Sunday, January 6, 2008
More on the Demon of Depression
Okay, so knowing that depression is a demon does not neccessarily mean that you have a demon. It doesn't mean that a demon has you. What it means is, that there is an enemy to your mind, who wants to operate in your life- to control you. "It" wants to influence you to the point that it can control what you say, do, think, and how you feel. If it controls how you feel, it will control how you act.
How does this work? Well the Word says that you are a slave to the one that you agree to obey. It means that when depressed thoughts come, if you just lay down for them, then you are offering yourself- you are yielding. He is saying that when you yield, you become the slave.
It makes me think of our golden lab again. (The things you can learn from a dog!) She and I have an ongoing contest, to see which of us is really the top dog. I try to ensure that she knows it is me, but she will wait till I'm not looking, and then lay down on top of my garden! (On purpose, because she knows I don't want her to.) I make sure I roll her over on her back (to show my great prowess), but later when I'm not around, she will poop on my front lawn, and send the message that: "I don't yield. I am the top dog". However, when we had a male german shepherd named Jake (he recently passed away), he would bite Chica (the golden lab) on the head, and dominate her in a way that truly convinced her: "Nope, I am really not the top dog after all!" She would yield herself to Jake: she was at his whim. A slave.
Now that's what a demon of depression tries to do: it tries to strong arm you, scare you, bite you on the head a bit, till you feel like it's just not worth it. That you may as well give in. BUT, when you don't resist the depressed thoughts, you are yielding. You are offering yourself as a slave to depression.
So what do we do? Well I'm sure you remember some Hollywood movie where there was an exciting exorcism, and a great showdown between a Catholic priest, and a demonized woman. Well, this doesn't have to be like that. What is happening here, is a fight for your heart. A battle between the Lord Jesus, and the disobedient, the law-breaker: satan.
Your heart is like a house- a clay pot- a temple. It has the capacity to contain things. You are in charge of what you put in it. Oh, it's true that other people will make contributions, but you have the final say: you determine what will stay or go. Like a shopping cart that you place items in, or put items back on the shelf, your heart has the capacity to contain, and you have the authority to reject.
Things get into your heart through your eyes, your ears, your thoughts; your body's experiences and reactions. You can store things in that heart of yours without ever realizing it, or intending to. But why is your heart so important? Why would satan (or a demon of depression) want your heart?
It is because your heart is where your life comes from. It is full of the things that you will say, and what you say will determine the course of your life. Not convinced? Well what about people who are always going around saying: "I just know I'm going to get that flu again, you just see if I don't!" Now don't you know that those people are the people who will get that flu? Have you ever met someone who kept saying that they would die young, and then they did? My dad (sorry to have to tell a story on you, Dad!) had a puppy of which he said (almost daily) "I just know this puppy is going to get run over too". Can you guess what happened to that puppy?
So I say all this to show you that your heart is your house, your home, the centre of your being. You can invite Jesus into it, and ask Him to clean it up, or you can keep it in the condition that demons like, and they will be more than happy to make your life miserable. Remember, if you offer yourself to obey them, you become their slave.
In practical terms, what does this mean?
It means that you can't afford to harbour any unforgiveness in your heart. When you fail to forgive, you are not imprisoning the other person, as much as you are imprisoning yourself! Science has shown that people who forgive have a higher rate of recovery than people who harbour bitterness. It's the same for anger, or grief, or depression. A person who loves is healthier, and lives longer than someone who won't forgive.
If your heart is the house, and you intend to keep it in a condition that isn't favourable to demons, you will have to forgive. You will have to love.
A big key to my healing was in my forgiving. It wasn't easy, it wasn't something that the other person deserved; there wasn't any promise of the other person changing. But what changed was me. I was free. I began to see that if this person never met my needs, it would be OK. God was my perfect heavenly Father, and all I needed was Him.
Boy, I still don't feel like I'm done with this topic yet, and I hope we can do many more. Especially on forgiveness. What do you think?