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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)

 

 

What Will We Believe?

I read in my devotion time recently the following:

   “Evidence of Christ’s resurrection has been examined more carefully than evidence of any other fact in history. (The Word for you Today, March p. 19)” Yet, people continue to question this pivotal historical event.

   More than once, authors have set out to write books that disprove Christ’s deity, existence, death, and His resurrection. Only to end up embracing and defending the very Christ they set out to disprove. 

Lee Strobel, The Case for Christ

Josh McDowell, Evidence that Demands a Verdict

Dr. Frank Morison, Who Moved the Stone

Lew Wallace, Ben Hur

So I ask you, why in the face of such evidence, men & women continue to reject or deny Christ’s deity, existence, death, and resurrection?

Scripture is clear in describing Satan’s plan in John 10:10a (HCSB), “A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy.” So what is it that the Enemy desires to steal, kill, and destroy? The answer is obvious—anything God has planned for us! p. 13, FD’s 3rd edition

   You see, Satan’s knows there is a God, he knows God sent Christ to redeem mankind, he knows Christ’ resurrection really happened!

   He also knows that if we believe in God, confess our sins and accept Christ as our Savior, then when we die we will go to heaven for eternity–(see page 2 of this blog)

   But Satan is jealous of God.  He will do any and everything he can to keep mankind from discovering the Truth. 

Satan takes full advantage of the struggle between the old nature (the flesh) and the new nature (God’s Spirit). His first attempt will be to weaken our new nature by tempting our old nature with distractions meant to diminish our desire to study the Bible or spend time with God in prayer. p. 46, FD’s 3rd edition

   I see people, playing right into Satan’s hands! Human reasoning, false arguments, and rebellious thoughts, are fiery darts Satan uses to destroy and deceive mankind. But choosing God’s weapons can set mankind on a different course, if we will only learn how to use them.

   We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.  We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

But we must make a choice. Will we believe God or Satan? Will we choose life or death?

Speaking Truth to the Problem!

   We live in a day when Truth has been redefined. For quite some time now only what has been politically correct has been considered Truth. The numbers of those who support this redefined Truth have increased through the years in power, influence, and intimidation.

   It is alarming to me that during most of the these years of redefinition the Church has maintained a low profile. We know the Truth, the real Truth, and yet we have fearfully kept it to ourselves! Why fearfully? Because we were threatened by those who sought to live in license, (being able to do what they wanted to do, when they wanted to do it, without being made to feel guilty about it). They were convinced in their own minds that Truth had forced them to live in bondage and if they were to be able to live free of this bondage, the old Truth had to be discarded and replaced with a new truth. (The fiery darts call bondage Truth and Truth bondage, remember)

   Political correctness served their needs more than sufficiently. And while the Church for a period of time coward in fear, I am encouraged to see the Church is stirring. Yes, we gave over ground to the enemy but increasingly Christians are waking up to the fact that we must retake that ground. We are becoming wise to the fact that Satan’s camp can in no way compare to the army of God. 

  This boldness will cost us. All over our country, people are loosing their business because they refuse to compromise their Christian convictions. Christian governmental workers and Christian businessmen and women are being ostracized for their convictions and some are loosing their jobs. 

Can you see how bold Satan has become?

   His poisonous fiery darts have permeated the minds of those who are weak in the faith (remember they have been tempted to look elsewhere for Truth other than Scriptures), and especially those who have rejected God. And, in my opinion, the entertainment industry and even some of our own political leaders have been Satan’s keenest agents in influencing us to redefine Truth.

   If it were not for what God has taught me concerning fiery darts, I would be in despair. Yet, because I know how all this plays out (Satan looses) I have every reason to raise my eyes toward heaven and accept the hope God offers.

   But there is much to do.

   First and foremost, prayer and study of God’s Word must be taken more seriously than ever before.  We must resist the fiery darts that will attempt to convince us that we don’t have time to do either one.

   As God raises up godly leaders who boldly speak forth the Truth,(and I am thinking of two men right now who are doing just this; but there are more)  we must commit to pray for them faithfully. Also we must follow their example and speak forth the Truth in our personal lives. We must not be afraid. We must remember that:

For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment. 2 Timothy 1:7, HCSB

We must never forget that true and genuine freedom is found in knowing the Author of Truth:

You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”John 8:32,HCSB

What is our calling in this era of persecution? What are the fiery darts that will distract us from that calling?

     Slowly but surely the Sleeping Church is being awakened to the horrific persecution against Christians in Iraq. Those who react with disbelief cannot deny the pictorial reports of innocent children lying dead in the arms of ISIS soldiers. Suffering and persecution seems rampant from Africa, to China, to the Middle East, and even America (remember 911?)

AND STILL THE CHURCH SLEEPS?

MAYBE NOT!

WAKE UP TO SATAN’S TACTICS TO KEEP US DISTRACTED WITH FIERY DARTS.

RECOGNIZE that Fiery Dart thinking will insure the Church remains dormant!

-Of course, the initial response for many is to pray.  But the fiery darts will attempt to convince us that praying is a hopeless effort. 

-The fiery darts will have us focus on the horrendous images in the news, on the internet to the extent that we will be overwhelmed. We will begin to despair that the evil cannot be overcome and will continue to spread, no matter what we do.

-Guilt, is one of the most effective of fiery darts. It’s poison will have us feeling guilty for every blessing that is ours, feeling guilty because we aren’t over there trying to help, feeling guilty because the fiery darts have tricked us into believing there is nothing we can do. The guilt will increasingly weigh us down with every passing day.

-We turn our eyes and thoughts away from the genocide because the fiery darts induce us to think it’s too horrible to bear. So we coil up within ourselves and hide from the evil. Besides it’s far far away from us. Perhaps, it will eventually die down and just go away!

BUT HERE IS WHAT GOD HAS TO SAY IN RESPONSE!

-First and foremost Pray!

     Especially, Christians all over the world, but especially those of us in the USA. Can you imagine anything more horrible than children being beheaded and entire Christian communities being assaulted by rape and death? I can’t. Then what would only add to this gruesome image would be for Christians to think that praying was a feeble act.

(REJECT THIS THOUGHT)

(REPLACE  THE FIERY DART THOUGHT WITH THIS TRUTH THOUGHT)

But here’s how Paul in 2 Corinthians 1:8-11 felt about prayers: 

For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers,2 of mthe affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us nrely not on ourselves bout on God pwho raises the dead. 10 qHe delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. rOn him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. 11 sYou also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf tfor the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.-

I would like to share with you a commentary made by a fellow blogger about the above verse as it relates to the heinous events taking place in Iraq and around the world.

The grievous trial that made them despair of even living was given so that they would not trust in themselves, but in the God who raises even the dead (He became their ONLY hope) AND the PRAYERS OF THE SAINTS HELPED HIM!  Can I just shout it again?  THE PRAYERS OF THE SAINTS DELIVERED A GIFT TO HIM THAT EVEN THEIR PRESENCE COULD NOT

http://robertsfamilyhope.wordpress.com/2014/08/08/awake-oh-sleeper/

Don’t know how to word your prayers? Here’s some help!

http://www.radical.net/blog/2014/08/take-action-looming-humanitarian-catastrophe/

  • Ask the Lord to awaken the world to the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Iraq and to provide pathways for Christians and others to respond.

  • Ask God to miraculously protect the Yazidis and other Kurds who fled into the mountains; ask Him to provide a means of rescue and temporary homes for the refugees.

  • Pray that ISIS leaders and soldiers would experience the love of Jesus Christ and that their lives would be transformed.

  • Ask God to preserve and embolden the small remnant of believers in Mosul and Kurdistan, so that one day through their witness, every Iraqi might have the opportunity to hear the Gospel.

AND MIGHT I ADD TO FERVENTLY PRAY 2 CHRONICLES 7:14. 

You can also GIVE and here’s how!

BP: “Help respond to Iraq’s refugee crisis by donating to the International Mission Board’s general relief fund or by texting imbrelief to 80888, which will donate $10 to that fund. To give through Baptist Global Response, visit gobgr.org/donate or text bgr to 80888.” (More info here)

Christians at the polls; or not! Point No. 4

OR, No Vote; no voice!

OR, No Vote; no voice!

 

Point No. 4

My one vote doesn’t matter.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiGfXr88iYE

The Fiery Dart of Excuse No. 4

This fiery dart has been used for so long that you would think people would be wise to it.  Alas, it still finds receptive minds and successfully imbeds its poison into these minds. Satan blinds Christians (those who don’t bear the conviction that voting is a God given responsibility) from seeing that they are 60 million strong!  He isolates them and thus convinces them that they are alone! A dangerous place for anyone to be, much less a Christian.

However,

Here’s the truth that shoots the above excuse clear out of the water!

The video puts it this way, ‘You take one vote, based on biblical values, and multiply it by millions of other votes based on biblical values and what do you get? A landslide! It starts with one vote!’  Our beloved America is in trouble. Christians, we need to remember that we are a formidable force, if we will only band together!

I came across an article that proves and I mean proves the power of one vote. You have just got to read this:

 http://www.adawipartnership.org/Attachments/Voting_OneVote.htm

Wrapping things up next post, Point No. 5