January 31, 2011

The Invisible Prison…Oppression.

The other day we were driving to “town”, about 70 miles away. My mood was light and I looked out the T-top windows of my little car and realized that the clouds were high and thin. I didn't see any blue sky to speak of, and the clouds were still grey-ish, but they were WAY up there and the day was obviously lighter. (Later I caught this cool picture of Mt Rainier.) It made me realize how oppressive the low, dark, grey clouds feel in comparison. I knew right away that Oppression/Oppressed would be the O word for my Christianese blog series.

Browsing through the verses that came up in my “Oppression” search on Biblegateway or Blueletter Bible, I wasn’t too surprised to see so many verses there were concerning the tyrannous oppression by the many enemies of Israel.  (Interesting side note…notice nothing’s changed in that department?)

Although the Israelites experienced so much oppression, that doesn’t quite qualify for my reason to choose this topic for the series.  What confuses the unsaved/newly saved is when we say things like being oppressed by the devil/enemy/satan/evil/…you get what I mean.

Oppressed by the devil is not the same thing as being depressed (sad or despondent) and it certainly isn’t the same thing as being possessed (controlled, crazed) with demons.

The actual word oppression, refers to being dominated in cruel and often demoralizing or brutal fashion.  We see that when the Israelites were in Egypt enslaved by Pharaoh, and the Romans ruled with an iron fist. This is a word the Jews and Gentiles fully understood. So when it pops up in Acts 10:38…

How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.

…it was something they fully understood.

Here’s an interesting thing; this verse tells us that Jesus HEALED all who were oppressed. That tells me that the invisible prison of oppression is something one can be healed of... like a blind man having his sight restored, or the lame man rolling up his bed and walking away, or the woman who reached out to touch the hem of His garment.

I don’t believe Christians, true Christ followers, can be possessed by the Devil but I do believe the slimy enemy can hold us in an invisible prison of oppression…a form of cruel, demoralizing, brutal control.

So let me ask you; what is Satan using to oppress you? Do you have habits you can’t seem to break? Are there low, dark “clouds” of depression that hang over you and cause you to not see the Light? Are you silently battling guilt over something you know you’ve been forgiven of? Well good news… let me slip you the key between the bars to the lock. Jesus can free you from your invisible prison and heal you of what oppresses you.

Psalm 107:17-22 (The Message) 
Some of you were sick because you'd lived a bad life, 

      your bodies feeling the effects of your sin; 
   You couldn't stand the sight of food, 
      so miserable you thought you'd be better off dead. 
   Then you called out to God in your desperate condition; 
      he got you out in the nick of time. 
   He spoke the word that healed you, 
      that pulled you back from the brink of death. 
   So thank God for his marvelous love, 
      for his miracle mercy to the children he loves; 
   Offer thanksgiving sacrifices, 
      tell the world what he's done—sing it out! 



6 comments:

  1. It seems like it's easier for me to believe the lies Satan, the slimy enemy, taunts me with while I'm suffering through PMS. Oh, I stuggle, but am so thankful I know the real truth!!! Jesus is the Light!

    I love reading this series! Well, now that I think about it, I love reading anything you write.

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  2. Good words, Mari. I would prefer the key slipped to me in a big piece of chocolate cake, though. ok? :)

    We all fall for satan's lies way too much. For me it's during PMS, too, Rebecca.

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  3. Oppression is an often misunderstood concept, but such an important one to wrestle with in order to resist the devil's tactics. You did a great job of making it relevant.

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  4. I love how clear you make these principles, dear Mari. You helped me grasp this. Truly. Thanks.

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  5. I almost missed "O"--glad I didn't. I have one tape in my head that is rather oppressive. I hadn't framed it that way before, though. Maybe this will help.

    Thanks, Mari:)

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  6. Great teaching, Mari. I had never thought of it this way before, powerful stuff.

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Thanks for taking the time to traipse along with me. Your comments and feedback are always welcome and appreciated.

~Psalm 77:6 "I call to remembrance my song in the night; I meditate within my heart,and my spirit makes diligent search."

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"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you."
~Maya Angelou

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