However, it calls for attention that many believers may ignorantly keep waiting for God’s deliverance and help on things from which God had already delivered them. This brings us to the issue of drawing a fine line between afflictions and satanic oppression. You need to possess the divine insight with which you can correctly put your fingers on life’s afflictions and differentiate them from satanic oppression.
Afflictions Challenge Your Faith; Oppression Humiliate Your Faith
The best way to differentiate between afflictions and oppression is by judging each of them through their end results. For instance, you’ll notice that the end result of an affliction is to challenge what you profess to believe as a child of God. Take the issue of prosperity as an instance. When you claim to believe in prosperity, such belief will be challenged each time you are in need of money. While you keep confessing God’s Word that your needs are met, you may be hungry for some time before the money comes. That is an affliction. Right on the other hand, when it seems that favour or success always eludes you just when it is almost getting to your reach, then that is likely to be an oppression of Satan. Consider a situation where no profit is ever recorded in someone’s business for many years. That also is likely to be an oppression of Satan, not an affliction. Think about another case where a believer makes plenty of money, which doesn’t ever stay in his hands. Perhaps, he uses the money to nurse sicknesses an diseases or what have you; that is an oppression, not an affliction. An affliction only tends to challenge a believer’s faith in God, whereas the devilish mission of an oppression is to devastate or humiliate a believer’s claim to faith. When oppressed, a believer is rather submerged in the ocean of demonic schemes and devices!
Whenever You Venture Into New Things; Expect Afflictions
Going by the little things we’ve discussed above, you can safely deduce one eternal truth: afflictions are the things a believer experiences whenever he ventures into a new realm of life. In short, afflictions are just the challenges or difficulties that confront a believer on his way to new experiences in life. Afflictions are the enemies of NEW THINGS. Or better still, we can say afflictions are the enemies of CHANGE! Whenever you endeavour to do something new in changing from where you are to where you ought to be, you should expect many afflictions. For instance, if you have confessed bad things with your mouth for so many years, it won’t be that easy to start using the same mouth to confess positive things, will it? You are going to be faced with difficulties changing from negative to positive confession. The difficulties you encounter while you are venturing into the new experience of positive confession are afflictions. Some years back, I remember enrolling with some guitar experts, in an attempt to learn how to play a guitar. The first few days into the training were horrible. I was faced with afflictions of the highest degree! Those times were not funny at all. Striking those guitar strings with my fingers became almost unbearable after sometime. My thumb especially, began to hurt. It was quite unpleasant. What caused all the pains was nothing but the fact that I had never played a guitar before; that was to be my first time of playing it. As such, the pains and uneasiness were normal for a first time learner like me. They were afflictions. Someone who is already skilled at playing a guitar wouldn’t have such afflictions any longer. He would have been ‘delivered’ from the afflictions, so to speak! By the same token, acting on God’s Word concerning certain aspects of life can constitute afflictions. If you have never acted on God’s Word in the area of receiving your healing from sickness or disease for instance, the first time you endeavour to do it, things may prove very hard for you. You will face afflictions. In a nutshell, what afflictions do is to challenge your faith. It challenges your attempt in venturing into the new experiences of life. Afflictions are enemies of change; nothing more, nothing less. The only thing you can do to avoid having afflictions is to avoid change. But in as much as you anticipate to experience changes from where you are to where you ought to be in life, you must equally be ready for afflictions! Instead of dodging for afflictions, you can rather overcome them through constant, persistent and diligent practice of instructions about the new things you want to experience. Use Your Authority To Overcome Oppressions Whenever you are passing through any problem, you are obligated to discern as a child of God, whether what you are passing through is an affliction (while venturing into a new phase of life) or oppression from the devil. When an individual is being oppressed, the devil blindfolds him to keep suffering even in the face of his rights and privileges. When you are deprived of what belongs to you and you are being made to believe that you are suffering righteously, that is oppression, not an affliction. As a matter of scriptural fact, whenever you are deprived of what is rightfully yours, that has gone beyond mere afflictions. It is an outright oppression to languish in pains for what already belongs to you. A case in point. Your sicknesses and diseases have been laid on Jesus once and for all (Mt. 8: 17; I Pet. 2: 24). He bore all the ills that can ever attempt to befall your health. As a result of this, anything that resembles sickness, disease, pains, ill-health…; must be far away from you. You must never even permit the thought of sickness or disease, let alone trying to endure some pains in the guise of an affliction. Sicknesses and diseases do not belong in the class of scriptural afflictions. They are oppression of the devil. If you find it difficult to believe me, see what the Bible says: ACTS 10:38 38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. You will notice here that sicknesses and diseases were associated with satanic oppression. It says Jesus healed all them that were oppressed of the devil. That should settle it in your mind once and for all that sickness, disease or anything of such is not an affliction. It is an oppression – the devil’s scheme and handiwork! Another example of satanic oppression is poverty. I’m talking about lack of money, material things and all the good things of life that you need for godly living. Please don’t misunderstand me. I agree that it may take some time before a child of God breaks even financially. That is understandable, but only to the degree within the confines of the Word of God. No matter how adverse a Christian’s financial situations may prove to appear, the period within which he should change his financial history mustn’t be any more prolonged than prescribed by scriptures. 2CORINTHIANS 4:17 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory Look properly at that scripture. It reveals certain characteristics that a scriptural affliction should assume. Amongst other things, this scripture in second Corinthians 4:17 teaches that our affliction is light and is for a moment. When they talk of something being light, it simply implies that thing is not heavy or burdensome. Now think about it: whenever a man is inflicted with sickness, is it always light on him? Even, not a little headache is light on anybody! The most crazy of human beings doesn’t want the slightest bit of sickness. Why? The reason is simply because there is nothing light about sickness. In fact, it is a burden. By the same token, there is nothing light about being poverty-stricken. It is a burden – even a heavy burden at that! That is why I believe poverty is not part of the afflictions a child of God should pass through. It is heavy and not light. Secondly, that scripture we just read also says that our affliction is meant to be for a moment. This implies that in whatever financial difficulty a child of God is enmeshed, it is destined to be short-lived. Financial hardships are scripturally ‘licensed’ to be transient and to last for a moment. However, if a child of God seems to be under the weight of financial difficulties almost every year, that is no longer for a moment. In that case, it is no longer an affliction but an outright oppression from the devil. Remember I said earlier on that when you are deprived of what rightfully belongs to you, that is an oppression. Prosperity already belongs to you. To keep wallowing in abject lack and want is nothing short of satanic oppression. How do I know that prosperity already belongs to you? The scripture tells me so : 1TIMOTHY 6:17 17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; This is one of the many scriptures that reveal how God has given us all things richly to enjoy. He gave them to us richly to enjoy. That’s worth meditating on over and over again. In essence, you should not be hoodwinked by the devil to mistake an oppression for an affliction. There is a world of difference between the two of them. However, once you can conveniently place your finger on the difference between oppressions and afflictions, you already possess the right attitude that will assist you in solving all problems that come your way with the power of God! NO HEADACHE IN MORE THAN 25 YEARS! My journey of faith began more than twenty five years ago, after I got in contact with the ministry of Rev. Kenneth E. Hagin. Back in those years, my pastor was an avid reader of anointed books, and he it was, who gave me a couple of The Word of Faith Magazines, a monthly publication of faith-filled teaching from Kenneth Hagin Ministries. For the first time in my Christian life, I read about Brother Hagin’s testimony of faith, where he said he has not had a headache in more than fifty years! I couldn’t believe my eyes as I read those words by Brother Hagin in one of those magazines. I thought to myself, “Am I dreaming? Is this man a human being like me or a mysterious being that dropped from heaven?” My head told me what I read couldn’t possibly be true, but way down in my spirit, something seemed to tell me it was the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. You see, I couldn’t help but think this way because I was very sickly as a young boy. Especially when I reached my teenage years, I was always having one health issue or the other. As a matter of fact, I fell so ill at a time that I nearly died in the hospital! As I meditated on this teaching, I was led by the Spirit of God to buy all of Rev Kenneth E. Hagin’s books and audio messages I could lay my hands on. I obeyed the Lord, and I started saving money as an eighteen-year old boy, just to buy books and tapes. Pretty soon, I discovered that God was no respecter of persons, because just like Brother Hagin taught in all of his books on faith and healing, any child of God can develop and use their faith to receive whatever they want from God. The more I read those books, the more I began to see myself completely free from a life of sicknesses and diseases. My entire life was to experience a radical turnaround, as I started confessing God’s Word in the line of healing, that “I can never be sick, because the Bible says, ‘Himself took my infirmities and carried my pains.’” I must be perfectly honest with you, that for more than twenty five years since I received this revelation of faith, the Lord has proven Himself faithful, because I’ve not been sick in all of these years, hallelujah! To tell you the truth about the matter, the last headache I had was more than twenty five years ago; praise His holy Name forever! Everything started through the mountain-moving faith. I understood what it meant by having faith as a grain of mustard seed, according to what Jesus said in Matthew 17:20. Today, I’m a living witness of this, because I have been hale and hearty for more than twenty years! That is why the Lord has laid it on my heart to teach you how to get anything you want from God, which includes: healing, deliverance from demonic activities, financial prosperity and every other blessing you may ever think of in this life. I want to show you throughout this book, what the Lord Jesus meant when He said in Matthew 17:20, “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”