Summary: This sermon will help Christians to gain an understanding about how oppression from the enemy can be dealt with.
Oppression v Possession
It is only when a Christian finds that they are struggling in their walk with God, that they may need to consider whether or not they may have been oppressed by the enemy. If you are a person who has accepted Christ into your heart and follows God, but finds that you are not getting very far on their journey with Him, then this sermon may provide you with some useful information. Christians can sometimes be very bold, except when it comes to dealing with matters relating to oppression, which Satan may have put upon them. There are two schools of thought relating to Christians and demons. The first views is that Satan cannot oppress Christians who have come to Christ. The other school of thought is that every Christian needs deliverance. Both polarisations are far from the truth, and lend themselves to urban myths. But the truth of the matter is that most oppression is dealt with at conversion. However, sometimes minor oppression can effect Christians, due to doorways that they have opened in their lives before they came to Christ.
When we are talking about oppression in this sermon, we are not talking about possession of the Christian soul by a demon. Oppression and possession should never be confused. A person who is soundly born again cannot be possessed by a demon in the depths of their souls, where Jesus reigns. However, they can have a demonic oppression in the realm of their emotions, which may have gained a foothold, and which needs dealing with. Therefore, not every Christian needs to concern themselves with this subject, unless they are finding that they are under some sort of cloud or heaviness upon their soul which they cannot deal with. So today, if you have been struggling on your journey with God, due to the fact that something seems to be getting in the way of your walk with Jesus, then please continue to listen to the rest of this sermon, just in case you find answer you are looking for in your walk with God.
1. Am I Oppressed?
The number of Christians I have met, who are under some form of oppression from the devil, is alarming. There appears to be a correlation between those who do not believe that the Devil can oppress them, and those who are oppressed. This is part of Satan’s lie, which keeps some people in bondage. Christians believe that because they are saved and have the Holy Spirit in them, then Satan cannot possibly occupy the same space. And before we continue with this subject, just because a Christian is oppressed by the Devil, this does not necessarily mean that they have an unclean spirit in them. Also, those Christians who go around thinking that they have got an unclean spirit in them, often don’t.
So, let us check out the theory about whether or not anything unclean can occupy the same space where God the Holy Spirit dwells. In Job 1:6 (NIV) it says, ’One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them’. Here scripture tells us that even Satan can be in the same place, where God and his holy angels dwell. You see, God is so powerful that he does not flinch when Satan is in the room, and neither should you. It also says in 1 Samuel 16:14 (NIV), ’Now the Spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him’. Here, we see that God allowed an evil spirit to torment Saul. And before you start panicking, don’t presume that you have an unclean spirit sent from God, because you think that you are out of God’s will, this is unlikely to be the case.
The point of this scripture is to show us that even unclean spirits are subject to God. And, a further point is to show us from scripture, that just because the Holy Spirit is present in someone’s life, does not mean that they are immune to oppression from unclean spirits. However, this does not suggest that a Christian can be possessed by an unclean spirit, if they have received Christ into their lives. It just means that the Holy Spirit is available to help them overcome any oppression, which has had a detrimental effect upon their lives. If we accept what scripture tells us, and recognise that Christians can be oppressed by the Devil, then there are two questions that need answering. The first question is, how did the oppression get on the Christian in the first place? The second question is, how do we deal with the unwanted oppression, and see the captive set free? This we will consider in part 2 and part 3 of this sermon.