heart. I have been more friendly with strangers and comfortable. There hasn’t been this struggle to get through the day. And then there is the fact that I have been participating actively in life and not passively, critically watching it. Thank you for lending me your hope. I believe I have my own now in Christ.
Taken from: The Common Made Holy by Neil T. Anderson & Robert L. Saucy. Copyright © 1998 by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR, p. 237-238. Used by Permission