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Oppression or Depression?

stronghold pic ps. 9:9

I was sharing with a friend not long ago, about the heaviness of spirit that seemed to plague most of my waking hours. It was a struggle for me to make sense of what was feeling like depression.

Why?

   In Depression – My Story, Nov 17, 2017, I define depression and how  I had been instructed to defeat it. I learned depression (a type of bondage) could not take root as long as I planted my thoughts securely in God’s Word.

   Yet, here I was again, feeling defeated and discouraged. In spite of the fact that I knew how to fight the negative thoughts and was aware of the resources from God’s Word to extinguish them. 

   My friend listened to me, then offered this insight. What I thought was depression, was more likely oppression. Satan was exercising his power to plant thoughts (fiery darts) that would weigh heavy on my mind. Thoughts that would produce emotions of discouragement and defeat. 

   The fact that I did not get caught up in a downward spiral was a clear indication for me that this was oppression, not depression. With depression, I was inclined to believe the negative thinking and the downward spiral was set in motion. 

   But with oppression, I did not believe the fiery darts to be true. I kept fighting back with God’s Truth thoughts. Though I became emotionally drained by the struggle, God’s Word kept me afloat. My focus during those days was the following:

 1 John 4:4, Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

   Once the confusion was eliminated, I could see clearly what I was fighting against. I knew who was behind the oppression and I knew how to counter attack. I discovered anew, that the power of God’s Word always prevails in setting free the oppressed. (based on Luke 4:18)

 

 

Fiery dart: If you are unhappy in your marriage, bail out!

broken marriage

   My heart is breaking as I hear of young couples, so dear to me and at one time so close to God, giving up on their marriage. I can understand and even relate to the temptation to bail out of a marriage that is slowly becoming depleted of the happiness and contentment with which it began.  But succumbing to this temptation only sets in play Satan’s plan to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10a) the very happiness and contentment they are seeking. 

   We live in a world that defines happiness from a self-centered perspective. But according to God’s definition, genuine happiness is found by delighting ourselves in Him. (Psalm 37:4)   When we reject this Truth, Satan stands ready to fire at us a volley of fiery darts designed to convince us that the only solution to unhappiness or discontentment in our marriage is to bail out of it. Then slowly we become blind and deaf to God’s plan that He has come to give us life in abundance (John 10:10b) even in our marriage. 

   When we become more focused on what we desire than on what God desires,then happiness and contentment in our marriages (and life) will always elude us. Satan’s fiery darts make sure of that. My prayer is that their sight will be restored and their enemy will be exposed. And in every situation they will take up their shield of faith in God’s Word and extinguish the fiery darts of the evil one. (Ephesians 6:16)

Then the Truth below will become their new reality!

   If our marriage is built upon the foundation of God’s design, we will understand that there will be times when we will be unhappy in our marriage and/or with our spouse. This is a reality that will be dealt with in a godly manner so that it does not become an excuse to bail out but an instrument of God’s will in conforming us into His image. This is what centering your marriage on Christ means……“Frustration, hardship, loss is rooted in the gospel. In that context (centering your marriage on Christ) your faith may be shaken but your marriage will remain rooted.” (words in quote from a dear friend who is a mighty teacher of God’s Truth)

         You see, the type of suffering or problems that we encounter in our marriages will often reflect something that is lacking therein. It stands to reason then, that if we cooperate with the sanctification process in order to provide what is lacking in the marriage, then we aren’t likely to see breaking up the marriage as the solution.

James 1:2-4 makes this quite clear: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (NIV)

Excerpt taken from p. 71-72, Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice

Examining the enemy’s motives

devil_lion

   Chapter Two of Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice, entitled “The Strength of Knowing your Enemy” discloses the gravity of knowing what our enemy is capable of and being wise to his strategy.

    By examining Nehemiah’s battle strategy, we come to understand the advantage that is ours by becoming familiar with an Enemy’s motives. From Nehemiah 6:1-16, we can learn much regarding the strategy we need in combating the Enemy of our day. FD p.7

   So how do we know when we are being attacked?

   While the enemy may not necessarily cause the problem, rest assured he will be bound to take advantage of it. Therefore, we must be familiar with how we are likely to be taken advantage of by the enemy. Fiery darts or negative thinking is Satan’s choicest of weapons.

   As we struggle with a particular problem, Satan will do all that he can to keep us from focusing on the truths of God. Instead, he will influence us to focus on our emotions. This, he knows, will makes us vulnerable to negativity such as doubt, fear, judgmental attitudes, tearing down instead of building up, etc.

   Therefore, when fiery darts attempt to infiltrate your thoughts, you MUST NOT grant them entry. Their poison is deadly and can quickly take over your thoughts, blocking the Truths from God that bring clear thinking.

   If you have remained in God’s Word and have kept in touch with Him by prayer, you have a deep reserve from which to call forth a Truth thought that will thwart the fiery dart’s intention.

   If you haven’t been persistent in prayer and Bible study, it’s going to be more difficult to be successful over your enemy. The poison has been brewing and much needs to be cleansed before you can hear from God about the Truth thoughts He would give you in these moments.

Never, Never, Never Forget,

   Satan’s primary temptation is keep you from God’s Word and prayer. That’s how he sets the stage for further temptations which find you vulnerable. Yes, he may serve up the temptation but the choice you make determines whether or not you will allow it to deposit its poison.

   Whenever, you encounter problems, please know you are a prime target for fiery darts. If you have your armor on, raise your Shield of Faith (God’s Word, remember) to deflect the fiery darts. God’s intention is to saturate our thoughts with wisdom, patience, trust, forgiveness, self-control–whatever the problem calls for.

using shield to fight lion

Take up the Shield of Faith! Ephesians 6:16A

God knows your enemy! Ask Him to make you wise to his strategy!