How to prosper under oppression is a query I received and I would like to answer it in this blog post on How to Break Chains of Oppression.
(If you Subscribe to Our Newsletter, you can receive Free Christian Counseling by asking me any question that you need that you need a Biblical answer and I will answer it in a blog post like this one.)
We can learn how to break chains of oppression from Judges chapter 6 when the Israelites were living under oppression from the Midianites.
This Midianite oppression was so strong that the Israelites had to live in caves in the mountains intead of in their homes. (Judges 6:2)
The Israelites were also greatly impoverished by the oppression because whenever they planted, the Midianites would come together with the Amalekites and other people of the East and destroy all their produce and leave them without sustenance. (Judges 6:3-5)
However, God was able to help the Israelites by using Gideon and we can learn how to prosper under oppression and eventually the break chains of oppression by doing what they did:
PrayThe Israelites cried out to God because of the Midianites. (Judges 6:7)
Therefore pray and ask God to remove the oppression forces from your life.
Confess your SinsThe sins of the Israelites led to their oppression for the Bible tells us, The Israelites did evil in the sight of the Lord and He delivered them into the power of the Midianites for 7 years. (Judges 6:1)
God also told them through a prophet, "I told you I am the Lord your God and you should not fear the gods of the Amorites in whose land you live but you have not obeyed Me." (Judges 6:10)
Therefore confess all your sins to God because they may be contributing to your oppression. As you pray, you should also ask God to forgive you for sins you may have forgotten.
If you are not saved, you should also get saved. To do this say with your mouth "Jesus is Lord" and then believe in your heart that when He died for our sins, God raised Him from the dead and you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)
WorkGideon continued to work even under those oppressive conditions because he threshed wheat in a winepress to hide it from the Midianites. (Judges 6:11)
To fully appreciate the impact of what Gideon was doing, you have to know that wheat was supposed to be threshed on a threshing floor which is a wide, open space like that in the image below. (Image Credit)
However because of the oppression they were living under, Gideon had to thresh his wheat in a wine press which is a small, constricted place as seen in the image below. (Image Credit)
This image is truly the essence of oppression because it places rigid restrictions on your life and makes you do things with great difficulty.
In addition you can also see that the amount of wheat that a person can thresh in one day in the limitations of a winepress is very little compared to what they can thresh in the freedom of the open field. This is because oppressive situations always put limitation to hinder the progress of people.
However, Gideon did not let the oppressive conditions he was living under stop him from threshing wheat. And as a result of his actions, when God's Angel appeared to him, he called him a Mighty man of valor! (Judges 6:12)
Therefore if you are living in an oppressive situation, do not stop working and start waiting for it to change and become perfect.
Continue doing what God expects you do right in the middle of your limiting circumstances.
Even if your progress is very slow, just continue working and doing the best that you can.
Set your mind on getting the job done instead of contemplating all the reasons why it cannot be done.
Learn also from Nehemiah and the Israelites because they set their minds to work and finish building the walls of Jerusalem in the midst of strong opposition and they did finish rebuilding those walls.
Another lesson that we can learn from Gideon threshing wheat in a winepress is that hiding does not make you a coward because God's Angel called him a Mighty man of valor! (Judges 6:12)
This is because life has different seasons and we can learn from David's life that a season of fighting lions and bears and killing giants like Goliath may be followed by a season of living in caves hiding from King Saul and later by a season of living in a palace as the king.
Therefore to avoid undue frustrations, you have to know your spiritual season so that adjust to it appropriately and do the right for that season.
In addition to knowing your spiritual season, you have to understand that each season has an important role in your life.
God could have allowed your season of threshing wheat in the limitations of a winepress to help you develop muscles and skills that you would have never developed if you had the luxury of threshing wheat in a threshing floor.
Therefore if you find that your current spiritual season is a wilderness season of living in caves and threshing wheat while hiding in a winepress, make sure that you do not complain against God, sin against God and do the other terrible things the Isrealites did that prolonged their wilderness season from 11 days to 40 years.
Another lesson we learn from this incident of the Angel finding Gideon threshing wheat while hiding in a winepress, is that if you have prayed, confessed your sins and you are doing your best, you will not always live under oppression.
God heard the prayers of the Israelites and sent an Angel to Gideon and He will also hear your prayers and send you help from heaven if no one on earth can help you because God is not a respector of persons. (Acts 10:34)
This Bible verse means that what God has done for someone else, He can also do for you because In every nation, whoever fears God and lives righteously is accepted by God. (Acts 10:35)
Therefore regardless of the country you are living in or the oppression you are living under, if you hold God in awe and do the right thing in His eyes, know that He has accepted you and that He can do for you what He did for Gideon.
Give God an OfferingGideon prepared A young goat and bread from an ephah of flour and brought them to God's Angel. (Judges 6:19)
Giving God a young goat (which had the potential to produce other goats) and bread made from an ephah of flour which is equivalent to 5.9 gallons or 22 liters, was a great sacrificial offering considering the fact that the Midianites Would not leave any sustenance or ox or donkeys for the Israelites. (Judges 6:4)
Therefore emulate Gideon and give God a sacrificial seed by supporting any Christian Ministry that is doing His work.
Many people say that "planting a seed" or giving money to Christian ministries to solve problems is not biblical but I would like to show you that it is indeed in the Bible. We see this when God told Gideon to go to the Midianite camp, because Gideon found one man telling his companion his dream in which a loaf of bread had tumbled into the Midian camp and struck a tent which collapsed.
His companion interpreted the dream by telling him it signified the sword of Gideon into whose had God had delivered their Midianite camp. (Judges 7:13-14)
The large loaf of bread that Gideon offered God's Angel had become the sword that God used to destroy the enemy camp that was oppressing him.
Therefore pray and ask God to show you the Christian ministry you should sow your sacrificial seed. We would really appreciate your donation BUT only if God is leading you to sow in this ministry.
Build God an AltarGideon built an altar for God and called it Jehovah Shalom which means The Lord Is Peace. (Judges 6:24)
Therefore, build an altar for God in your home.
God also told Gideon to tear down the altar to the false god Baal that belonged to his father and the wooden image that had been erected beside it and build an altar for God on top of it. (Judges 6:25-26)
Therefore in addition to building an altar to the One True God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, you have to destroy the altars to false gods that have been built around your region because they may be contributing to strengthening the oppression.
If you cannot destroy these altars to false gods physically, destroy them spiritually For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal. But they are mighty through God for the pulling down of strongholds. (2 Corinthians 10:4) These mighty weapons are salvation, righteousness, truth, the Gospel, faith and the Word of God.
To destroy these altars to false gods, get saved, speak the truth and do the right thing in God's eyes. Read your Bible and speak the Word of God over the area with the false altars since The Word of God is the Sword of the Spirit. (Ephesians 6:17)
For example you can pray and say, God has given me authority over nations and kingdoms to root out, to pull down, to destroy, to throw down, to build and to plant. (Jeremiah 1:10)
I therefore plead the Blood of Jesus and root out, pull down, destroy and throw down these altars built to false gods.
I build and plant an altar in this place to the one true God, Jehovah Shalom, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.