When I read Victory Over The Darkness for the first time, I was immediately struck by all the golden nuggets I received. Although I had heard things like this before, Neil Anderson puts alot of perspective and personal testimony into his writing.
Let’s get into my review of ‘Victory Over The Darkness: Realize the Power of your Identity in Christ’.
About Victory Over The Darkness
Published by Bethany House in 2000, Victory over the Darkness has sold over a million copies. In the book, Neil offers practical and productive ways to experience growth in Christ based on Christ’s promises laid out for us in the scriptures.
He offers us guidance on how to apply the truths of God’s word as the foundation from which to renew our minds and become the person Christ has empowered all of us to be.
Explaining Foundational Truths
In the first few chapters, Neil sets the stage for us. He starts by explaining the foundation truths of who we are when we are walking in Christ correctly.
The only identity equation that works in God’s Kingdom is you plus Christ equals wholeness and meaning
He goes on explaining, “a great number of Christians are trapped in the same downward spiral. We fail, so we see ourselves as failures, which only leads to more failure.” – Chapter 1
He goes on, explaining:
“that false belief sends us into a tailspin of hopelessness and more defeat. On the other hand, ‘The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God’ (Romans 8:16) – Chapter 1
Throughout chapter 1, he explains the original intent for us in creation, and explains in depth how the effects of the fall have altered us as humans in falling away from Gods’ original purpose.
From there, Neil goes on to mention how negative emotions have come to dominate us.
“The first emotion expressed by fallen humankind was fear (Genesis 3:10)” – Chapter 1
The truth (Christ and His Word) should set us free and enable us to conform to the image of God
Near the end of chapter 1, Neil puts together this amazing list of scriptures that help remind us who we are in Christ.
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Road Map to Spiritual Growth
Throughout the next few chapters, we are given countless examples of what Christ has done and how we are to attach to His promises and conform to His image by what He has done for us.
Neil talks about the importance of the examples of Christ and explains how we can understand that ‘What is True of Christ is True of You’.
As believers, we are not trying to become saints, we are saints who are becoming like Christ
Quoting from Chapter 2 pg 47 – “The major strategy of Satan is to distort the character of God and the truth of who we are. Have you ever noticed that one of the most frequently used words of identity for Christians in the New Testament is ‘saint’? A saint is literally a holy person. Yet Paul and the other writers of the Epistles used the word generously to describe common, ordinary, everyday Christians like you and me”
As you finish the chapter, there is yet again another list of scripture passages that show us our identity in Christ.
The first 3 or 4 chapters serve as an overflow of identity statements that should help guide you through the practical step of refreshing your mind by reminding you who you are.
Lifetime Commitment To God
In the middle of the book (around Chapter 8-9), we see an instructional breakdown and explanation behind the concepts of retraining our thought patterns to conform to the healthy thought patterns of walking out in the true identity we have as believers in Christ.
The whole of Chapter 9 dives into actions, habits and strongholds of the mind and mental patterns that aren’t consistent of God and examples of how to break them down.
If what we think does not reflect truth, then what we feel does not reflect reality
Neil talks about strategies to exposing the lies we believe and replacing with the truth of who God says we are and whose we are.
High Challenge to Grow in Community
Nearing the end of the book, you will start to see more practicals and examples of how to live out your identity through an authentic experience with community.
Quoting from Chapter 13 pg 216 – “The curriculum of discipleship is not the problem. Bible-based studies on spiritual growth abound. The missing link in discipleship is usually the personal interaction. It takes very little commitment to say, “This book will tell you what you need to do to grow in Christ.” It takes a lot of commitment to say, “Let’s share with each other what Christ is doing in our lives and help each other grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Following up, Neil outlines basic practical guidelines for ministry in the context of discipleship and counseling:
This life is full of discouragements, and many of the believer’s desires will go unmet, none of the believer’s goals will go unfulfilled as long as it is a Godly goal.
The book ends with an overflow of encouragement and a high challenge to walk out in our identity in Christ boldly. It has been a book I have thoroughly enjoyed and learned the most from.
Victory Over The Darkness Study Guide
Although this is a review of the book itself, I cannot go finish the review without mentioning the study guide.
The VOTD study guide consists of though-provoking questions for personal reflection or group study. It works in conjunction with the book itself. There is also a DVD portion that walks you through the ministry of reconciliation in context of indentity. It runs 5 1/2 hours.
Thank you for reading my personal review of ‘Victory Over the Darkness: Realizing the Power of Your Identity in Christ’.
Below I have provided a full list of links to the materials mentioned in this review: