Victory Over Depression Blog

(Healing & Victory Through Jesus Christ)

My Personal Journey To Victory – (SAVED, BUT STILL LIVNG AS “DEAD”)

I pray God use My Personal Journey To Victory to show you the necessity of CHRIST IN YOU as your everyday victory.

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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.

When I had severe, clinical depression.  I permitted Satan to create 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.

Unfortunately, today many Christians treat spiritual warfare the same way.  I certainly did – by making it a formula.  They have little or no idea how to live in spiritual victory everyday.  They believe it is to stir up emotions and aggressively make commitments to defeat Satan and his strongholds.  They get whooped up in a frenzy to do their best for God, basically in their own self-effort.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Only with Jesus performing God’s work through the Christian will victory ever be attained.

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?)

This mindset of how to live the Christian life is an exercise in futility.  It is all done in self-effort.  It is only a satanic trap to sidetrack our intimate love walk with Jesus.  You may be victorious in some areas, but, it will be short-lived because it has only very shallow roots in flesh.

 

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I knew what it takes to become a Christian.

But, I had no idea how to be the Christian I had become.

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That was all now about to change.

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.  That is why this book is titled Dead, Buried, And A New Life In Christ.  That is what literally occurred to me in 1979 and will occur to every person who becomes born again.

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.  Reflect often on this Scripture verse from earlier chapters that reflect on this “life and death” scenario.  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.

During this time that I was learning the full gospel (especially the 2nd half that His life as God in me was what I was missing), I was still severely depressed.  Satan continued to have a very big stronghold on my family.  My emotions were like a yo-yo, always up and down everyday.  My life was built on sand, always crumbling whenever the smallest breeze of fear hit.

As I look back all these depression years, I clearly see God’s hands in all this.  He was removing every prop I hid behind – my family, my job, my Christianity, etc.  He had to do this so I can see and face the reality of my evil self – the flesh.  He needed to expose it so my darkness can be displayed against His light.  For all those depressed years, I lived running and hiding to keep my depression in the darkness.  Yes, this was so true about my depression.  I was ashamed of it and, through my evil flesh, attempted to keep it hidden.  O, Lord, thank You so much for Your magnificent love and grace.  God will do the same to you.  He will remove every prop you hide behind.  Let Him.  It definitely is very painful, but He will become your resurrected victory.

– excerpt from my book Dead, Buried, And A New Life In Christ – Bob Bennett – http://www.LifeUnderGrace.com

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