Personal Insight To My Victory Over Depression – Part 1
I want to share my personal experience to show that complete victory over depression (or over any obstacle) is always possible. Recall Jesus’ words to His disciples from Matthew 19:26 “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” It is only possible because He is your victory. In your weakness, He becomes your strength.
Jesus takes over your entire new life – as much as you permit Him to. Your new life is to be hidden with Christ in God. You need to begin seeing life through His eyes from above. Colossians 3:1-4 “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory.”
Paul is showing you how to live as your new identity. You die to flesh and hide yourself in Christ. Christ, as your new identity, now takes over and lives through you. People will now see Christ in you when you “seek those things that are above.” You are now risen with Christ, risen from the grave with your flesh left behind buried.
The Christian life is not as complicated as many make it out to be. The Christian life is only Jesus Christ. Once you understand and focus more on your new identity, Jesus takes over through you and the rest falls in place under Him. The Holy Spirit now teaches you how to live as God’s child.
The Christian life is only JESUS CHRIST.
When you begin to see life from above, you easily flow into the intimate love and grace of God. The following Bible verses from the gospel of Matthew are excellent examples for us to continuously reflect on as we draw nearer into God’s heart of love. Jesus calls you daily to come into His heart of love and rest so He can take over.
Matthew 11:28-30 “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” You must reflect daily on these verses. Take them into your heart often so the Holy Spirit can truly make them real.
Yes, it is only God’s grace in everything. You live and walk in His grace above your circumstances. You stand in His strength because of His grace. Your depression is dead because of His grace. Now His grace teaches you to live as His child – to walk in His love and to reject sin and the flesh.
When one is very depressed, you basically have no mental strength to fight spiritually. The majority of spiritual warfare is fought in the mind. What you permit your mind to focus on and believe will determine the amount of spiritual victory you obtain. Therefore, you must frequently ask yourself the following questions everyday:
- What will you permit your mind to focus on?
- Will you permit the Holy Spirit to direct you to God’s love or will you permit the devil and your flesh to lead you into sin when temptation occurs?
Victory over depression is won in your mind. You either learn to think God’s way (under the influence of the Holy Spirit) or your flesh way (under the influence of Satan). God will never force you to make the choice. He will only gently lead you to His Son Jesus. He respects your free will. It certainly is a daily, spiritual battle in the mind.
Satan had created a stronghold in my family for at least five years. Chaos, destruction, and fear now became the norm in my family. Since I was spiritually and mentally depressed, there was no way I was even close to being ready to deal directly with my family’s problems. I had enough difficulty just dealing with my own. I only retreated within, into very deeper depression. Tears and fears were frequently experienced everyday. I was losing the spiritual battle of the mind because I did not know how to fight spiritually. I made it more of a formula than a relationship. I prayed often. I read the Bible daily and memorized many Scriptures. I confessed my sins everyday. Yet, my life was in turmoil. “What is happening, Lord? Why?” However, I was soon to see the truth of being alive in Christ. God will always answer a sincere prayer from the heart.
Romans 5:10 “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” This Bible verse opened my mind to the truth I desperately needed to hear. The word life kept jumping off the page every time I read this verse. The Lord was saying to me, “Bob, you are saved. I reside in you. But, you are still living as though you are dead. In Me you are alive. Let Me live My life through you. I am the only one the Father qualifies to be the Christian in you.”
To summarize, God was showing me I was only living ½ the gospel. My basic understanding of salvation was Jesus died for my sins. Yes, I understood very well that He had a special place reserved for me in heaven. However, I thought that between the time Jesus saved me in 1979 and until He returns (or I physically die), I had to live the Christian life on my own. I had to behave properly (to not sin) in order to please God so He would accept me. (I have since learned that the majority of Christians live the Christian life with this same, erroneous mindset. How about you? How much of your Christian walk and behavior is done to please God so He would accept you?)
Jesus very quickly began to teach me the second ½ of the gospel – His resurrected life as God living through me. Suddenly, I became so aware that I had two natures (one evil and one good) residing in me. Now I realized that a daily choice (in my mind) was to be made as to which nature would control me. I now became more confidently aware that His life was truly my new life. His life and His love were very gently drawing me to Him within me. I was becoming convinced of the reality of my two natures. This knowledge was a core belief and foundation that was essential to having complete victory over my depression.
God began exposing me to excellent Christian literature, teachings, and tapes that clearly expressed the reality of my new identity. As I kept exposing myself to this, Bible verses I knew by memory started making sense. Bible verses about life suddenly connected even more. It was like finally putting the puzzle of my life together.
For example, throughout the gospel of John, Jesus speaks repeatedly about life. Why? He wants us to clearly understand that (1) we are born spiritually dead and (2) a spiritually dead person needs spiritual life.
It could only be His life spiritually because Jesus is the only man since Adam born with the spiritual life of God in Him. It was the life of God in Him as man. Therefore, since sin could not kill Jesus spiritually, He could lay down His life for us. Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Now I had a clearer and fuller understanding of salvation.
It involves two parts:
(1) The death of Jesus to destroy the disease (sin) that killed me.
(2) The resurrection of Jesus to restore God’s life back to my spiritually dead body.