Monday, December 31, 2007

Is Depression a Demon?

Wow, what a question! I know off batt, that many people would answer a resounding "No!" to that one, but I also know that there are at least as many who are wondering on the inside of them: "What if it is?"
So we must ask ourselves: what then constitutes a demon?
Of course, I am not an expert, and neither most likely are you, but we can look at three different sources to determine what most people assume a demon to be:
1. Current opinion. Now, in North America, it could be loudly touted that there is truly no such thing as demons, but look also at what is portrayed in the movies- this is the imagination of America. And they do believe in demons. Demons are something that want to take over your body, and speak through you. Take for example any horror flick. Demons want to hijack the human power of thought.
2. World history. Of course, every people group has believed in demons, gods, idols, and other "deities". And in these beliefs and stories, we see that the demon (idol, god, deity) is often cruel, desiring to be appeased with offerings and sacrifices, in order for the worshipper to avoid terrible punishment. Why would people have a spiritual sense that there is something else out there (other than us), if there isn't? Many people groups have also believed in aliens. Our "sixth sense" (our spirit) knows that we aren't alone or uninfluenced on this planet.
3. The Bible. The New Testament is a huge source on the topic of demons. The bible tells us basically what is stated above about demons: they are real, they are evil, and they desire to hijack the human being.
Of course, a good story along that line is the account of the mad man of Gadara. This was a man who lived in tombs, and cut himself with rocks. He wailed incessantly, and terrorized everyone in the region. Now the biblical account is clear that this man was demon possessed- he had many demons controlling him. But note also, that he is often referred to as the mad man of Gadara. In other words? This was a poor forsaken soul with a "mental illness".
These demons controlled the man, and (as we said) hijacked him. We see that the demons had driven this man away from society, they had obliterated and destroyed any family life he may have once had. We also see in this story that the demons could speak through the man. In other words: he heard voices. Nowadays, people who hear voices have a medical title. And this is fine: it helps us better understand what is going on with them, and it reveals some of where the trouble is occurring in the brain. But the way Jesus addressed this "mad man" was not at all medical.
Jesus spent the night in a boat on a stormy lake just to get to where this man was. Once Jesus arrived, the demons were no match for him, and the isolated, fearful, mad man of Gederra ran down to the shore, and fell at Jesus feet. Even the demons are subject to Him.
Jesus commanded the demons to come out of the man, and they had no choice. Once the mad man was under new ownership (Jesus), the demons had no legal right to stay, and were cast out! There was a large herd of pigs grazing nearby, and the demons requested permission of Jesus to enter the pigs. (Demons like a host.) Now the demons had no legal reason that they couldn't enter the pigs, so Jesus gave them leave. The pigs did not belong to Jesus, nor did the people in that region believe in Jesus (they were afraid of Him), so He had no right to go around interfering with their pigs. However, he did have right with the mad man. He was a son of Abraham- a child of God. And somewhere deep down, underneath all those demons, he wanted Jesus. I believe it was just as much Jesus summoning the man, as it was the man presenting all of himself to Jesus. The Father sent Jesus to set this man free.
So: I would say depression is a demon. Firstly, it does want to hijack you. It wants to think hopeless, despairing, violent, suicidal thoughts in your mind!! Secondly, depression wants to drive you away from society, just like the mad man of Gederra. It isolates you, because no one understands what you are going through, nor can they. Thirdly, because it wants to use your voice: your thoughts: your power of speech.
Only a few days after I gave birth to my first son, I began to have irrational thoughts. I voiced them to my husband, and he looked at me like I was crazy! Already, in just a few days, the depression was influencing my thoughts, changing my speech, and separating me from those closest to me. It's one aim was to destroy me.

The two years that followed were like falling into an abyss. Maybe you know, maybe you've been there. When I was healed, it was like seeing the sun again for the first time. Like the mad man of Gadara, I left the tombs behind. That story ends by saying that the man was "clothed, and in his right mind". That's what happened to me- I had my right mind.

But! After the healing, I found that there was a "voice" that followed me around, and "tried to get in". It was clear, and distinct (now that I was healed, and not depressed at all) that this voice was outside of me. It was not my own.
But it was like a fly, buzzing around my head, saying things to me like: I'm so tired, I'm so angry, I don't feel good, I can't do this, I can't take this anymore!
I got tired of that real fast, and I knew I couldn't yield to those thoughts. Every time one came into my mind, I stated clearly (and out loud) "I reject that thought, in Jesus' name!" Then the thought (the voice) would leave, and everything was fine! But later, the voice would come back and try again.
One day, after several months of this, I went for a walk by myself and addressed the voice. In no uncertain terms I told it "I am not crazy!!" And that was the end of it. The voice never came back. I think it finally realized that it was no use, I was not going to bite. I was under new ownership now.
Does being depressed mean that you have a demon? No, of course not, but it may mean that you need to be on guard against one! There is no reason that you can't do what the man we read about did, and turn the ownership of your life over to Jesus Christ. Jesus is our freedom from demons.
I want to post tomorrow on what to do about the demon. That of course, is important to know.

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