VICTORY OVER DEPRESSION – Growth In Your Identity In Christ
The Bible shows us the convincing proof of our new identity in Christ. Once you become convinced that you are a child of God, you must grow in maturity toward the fullness of this identity. II Peter 3:18 “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”
This growth is spiritual in nature and can only be done daily. It involves the same choices that all Christians must make. You either choose spiritual death or spiritual life in your daily walk decisions. Death is the way of Satan and your flesh; life is the way of Christ and His Holy Spirit. The way of Christ is Calvary, the narrow road. Few go this way because of the deep pains along the way. Jesus wants to (1) reveal, (2) remove, and (3) heal these pains and hurts. His way of Calvary is so healing, loving, and gentle even though at times it may be very painful. The pain will only be temporary as you consistently keep your heart open to His love. But, you must go through His Calvary cross daily so you can die daily to your flesh. Calvary is where your flesh is put to death. Otherwise, your daily resurrection experiences of the love of Jesus within you will often be just beyond your grasp.
Is not Calvary a symbol of death? Of course it is. Fortunately, it is the necessary death of our flesh, not our spirit. This is what Jesus refers to in Matthew 10:38-39 “And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after Me, is not worthy of Me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for My sake shall find it.” It is only our daily opportunities to crucify our flesh so the life and love of God can be rooted in us more deeply. He desensitizes us to our flesh desires more and more. (Just remember not to carry your cross alone. Jesus is with you and in you carrying it. Let Him carry your burdens. Just rest in His love.)
This is how you grow daily in maturity and character. You have the frequent opportunities to die daily to your already dead flesh. Therefore, the life and love of Jesus in you will grow and flourish. His love will flow from you naturally. This is the love the fearful, hurting world so desperately needs to hear and experience. God wants to share this love to the world through you. But, first, you must grow in His love – to grow in maturity and character. As you die more to your flesh, God trusts you more to share His love to the world. Think about it: for you to share the love of God to the world, God must first trust you to handle it properly, to not abuse it. This is why you are given opportunities daily to die to your flesh desires. After you die to them, you easily become increasingly more dependent on Christ in more areas of your life. Therefore, God can trust you more to share His love to hurting and needing people. Only His love will motivate you to.