Monday, 22 March 2010

The root of my depression

They say that hindsight is a beautiful thing. And I must agree with them, whoever 'they' are! While you are going through something, there are certain things that are only made clear when you are on the other side. And although I didn't realise what caused my depression, having overcome my depression through Him, there is so much I understand now that I didn't then.

One of the things I didn't understand then was the root casue of my depression. Sure I understood the things that added to it - stress, bad eating habits, negative thinking etc. But these things did not cause the depression, they just compounded it. The root of my depression was condemnation.

Without knowing it, I was living under the covenant of the law and not under the covenent of grace. I was trying to be a good ' Christian woman' as best as I knew how, and when I failed at this, I condemned myself. Once I had condemned myself, the Accuser agreed with me and kept me so bound up in my condemnation that I spiralled into depression. It was a vicious cycle, and one that at the time, I didn't know how to break.

I still had residue from before being born-again that told me that everytime I sinned, I had to confess my sin, to be forgiven.This was from my Catholic understanding of God the Father. I heard other Christians talk about  how the Holy Spirit convicted them of their sin. And I took this as a truth, that the Holy Spirit does convinct you of your sin. What I didn't understand was that this is a lie. There is nowhere in His Word that says that the role of the Holy Spirit's role is to convict a Christian of their sin. It does say that the Holy Spirit's role is to convict unbelievers of their sin to bring them to a place of repentance, but not the Christian. The Holy Spirit's role in a Christian's life is to convict them of their righteousness in Christ.

Paul says in Romans 8:

1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2 And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. 3 The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature.So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. 4 He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.

I knew this scripture (especially verse 1), but I didn't really understand it. You see, when Christ died on the cross for me, He died for ALL my sins-past, present and future!. But, I thought that when I was born-again, I had forgiveness for my past sins and had been given a clean slate (that's what I was told). In my incorrect understanding of grace, I thought that I then wrote on my slate again every time I sinned, and had to ask for forgiveness all over again.

This thinking was reinforced by a false 'word' that I received from a woman in my first church when I was a new Christian. In my 'naive baby Christian limited' experience, I thought she knew better then me. (I told you that hindsight was a beautiful thing.) At the time I didn't have a car. She phoned me at work, and told me that she had a 'word' for me. Being so new to it all, and hungry, I was excited to hear what the Lord had spoken to this woman about me. She picked me up from work and drove me to her house. The false prophet showed me a scripture in the Old Testament (I can't remember exactly where).

The scripture was talking about how the people had sinned and because of this, the Lord had to turn His face and back on them.She told me that I had sin in my life and because of it, God has had to turn His face away from me, and has turned His back on me. She then told me that I needed to confess my sin to the Lord and left me alone in the room. I remember thinking," I can't think of any great sin that I have committed that would cause God  turn is face away from me". I convinced myself that the woman knew better than me. And from then on I thought that the Father saw me as so hideous each time I sinned, that He couldn't even look at me and would turn His back on me each time I sinned. The seeds were sown.

These seeds grew into a bush of thorns and thistles in my soul. The bush told me:

  • that if I sinned, the Father would turn His back on me. (UNWORTHY)

  • the King did so much for me by dying for me, so I better do so much for him. (GUILT)

  • you have so much sin in your life that the King can never use you. (CONDEMNATION)
No prize for guessing who was fertilising this bush with his lies - the Enemy. Lies, lies and more lies that led me to depressison.

When I started to understand the depths of His grace and that ALL means ALL my sins are forgiven- freedom came.The bush was pulled up by its roots by the Blood of Jesus. He came to my rescue. I no longer condemn myself after an outburst of anger, or another sin (and there are many) that I may commit. Because I now know that my Father does not turn His face aand back on me everytime I sin until I confess my sin. In fact, He doesn't even see my sin anymore. He only sees my righteousness in His son Jesus! I have been set free from my sin. God declared an end to my sin's control over me (verse 3), and I do too! He sees me as beautiful and is enthralled with my beauty. Psalm 45:11- The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord.


Still taking lessons from the King,



12 comments:

  1. Oh Jo, what a beautiful testimony! Isn't it amazing how the Lord works in our life? It is a great blessing to be able to see where we went wrong in the past so that we don't repeat it.
    Blessings to you and your family.

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  2. I can't believe that lady really thought that'd be a great thing to tell a young lady who is still very new in her walk with GOD?! I'm sorry to hear that you battled with depression. It's a hard thing to go through. It's crazy how many women deal with this issue. Some more than others, certainly, but I think it's safe to say a lot of us struggle with it constantly. Great post!

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  3. The Bible says that, "...grace is a schoolmaster..." in other words, a teacher. The Bible also says that, "...you shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you..."

    What this speaks to me is this:
    I no longer have to live under the condemnation(guilt) because I am no longer guilty. God has equipped me with an awesome teacher and the power to overcome sin.

    Yes....I just said that it is possible to overcome sin in this fleshly body. Christ was our example. He was a human just as we are, but because he had God living in Him he was able to live a life without sin and so can you. If you do not break a law, then the law has no hold on you, therefore there is no need to feel guilty.

    I know this is probably a strange idea since so many people believe that it is impossible to live without sin. Let me first clarify that a mistake isn't the same thing as a sin. A sin is when you know what is right and you choose to ignore the truth. Obviously you hadn't sinned, because you didn't even know what this misguided woman was talking about.
    Another thing I would like to clarify is the fact that being angry is not a sin. If it was, then Jesus was a sinner. I don't think he was in a cheerful mood when he drove the money changers out of the temple. The Bible says, "be angry and sin not". My pastor often says, "it's not the birds that fly over your head, but the ones you allow to stop and build a nest that count." Sure I get angry, but I never allow my anger to grow into hatred. I allow my schoolmaster to teach me and I use the strength I have been given in the Holy Ghost to drain my anger and turn it to good.

    I hope that you don't think that I am preaching at you....sincerely I am not.

    I will leave you with this thought....
    The Bible says, "all have sinned". Notice that the wording is past tense. We have all sinned at some point in our lives and there was nothing we could do to pay the penalty. God created us and he knew our condition and weaknesses, so He came down to teach us and empower us.

    One scripture that tells us that we can live without sin is this:
    "We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him." (1 John 5:18 NKJV)

    No need to be depressed, because the God who spoke all things into being is your personal tutor and he loves you.
    Be of good cheer, the enemy has already been defeated. No need to fight dear warrior...simply rest under His wings.

    Love & Prayers from afar,
    Miss Riya

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  4. Praise God that He has shown you His truth and with His power, you have overcome! The enemy must have a field day with false prophets. Your testimony is such an encouragement.

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  5. What a great word for everyone! This is so good!

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  6. love this jo! I too had to overcome some condeming beliefs that I grew up with. Love the freedom this brings

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  7. As you already know...I. LOVE. THIS! It, and the Joseph Princes talks, have come at the right time for me as my mum and I were talking about this exact same thing last night! It's a lesson that we must go to HIS Word first for truth and not rely on well-meaning (and not so well-meaning) people's words for us. The freedom that comes from knowing that our sins have been forgiven and we are not held capture by ours pasts is a true blessing from Him. Love you my dear friend, and THIS. IS. BRILLIANT. STUFF! xoxo

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  8. Thank you for sharing the beautiful freedom that God has given you. It was good for me to read this today.

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  9. Love it and LOVE you.... love you for who you are and the woman you are growing in God to be!!!! YOU GO GIRLFRIEND!!!! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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  10. Whoo-Hooooo!!! Bless His Holy Name! I'm so glad that Jesus is Lord, for He has not only saved us, but continually saves us day by day, moment by moment! Praise Him for He is worthy!Thanks for sharing, Jo!

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  11. Wow! I can't help but think how generous our Father is to grant us these insights - allowing us to see some of the detail that he sees at the time but which we are blind to in the midst of our valley. Also, such a necessary reminder about the power of our words to other believers (and to non-believers!).

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  12. Wow...it's just where I'm at. The sadness after an outburst of anger...that spoke to me. Ashamed, embarrassed, utterly lost in my disgust that I could be 'such' a mother, wife & daughter. I know those moments well. It's a journey and I'm coming to the other side of it!
    Thank you for sharing. And caring enought to share.
    xx Stacey

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts on my lessons!

I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

Love,
Jo Princess Warrior xo