“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear;
but of power, and of love,
and of a sound mind.”
II Timothy 1:7
Oppression is a spirit which causes heaviness and presses down an an individual or people. It can be from the environment from insensitive leaders both inside and outside of the church. Environmental oppression affects more people than we know. It is in the workplace, government agencies, politically generated, and through various forms of administrative behaviours from unscrupulous agents who are harsh and hateful.
Another type of oppression is emotional which is revealed in depression, all kinds of fears, bitterness, malice, anxiety, and uncontrolled anger, which are some of the symptoms. We also have mental oppression which causes the individual to be confused, depressed, and who will exhibit unusual behaviours. Spiritual oppression is in the form of legalism which controls and manipulates others.
Why are people oppressed by others? Why do people become so weak that they cannot help themselves; yet they allow others to take advantage of them? In some situations, the individual accepts the menacing effect of oppression until there are opportunities for change. However, when oppression turns to anger it can behave as an uncontrolled fire ignited from long embedded negative treatment.
Regardless of the origin of the oppression, the main source is satanic. Satan takes over a heart which is available and works in that individual or groups to torment and persecute those who have no forum or who have no voice. Nonetheless, when the opportunity arises for response, indeed behaviours become out of control.
Symptoms of Spiritual Oppression
- Discouragement: which can occur from no where and for no apparent reason. The individual may have a loving family, professional, and should be happy; but there is a hindering spirit which puts a damper on the thoughts and attitude towards life, people, and God. Discouragement can lead to loss of hope!
- Sinfulness: there are so-called Christians who straddle the fence whereby they believe they can live in sin and still serve God faithfully. There comes a time when the Holy Spirit visits them. Rather than repent and turn away; they will resist and continue living in sin (Romans 6). One of the major sins which afflict people to cause oppression is the spirit of unforgiveness. It is a destructive and debilitating spirit which weakens due to spiritual and mental erosion. Unforgiveness results in hatred, bitterness and can affect an entire family or group. (Hebrew 12:15)
- Impure Thoughts: no Christian should entertain impure thoughts. The word strictly states: Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusts in thee. (Isaiah 26:3). We keep our minds stayed on God by doing the following found in Philippians 4:8: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. No one can argue against these truths.
- Lack of Knowledge of the Word: the church in general, is in a state of apostasy. Many leaders are no longer concerned about the truth of God’s Word to teach their people, but are teaching ideologies from the psychological arena because they do not care about the souls of men. If those people were called or if they called themselves, they will surely answer to God for leading His people astray. Nevertheless, the responsibility is not only with the leader, but with the member to study God’s Word to obtain knowledge (II Timothy 2:15). If people do not have concrete knowledge representing the truth, they will perish (Hosea 4:6).
- Apostasy: lack of knowledge leads to spiritual sickness and blindness which comes directly from apostasy. We have a message given to us by Jesus Christ and practiced by His Apostles who left it for the Church. To stray from those principles is evidence of apostasy. (Revelation 2:20).
- Sexual Impurities: there are people who claim Christianity while they live in all kinds of sexual impurities: abomination and adulteries. God’s Word is true concerning His attitudes relating to those behaviours found in Leviticus and Exodus. See also I Corinthians 6.
- The Occult: involvement in the occult is dangerous. It may seem innocent on the surface, but when you begin to peel back the layers you will find that Satan is at the root of those activities. Sin of itself is oppressive. What do you think about dabbling in the occult which is Satan’s forte. He works in darkness which is where you will find those situations. The Word teaches us to come out of them and this includes ungodly soul-ties. (II Corinthians 6:14-18).
Protect Yourself from the Spirit of Oppression
Even when you cannot change environmental situations, you have the responsibility to guard yourself from the destructive spirit of oppression. God has given us super-spiritual armour (II Corinthians 10:4-6) to fight against all kinds of demonic oppression (Ephesians 6). If anyone continues in sin, those weapons may not work because no one can serve two masters.
- Stick to the truths of God’s Word, which is the Sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6)
- Resist the enemy when he comes with contrary thoughts and wrong perspectives (I Peter 5:8)
- Trust God’s unchanging word (Psalm 12:6; Isaiah 55).
- Invite the presence of the Holy Spirit by living a life of holiness (John 14; Act 2). Allow Him to renew your mind (Romans 12:12; Titus 3:5). The anointing breaks the yoke!
- Depart from sinfulness, and practice forgiveness and love towards others (Matthew 6)
- Seek God’s extraordinary sustaining peace (Philippians 4:7; Isaiah 26:3)
- Concentrate on the facts about God’s Word which is unchanging (Hebrews 6:16-19).
- Keep this thought in mind: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” II Timothy 1:7. If you believe it, accept it and live it. Do not live in fear. God is able to help you if you put your trust in Him.
- Know who is the enemy (Ephesians 6:12).
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