Victory Over Depression Blog

(Healing & Victory Through Jesus Christ)

Christian Backstabbing

Do not be deceived: “BAD COMPANY CORRUPTS GOOD MORALS.” —– I Corinthians 15:33  

There are two questions I want you to ask yourself.  Be honest.  Honesty is critical for any healing and growth to occur.

1. How many times have you had knives stabbed into your back?

2. How many times have you stabbed some people in the back?     Yes, you have to answer this question about yourself.  To be honest with yourself is a must to ensure your heart is pure in that area.  Hypocrisy must be avoided.

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The term CHRISTIAN BACKSTABBING sounds like an oxymoron.  How can two words be so opposite?  Unfortunately, they do go very well together.

After personally experiencing Christian Backstabbing this past year and remembering my previous experiences, I felt it necessary to address this issue and bring it to the forefront of the Body of Christ.

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CHRISTIAN BACKSTABBING needs to be recognized for what it is:

The Putrid Stench Oo The Flesh, From the Pit of Hell.

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Christian Backstabbing needs to be dealt with appropriately —– crucified on the cross of Christ.  One then needs to walk wisely to avoid future stabbings.

A Christian Backstabber will appear as a genuine friend.  You will usually get to know the person over a lengthy period of time.  The person becomes so trustworthy that you believe you have a true friend and brethren.  Genuine brethren can occur for sure, but there is also the flip side to be aware of.  Often, the person is not so genuine and you gradually begin to see more areas of flesh behavior come out.

The maturity of your walk with Christ will reveal how long a Christian Backstabber remains hidden from your knowing.

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MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE

I have been a Christian 36 years.  My immaturity with a broken heart permitted a few Christian Backstabbers to take advantage of my help.  As I trusted two specific people over the years, I shared personal information about myself.  (Not wise.)  I also helped these people financially.

I have a servant’s heart and enjoy helping people’s needs be met.  However, my immaturity and naivety showed because I went overboard with my sharing.  These two people took advantage of my giving a hefty amount.  When I finally confronted them about using me, I got the sweet smile that they will pay me back and help me when I needed it.  They never came through.  Instead, they actually started turning against me and accusing me of being ungodly.  They gossiped about me and slandered me.

I sure felt the backstabbing.  I was so deeply hurt and betrayed.  It was a good growth experience, though I must admit I wished often God would get them and get them good.  Even to this day, they avoid me and will not even want to talk about it.  I have reached out, but they have shut the door.  So be it.  It is in God’s hand.

Does God honor their praising Him and turning a blind eye to a brother they had a problem with?  ABSOLUTELY NOT.

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These are some of the habits that the Christian Backstabber usually displays:

They refuse correction, especially from biblical authority.They refuse to even acknowledge the possibility they are insincere and sinning.They will gossip, slander, complain, and covet about other people and what God is doing in their lives.They will boast publicly, looking for any ears to listen, about the great things God is doing in them.All the while, deep down the sinful flesh has taken hold and blinded them to the truth of God.  Satan has much control over them.The biggest shame is how they walk around confidently showing themselves off with a puffed up pride.  They also will have animosity and bitterness toward you.

Backstabbers are ravenous wolves and a ravenous wolf wants whatever you got.  Paul talks about this to the leaders of the church of Ephesus.  They will then tear you apart, shame you, and leave you stripped naked to die.  They will also complain, gossip, and slander to you about others.  Rest assured, they do it also about you to others.  As much as you permit them, they will strip your dignity and your character.  Remarkable is they will still think they are doing God’s will.

Therefore, you must be wise in whom you associate with.

First, ensure you are not a Christian Backstabber.Walk wisely.  Be wary of the company you keep.  Remember the Scripture from the top of the blog:“BAD COMPANY CORRUPTS GOOD MORALS.”  There are genuine Christians and genuine Christian Backstabbers, disguised as genuine Christians.  Seek the Holy Spirit to teach you and reveal the truth behind everyone you meet.  PRAY FOR THEM.As wrong and evil what the Christian Backstabber does, you are not responsible for their actions.  You are responsible for yours.  If they have hurt you, it is mainly because you permitted it to go that deep.  Walk wisely to prevent this in the future.

Here is the Biblical approach for conflict resolution:

Matthew 18:15-17

15(M)If your brother sins[b], go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.

16“But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that (N)BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED.

17“If he refuses to listen to them, (O)tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, (P)let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.

The Bible mentions some strong things to be wary of regarding Christian Backstabbers.  Here are a few.

A dog returns to its vomit.Don’t cast your pearls before swine.Wolves in sheep’s clothing.Masquerade as angels of light.A tree is known by its fruit.“BAD COMPANY CORRUPTS GOOD MORALS.”

There are more words to add on this subject.  That will be for another time or for another person to share.  I have shared what is on my heart.

An appropriate ending is to remember that ONLY JESUS can heal every broken heart.  JESUS IN YOU is who takes over and grows you through every situation – away from being a Christian Backstabber and desensitized when a Christian Backstabber puts a dagger in your back.  Christ in you makes you capable of forgiving them.  KEEP THAT FOCUS ON JESUS IN YOU.

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DEPRESSED CHRISTIANS – Wisdom For All To Know

Christians who are experiencing depression MUST be handled very gently & tenderly.

They have been exposed to countless, negative abuse & circumstances over the majority of their lifetime.
Much of this abuse was directed specifically at them.
Much of this abuse was telling them they are worthless, good for nothing, will never amount to anything, & it would be better if they were never born.

Can you imagine living under that type of bondage for decades?  Often this abuse occurred from parents while they were growing up.  Imagine living in this environment as a child?

That’s why the sensitivity in dealing with depressed Christians must be adhered to.  Ministering to depressed Christians must make one aware how fragile they are.

That’s why simple one word answers or phrases DO NOT WORK.

Years of mental abuse will not change overnight.  Years of negative thoughts must be replaced with constant positive thoughts – especially WHO GOD SAYS THEY ARE.  The Bible calls it the “renewing of the mind” and ONLY the Holy Spirit can renew one’s mind so they can see life through God’s eyes.

That’s why it takes time.  Their recovery & healing cannot be rushed.

Depressed Christians need to see their worth through the eyes of Jesus Christ.  That’s the only way it will work.  JESUS IN THEM will do it.  Jesus will show them they are worth it, special, and never a mistake.

CHRIST IN YOU is what eventually freed me from many years of depression.  Jesus wants to root His love deeper into each person.  First though, the pain, scars, thorns, dirt, etc. must first be removed.  Then the love of Christ will flow out more naturally.

The Holy Spirit will mostly renew the mind of a depressed Christian through the Word of God.  That is a must for every depressed Christian to be reading and meditating every day – specifically the New Testament and the Gospels that show the personal, intimate love God has for them.

And to specifically see that JESUS LIVES IN YOU 24/7 & WILL NEVER LEAVE.

It takes time since it is a growth process.  Don’t rush your healing.  Be patient with yourself.  I am glad I can help in anyway possible.

CHRIST IN YOU is your solution & victory.

For those ministering and encouraging depressed Christians, just be there for them.  Pray for them.  Encourage them.  Don’t force immediate faith solutions on them.  Their deep pain cannot come out all at once.  Be a great friend to them to always be by their side.

At the same time, use wisdom.  Don’t enable depressed Christians.  Don’t let them take advantage of your goodness and help.  Instead, point them directly to Jesus and for them to be alone with Him in His Word.  The Holy Spirit must do the work in them.

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If you have been blessed with this blog, please post it on your wall and other places.  Share it with those who need to read it.  There is so much freedom in Christ that people need to know.  The truths of CHRIST IN YOU in my blog are liberating to the core of the heart.  Thanks.

CHRIST IN YOU gives DAILY Victory Over Depression, Over EVERYTHING.

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PS: Even though I wrote this blog about “depressed Christians,” the sensitivity must be understood for all depressed people.

My Personal Walk Of A Broken Heart (From Depression To Victory)

know this blog is going to help many.  I pray God will use it to help countless more.

I will be transparent in sharing some of the depths I experienced when walking through life with severe depression and a broken heart.  Too many Christians want the victory without going through the painful walk of dying to self daily.  I sure did not want to, but since I trusted God for everything, I knew I had to. 

Fortunately, I now have the Victory Over Depression since 1996.  Jesus in me grows more than ever every day.

Growing up through adolescence, I was not aware that I had such a poor self-image that it grew me right into depression.  I wanted so much for people to accept me.  I sought peer pressure approval often. 

When one does not realize he has a broken heart, he unsuspectingly covers it up as he goes through life.  If it is not dealt with, one day the broken heart will explode, usually like a pressure cooker. 

God wants to help deal with the internal issues, heal the broken heart, and come take up residence in the person.  This is what occurred to me.  Being an adolescent in an adult body, I was not prepared for the challenges and seriousness of adulthood.  My inside exploded (figuratively) like a pressure cooker. 

Some of my depression symptoms were:

  • I cried almost every night to sleep.
  • I hid under covers frequently and kept the blinds closed.
  • During daylight hours, I turned the lights off in my room often.
  • I retreated often into a fantasy, daydream world.  It was an easy way to avoid facing my problems.
  • I slept often hoping that when I woke up, my depression was only a fantasy.
  • I avoided stress and conflict at every opportunity.
  • My hands and body shook whenever stress occurred.

Fortunately on April 1, 1979, after searching and trying many things to get rid of the depression, God touched my heart.  I will not go into details, but to say that God filled my deepest needs and gave me hope and a reason to live.  I knew God now loved me unconditionally and was living in me.  I was amazed that now I was enjoying life more every day. 

The next few years grew me more in love with God.  It was like nothing bothered me anymore.  I was growing more in love with Jesus everyday and enjoyed reading the Bible (the Word of God) everyday.  I was maturing as a Christian and proud of it.  I memorized Bible verses and was actively involved in leading ministries. 

A few years later, I was to learn the maturity I saw in me was just another facade to cover my broken heart.  The maturity I stated in the previous paragraph was absent of the necessary growth through the road of Calvary, suffering, pruning, refining in the fire, etc.  (Unfortunately, many Christians do the same thing.  They think this is maturity, but is the opposite.  God will elevate many and use them mightily, but one must go through the road of the cross for real maturity.)

I wanted to draw closer to Jesus and He was now ready to take me through some of my darkest days as a Christian.  Before I knew what happened, all the depression symptoms came back.  I could not understand it.  As much as I rebuked the devil, prayed more, and quoted Scirpture, the depression overwhelmed me again.  It made no sense.  The depression was a vicious cycle the next couple of years.  All those symptoms I previously stated were back and controlling me. 

The deep pain in my heart was being torn open like never before.  I could not understand why.

I knew God loved me.  So the problem had to be with me and my thinking.  No Christian understood the deep pain I was experiencing.  They acted more like Job’s friends than a friend of Jesus.  I felt more condemned and judged than relieved and comforted.  (Sadly this occurs often in the Church of Jesus Christ.  Instead many suffering with broken hearts choose to suffer silently.)

This was the painful road of maturity God was taking me through – the road of the cross, of suffering, to die daily to self, to be refined in the fire, to be pruned.  Fortunately, with an open, honest heart, God showed me the answer. 

The answer is CHRIST IN YOU.  God was working on clearing out all the garbage of my broken heart so that all I could see was CHRIST IN ME.  I was learning that God the Father ONLY sees His Son Jesus in me. 

God healed my broken heart by giving me a brand new heart- the very heart of God Himself in Jesus Christ.

No wonder depression overwhelmed me.  I kept looking at my broken heart and depression – what Jesus had already crucified and buried.  God cannot help one who constantly looks at dead things.  This was the victory I needed to see.  I know it is the truth many need to see.

God cannot help one who constantly looks at dead things.

I quickly realized that it was Jesus in me living His life through me.  When people see me, they are to see ONLY Jesus in me.  That is the simplicity of the Christian life – Jesus in you living His life through you. 

I began consistently having the daily victory.  The joy came back.  Every day for the last 18 years (even despite setbacks) I have been enjoying life to the fullest.  Only because Jesus as God resides in me.

Today I learn to simply rest in Jesus and let Him live His life through me.  I pray you see the same & learn to focus on Jesus in you for your healing and victory. 

In His love and Grace,

Christ in you,

Bob Bennett

PS: God now trusts me with a Victory Over Depression ministry to simply point people to Him.  I have developed a teaching presentation for any church, ministry, or group that may be interested.  Let me know if anyone may be interested.  Thanks all.

The Great Cure For Depression

Look To CHRIST IN YOU

My experience having depression, helping others, and observing how others (including Christians) help those who currently have depression have given me invaluable insight in dealing with depression.

I personally had depression for a good 30 years – 17 of them as a born again Christian.  For the last 18 years, I have been walking victoriously over depression.  Over the last 40+ years, I have witnessed much of how people with depression search for healing and how Christians try to help them.  As good as their intentions are to help, many fall very short of providing total healing and victory. 

Praying, fasting, reading the Word of God, resting, medication, counseling/therapy, etc. are very good treatments for depression.  However, one thing falls short for many hoping to be healed of depression. 

The one limitation from consistent victory is many are still walking around (some for decades) with deep pains of a broken heart.  This is what occurred to me for 17 years as a Christian.

For the last 18 years, the victory over depression became my greatest cure.. The great cure is one person in three words – CHRIST IN YOU.

CHRIST IN YOU is the Great Cure for Depression.

CHRIST IN YOU heals the broken heart because Christ In You gives you a brand new heart – the very heart of God Himself.  This is the total victory and healing so many need and miss in their searching for victory over depression.

If you are a Christian with depression, I encourage you to focus more on CHRIST IN YOU literally alive and living in you.  Your new life is Jesus Christ in you.  When you consistently see Christ In You, Jesus begins healing quicker your broken heart. 

Jesus already crucified depression, buried it in His tomb, and left it buried when He rose from the dead.  In God’s eyes, CHRIST IN YOU is alive.  Depression is dead. 

In God eyes, CHRIST IN YOU is alive.
Depression is dead.

So if you keep looking at “dead” depression, God cannot help you.  God looks at life – specifically His Son Jesus alive in you.  God desires you to see the same consistently. 

CHRIST IN YOU is the key that led to my victory and the great cure for depression.  Jesus in me lives His life through me.  Jesus is the Christian life.  I rest in Jesus’ love, focus on Jesus in me, and Jesus easily and naturally lives His life through me. 

I rest in Jesus’ love, focus on Jesus in me, and Jesus easily and naturally lives His life through me. 

The victory takes time because the healing of a broken heart takes time.  You cannot rush the healing God wants to do in you.  God must do it in His time.  I assure you that if you everyday make CHRIST IN YOU your foundation, the healing and victory comes quicker. 

With Christ In You as your foundation, all the current treatments you do (praying, fasting, reading the Word of God, resting, medication, counseling/therapy, etc.) help the healing and victory occur sooner.

Be encouraged and embrace CHRIST IN YOU everyday. 

CHRIST IN YOU is the great cure for the depression you have.

SILENCE – A Key To Growth & History

To permit the Lord Jesus Christ to live the Christian life through you is summed up in one word.  To experience daily His love and the reality of His presence is summed up in one word.

That one word is SILENCE.  You must be silent in the inner man, on your inside.  Do you know how to keep and maintain your inside zipped?  Your #1 desire and priority must be ‘to be alone and silent in the presence of God’.  You must strive to develop this.  Be mentally tough and ferociously persistent.  Jesus lives inside you and is the source guiding and motivating you toward intimacy with Him.

This is as simple as it is – being alone, intimate, and silent in the presence of God.  He then can reveal the depths of His love to you.  Remember, be gentle and patient.  It will become a way of life, not a formula.  You grow gradually, just like anything else is life.  Just cooperate with the life of Christ in you, that vine producing the fruit.

You do not run off and join a monastery.  This silence becomes incorporated into your daily life, into your daily activities.  God is only training you to “Be still and know He is God.” He quiets your inner man so He can speak and be heard.  Yes, He will speak and speak very actively.  Like a seed, it will grow and flourish in His love.  It grows slowly and patiently because He causes the growth.  God slowly peels off all flesh layers and thorns.  Just rest in His love and be.  Yes, just be, be, and be.

It is an ongoing process.  You must absolutely put yourself into the Word of God with the mindset that I have just shared.  Be mentally tough.  Expect deep revelations of God’s love.  God love becomes more real in your daily life.  Only He can complete His work in you.  Only make yourself restfully available for Him to thoroughly establish His life in you and thoroughly live His life through you.

In fact, you now hear Him gently touching your heart.  Withdraw now into the intimacy of the depths of your heart.  Go in secret, shutting the world out in your mind.  Only Love awaits you.

ONLY Jesus Can Live The Christian Life Through You – My Personal Experience

Only Jesus can live the Christian life through you.  Only Jesus is qualified to be the Christian in you.  Jesus is the Christian life.  You have a new identity as a child of God.  Jesus is your new life.  You are a new creation.  Now Jesus calls you to rest in Him so He can live His life through you.

For many years I struggled to overcome many areas of my Christian walk.  One of them was severe, clinical depression.  If Jesus died for my sins, why was I struggling for many years as a depressed Christian?  Even answering many altar calls, repenting daily, and rebuking Satan, I still struggled with depression. The depression symptoms consisted of a daily fear and insecurity, continuous tears crying myself to sleep, hiding under bed sheets, closing the shades and blinds during daylight, hoping I was living a fantasy, and avoidance of stress or conflict.

How can you relate to what I experienced?  The Christian life for many can easily be a life of drudgery, burn out, and failure.  Instead, the Christian life should be a life of joy, abundance, and victory.

Why do so many Christians struggle in their Christian walk?  Why do so many burn out and walk away?  The answer, which I can testify personally to, is that they do not, for whatever reason, let Jesus live His life through them.  Many Christians simply do not know how to let Jesus live through them.  Many, in fact, rarely understand it at all.  Many do not know how to “rest in Jesus.”  Many have not let Jesus heal their broken heart.

I lived with the following mindset.  “If Jesus came to give me abundant life, why did I continue to live depressed, disappointed, and lifeless?”  That was the question I repeatedly asked myself.

Basically, I was born again into a new life in Christ, but I was living as though I was “spiritually dead.”  I tried to live the Christian life on my own.  No wonder my life was full of death and depression.  I did not know how to let Jesus live His life through me.  I did not know how to really “rest in Jesus.”  I needed to let Jesus heal my broken heart.  When Jesus died, my depression died with Him.  On the cross, Jesus absorbed my depression into His body.  It was buried with Him in His tomb.  When Jesus rose from the dead, He left my depression dead and buried forever.

God was viewing my depression as “dead.”  He needed to train me (to renew my mind) to see it as “dead” also.  As long as I continued to focus on my “dead” depression, I actually was making it come “alive” in my mind.  No wonder my Christian life was failing.  No wonder depression overwhelmed me.  I was looking at “dead” things that God was not looking at.  God cannot lead one to victory who continues to focus on “dead” things.  A “dead” corpse does not need help.  A “dead” corpse needs life – God’s life in it.  God looks at life, specifically His life in Jesus.  When God sees His born again child, He sees His Son Jesus.

God the Father only saw Jesus in me.  I needed to more consistently see the same.  I know this is the same problem many hurting and depressed Christians face.  Perhaps you are one of them.  Fortunately, you know the same victory God worked in me, He can work in you.  You only need to rest in Jesus and focus on “Jesus in you.”  I amplify this further in my book Dead, Buried, And A New Life In Christ.

I had now begun to realize that the resurrected life of “Jesus in me” was to be my total victory.  I needed to learn how to apply “Jesus in me” by faith into my daily life (Galatians 2:20).  I was learning to “rest in Jesus.”  One thing about the Christian life is that God has made it simple: Everything is summed up and fulfilled in Jesus.  As I continued to focus on “Jesus in me” as my solution, it would only be natural to expect victory over depression.  It would take time because Jesus needed to deal gently with the deep pains in my heart.  I was now crucifying daily the “dead” parts of my life so the life of Christ could grow in me more.  It would take time and be very painful.  However, that is what crucifixion causes – death.  The reward comes afterwards in the joyful experience of the resurrected life of Jesus alive in me.

I have shared my experience with depression to show you where I am at today.  The life and love of Jesus has rooted deeper into me.  I have experienced victory over depression for the last 15 years.  My eyes are focused more consistently on Jesus.  I rest in His love.  I attempt to permit only His love to motivate every action from my heart.

Jesus is my new life.  Today, I literally visualize “Jesus in me.”  I attempt to have my heart open to His love.  Then, I can be sensitive to the Holy Spirit to stir my heart to what actions to take/or not take for specific situations.  I can plan functions, but I cannot plan results.  Results are God’s business.  I am simply permitting Jesus to live His life through me.  I become abundantly blessed by watching Jesus work through me for His glory.

The Christian life is now totally exciting and worth it.  All that Jesus has said is true.  He has come to give us the fullest, abundant life.  He fills the deepest desires of the human heart.  He heals every broken heart.  The Christian life for me is now pure joy.  I not only enjoy life.  I LIVE LIFE.  Jesus is my life.  It is a life to grow deeper in love with Jesus every day.  Everything else combined could never be more fulfilling.

Enjoying The Life Of CHRIST IN YOU (Motivated By Grace, Not Law)

It’s unfortunate that countless Christians are limiting their enjoyment in the Christian life.  They struggle in certain areas.  They also can become so focused on doing everything right as a Christian that the miss the simple joy of living as a Christian.  Then they usually become arrogant, self-righteous, and burnout trying to be the “perfect little Christian”.

They are missing the significant, daily experience of CHRIST IN YOU.  (I was one of these for almost 20 years as a Christian struggling with severe depression.)
I will be emphasizing the significance of understanding “Law and Grace”.  It will assist you in enjoying daily your Christian life.  The motivation of either law or grace shall either lead you into legalistic bondage (law) or enjoyable freedom (grace).

The central focus must always be CHRIST IN YOU living the Christian life through you.
The Scriptures we are looking at focus on giving. You should immediately see the significant difference between “Law and Grace”.

II Corinthians 9:6-8 “But this I say, he which soweth sparingly shall also reap sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.  Every man accirding as he purposeful in his heart, do let him give; not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loveth a cheerful giver: And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye always have all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.

God loves a cheerful giver, not one who gives grudgingly or under compulsion.  We give to God because we want to (grace), not because we feel we have to or are obligated to (law).

“Law and Grace” always and only depends on the motives of the heart.  I love Jesus so much that I easily trust Him.  God always shows me how faithful He is.

Therefore, it is a joy to give my finances, my time, my services, etc to the Lord – all because I want to (grace), not because I have to (law).

See how easy it is to distinguish between “Law and Grace”.  It all depends on the motives of one’s heart as to how to live the Christian life.  The successful way is letting Jesus live the Christian life through you.  The Father only qualifies Jesus to be the Christian in you.

Under Law – I must.  I have to.

Under Grace – I want to. I desire to.

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Striking & Speaking To The Rock (A Key Perspective To Victory)

1 Corinthians 10:1-5 – “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the (Red) sea; and all were baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and did all eat the same spiritual meat; and did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness”.

Here one sees that Christ was the rock in the desert that the Israelites drank from. It is essential to briefly look at the Old Testament Scriptures, which state the drinking from the rock, so we can understand the spiritual significance. It is critical and invaluable to see why God was not pleased with most of them.

REMEMBER: As you read, the rock spiritually symbolizes Christ.

There were two incidents in the exodus journey when God told Moses to draw water from the rock. The first time occurred immediately upon the completion of the passage through the Red Sea. Exodus 17:1-7 – “…and pitched in Rephidim; and there was no water for the people to drink. Wherefore the people did chide with Moses, and said, give us water that we may drink. And Moses said unto them, Why chide ye with me? Wherefore do ye tempt the Lord?

“And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst? … And the Lord said unto Moses,…. Behold, I will stand before thee upon the rock in Horeb, and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.

This event correlates with the believer’s initial moment of salvation. As the Israelites were baptized into Moses in the Red Sea, so is the believer baptized into Christ in His death on Calvary (Romans 6:2-5). This is the passage into a new life.

God instructed Moses to strike the rock.Striking the rock represents the Crucified Christ, who was bruised for our iniquities from the physical abuse of the Roman guards and the verbal and physical abuse of the religious leaders of Israel. Spiritually, all our sins bruised and crucified Him.

The second time this event repeated 38 years later in the desert of Zin. Numbers 20:2-13 – “And there was no water for the congregation: and they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron. And the people chode with Moses, and spake, saying, Would God that we had died when our brethren died before the Lord! And why have ye brought up the congregation of the Lord into this wilderness, that we and our cattle should die there? And wherefore have ye made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us in unto this evil place? …And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and SPEAK YE UNTO THE ROCK before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts to drink….

Moses lifted up his hand, and with his handHE SMOTE THE ROCK TWICE: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also….”

It was near the end of the 40 years. This time God instructed Moses to speak to the rock. Yet, Moses did not speak, but struck the rock twice. God did not instruct him to strike it, but to speak to it. The spiritual significance is ‘to speak to the rock’. Jesus (the rock) is the Living Word of God. When a believer speaks the word, rivers of living water will naturally flow from the heart. John 7:37-38 – “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him com unto me, and drink. He that believeth on Me. As the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water”.

The speaking to the rock represents the Resurrected Christ. Moses did not see nor believe this. He struck the rock, still seeing it as the crucified Christ. In other words, he left Christ on the cross. As a result, his unbelief in the Resurrected Christ kept him from entering Canaan, the true rest in the love of God. Water did come out abundantly when he struck the rock twice.

However, it was only sustaining water, not satisfying. Why? Because they were still living in the wilderness. Water in the wilderness only sustains the carnal Christian to hang in there, to give his best of self-effort for Jesus. Water in the land (Canaan) totally satisfies the Christian who has entered because he enters into the rest and love of Christ. He rests from all His self-effort. His rest now becomes the activity of Christ through him. It is an active rest in His activity, far from a passive rest.

Christ in not on the cross today. He is risen, resurrected, and residing in all believers. By speaking the word, Christ will live the Christian life through the believer; because only Christ can live the Christian life. It is not difficult to grasp this invaluable, spiritual truth.

Viewing this from Moses’ approach, he only lived ½ a gospel by leaving Christ on the cross. He had the faith to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt; but not the faith to lead them into Canaan. The sad point is it is the same faith. No job is ever too big for God.

By living only ½ a gospel, Moses did only ½ a job. That was Moses’ error. However, the full, true gospel is the finished work of the death AND resurrection of Jesus Christ. Therefore, Moses died at a young age (Deuteronomy 34:7 – “… he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated”). What a sad end to a young life! Moses died young and was buried in the desert, on the wrong side of Jordan. He missed the full love and joy of resting in God.

How about you, brethren? Are you only living ½ a gospel?

By striking the rock, Moses struggled through his own self-effort to produce the resurrected Christian life. Moses here represents the carnal Christian, the redeemed Christian who, unfortunately, does his best for God through his own self-effort. Like the children of Israel living in the wilderness, the carnal Christian only walks in circles with his only mindset being the crucified Christ. He always ‘confesses and repents’ the same sin(s) – even if they are only thoughts. He answers every altar call laying the sins on the altar (the crucified Christ), but has absolutely no strength to overcome these same sins. There is no resurrection power of Christ flowing from him, no evidence of the indwelling Christ. He lives only ½ a gospel – the crucified Christ.

The only result is life in the wilderness – dumped in the desert. How exciting! (Forgive my sarcasm.) What a very sad place to live! I confidently say this from my own personal experience of life in the wilderness. The wilderness is the only place for the carnal Christian to live – dumped in the desert. He will die there also, just like Moses, unless he permits the Holy Spirit to show him and teach him the full gospel – the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Then he will truly enter the land and rest in the love and grace of God. This is ordained by God to be the normal Christian life, as God created man to live.

A Call To Rest Or A Call To Ministry

When God calls you into ministry, never forget the call of ministry is secondary to developing a sound, mature & intimate walk with Jesus.  That means you MUST step aside/set aside quality & quantity time, in solitude with Jesus – especially in the Word of God.

Unfortunately, too many Christians neglect this & drown themselves in ministry instead.  They then become burnt out, stressed, arrogant, judgmental, self-righteous, and/or depressed.

Then the question occurs, “What went wrong?”

Learn this lesson well & take it from one who lived this error for many years.  Top priority is developing our relationship with Jesus.
Ministry is replaceable.
Your relationship with Jesus is NOT replaceable.

If intimate fellowship with Jesus is not your top priority, you are guaranteed to have your trials get the better of you.  They will control you.  I encourage you to seek God intimately and see CHRIST IN YOU as your REST IN HIM.

We see this exemplified in the gospel of Luke with the story of Martha and Mary. Notice how Jesus sets the correct priority between the solitary, rest life of loving God and the public life of ministry – loving and serving God in Luke 10:38-42.

Observe closely what Jesus calls the most important. Now as they were traveling along, He (Jesus) entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

A Call To Ministry, like Martha is doing, is important, but never at the expense of ministering unto the Lord in solitude, of resting in Jesus.  As Jesus talks to Martha, we see Him laying a foundation of the importance of listening, resting first – just like Mary did.  Mary was doing what Jesus said was the most important thing to do. Mary was sitting at Jesus’ feet, listening to every word coming from the mouth of Jesus. That’s what we do in silence and rest when Jesus speaks to us through His Word.

It is wise not to neglect The Call To Restat the expense of The Call To Ministry.

The Normal Christian Life – JESUS IN YOU

  • Only Jesus can live the Christian life through you.
  • Only Jesus is qualified to be the Christian in you. 
  • Jesus is the Christian life. 
  • You have a new identity as a child of God. 
  • Jesus is your new life. 
  • You are a new creation. 
  • Now Jesus calls you to rest in Him so He can live His life through you.

For many years I struggled to overcome many areas of my Christian walk.  One of them was severe, clinical depression.  If Jesus died for my sins, why was I struggling for many years as a depressed Christian?  Even answering many altar calls, repenting daily, and rebuking Satan, I still struggled with depression. The depression symptoms consisted of a daily fear and insecurity, continuous tears crying myself to sleep, hiding under bed sheets, closing the shades and blinds during daylight, hoping I was living a fantasy, and avoidance of stress or conflict.

How can you relate to what I experienced?  The Christian life for many can easily be a life of drudgery, burn out, and failure.  Instead, the Christian life should be a life of joy, abundance, and victory.

  • Why do so many Christians struggle in their Christian walk? 
  • Why do so many burn out and walk away? 

The answer, which I can testify personally to, is that they do not, for whatever reason, let Jesus live His life through them. 

  • Many Christians simply do not know how to let Jesus live through them. 
  • Many, in fact, rarely understand it at all. 
  • Many do not know how to “rest in Jesus.” 
  • Many have not let Jesus heal their broken heart.

I lived with the following mindset.  “If Jesus came to give me abundant life, why did I continue to live depressed, disappointed, and lifeless?”  That was the question I repeatedly asked myself.

Basically, I was born again into a new life in Christ, but I was living as though I was “spiritually dead.”  I tried to live the Christian life on my own.  No wonder my life was full of death and depression.  I did not know how to let Jesus live His life through me.  I did not know how to really “rest in Jesus.”  I needed to let Jesus heal my broken heart. 

When Jesus died, my depression died with Him.  On the cross, Jesus absorbed my depression into His body.  It was buried with Him in His tomb.  When Jesus rose from the dead, He left my depression dead and buried forever.

God was viewing my depression as “dead.”  He needed to train me (to renew my mind) to see it as “dead” also.  As long as I continued to focus on my “dead” depression, I actually was making it come “alive” in my mind.  No wonder my Christian life was failing. 

No wonder depression overwhelmed me.  I was looking at “dead” things that God was not looking at.  God cannot lead one to victory who continues to focus on “dead” things.  A “dead” corpse does not need help.  A “dead” corpse needs life – God’s life in it.  God looks at life, specifically His life in Jesus.  When God sees His born again child, He sees His Son Jesus.

God the Father only saw Jesus in me.  I needed to more consistently see the same.  I know this is the same problem many hurting and depressed Christians face.  Perhaps you are one of them.  Fortunately, you know the same victory God worked in me, He can work in you.  You only need to rest in Jesus and focus on “Jesus in you.”  I amplify this further in my book Dead, Buried, And A New Life In Christ.

I had now begun to realize that the resurrected life of “Jesus in me” was to be my total victory.  I needed to learn how to apply “Jesus in me” by faith into my daily life (Galatians 2:20).  I was learning to “rest in Jesus.” 

One thing about the Christian life is that God has made it simple: Everything is summed up and fulfilled in Jesus.  As I continued to focus on “Jesus in me” as my solution, it would only be natural to expect victory over depression.  It would take time because Jesus needed to deal gently with the deep pains in my heart.  I was now crucifying daily the “dead” parts of my life so the life of Christ could grow in me more.  It would take time and be very painful.  However, that is what crucifixion causes – death.  The reward comes afterwards in the joyful experience of the resurrected life of Jesus alive in me.

I have shared my experience with depression to show you where I am at today.  The life and love of Jesus has rooted deeper into me.  I have experienced victory over depression for the last 18 years.  My eyes are focused more consistently on Jesus.  I rest in His love.  I attempt to permit only His love to motivate every action from my heart.

Jesus is my new life.  Today, I literally visualize “Jesus in me.”  I attempt to have my heart open to His love.  Then, I can be sensitive to the Holy Spirit to stir my heart to what actions to take/or not take for specific situations.  I can plan functions, but I cannot plan results.  Results are God’s business.  I am simply permitting Jesus to live His life through me.  I become abundantly blessed by watching Jesus work through me for His glory.

The Christian life is now totally exciting and worth it.  All that Jesus has said is true.  He has come to give us the fullest, abundant life.  He fills the deepest desires of the human heart.  He heals every broken heart.  The Christian life for me is now pure joy.  I not only enjoy life.  I LIVE LIFE.  Jesus is my life.  It is a life to grow deeper in love with Jesus every day.  Everything else combined could never be more fulfilling.

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