Friday, February 1, 2008
Love, the Answer to Depression
I wanted to share with you a verse that I read today from the Message. I know I've posted on this one before, but somehow when I read it today in the Message, I could see it in a whole, fresh new way.
From John 15...
"You didn't choose Me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won't spoil. As fruit bearers, whatever you ask the Father in relation to Me, He gives you. But remember the root command: Love one another."
That's the part that struck me. In the midst of homeschooling, making meals, doing laundry, managing the whereabouts of my young-uns, making my husband a lunch... have I remembered to love? Have I remembered that this is what puts me on a relational level with God where I can ask Him for anything, and He will do it?
I've been reading through the early ministry of Jesus in my One Year Chronological Bible, and just loving it. Jesus is traveling around declaring "The kingdom of heaven is at hand!" In one of the foot notes, it said "the kingdom of heaven is here."
Can I take you down an exciting bunny trail here? It really does have to do with being healed of depression.
Jesus was preaching: the kingdom of heaven has arrived! How awesome, the arrival of a new King, a Savior- the kingdom of heaven has arrived! But wait, what does 'kingdom' mean? It means: a nation, a rank, or a dominion. Dominion means: sovereignty, or sphere of influence. So what Jesus was actually saying was: The Sovereign Nation of Heaven has Arrived!
How could that be? I know that religeously we've been taught that Jesus' phrase simply meant that "we can someday go to heaven". But when we look at the meaning of the words, we see that He was really saying something entirely different. And what does it mean for us? What does it mean to a woman struggling under the weight of depression?
I don't want to bog you down with intellectual mumbo jumbo, so if you are finding this hard to follow, just skim read, and bear with me.
Do you remember the old post about Adam? (Scroll down and find the part about the garden of Eden.) Well, Adam and Eve were the crown of the creation story. God (who is love) created a beautiful world, and also a very special garden, where Adam and Eve were to live. It was their outpost on earth- the place from which they ruled. You must remember though, that Adam and Eve were slightly different from us. They were created in a sinless environment, and created without sin! None of the rest of us, have ever had that privelage. You see, Adam and Eve were to reign over this pristine new world (a kingdom, a dominion) and to care for the animals that lived there. They were to protect their garden from an enemy.
OK, so we all know how this ends, right? It ends with Adam signing off his authority to rule, and handing it over to a decieving adder. A poisonous snake.
Adam had effectively lost all the authority that God had given him, and now the pristine world was plunged into darkness: chaos. And Adam was afraid. The Father had told Adam that if he ate of the tree of "Knowing Good, as well as Evil" he would die. Now we have mistakenly assumed that God meant that Adam would someday become a very old man, and end up in the grave, like every other man since. But that's not exactly correct, because Adam was a spirit being, as well as physical. He was an eternal spirit, who lived in a perfect, deathless physical body. No sin, no shame, no sickness whatsoever. The only reason any human being has ever died, is because his spirit left his body. A body with a spirit in it will live. There are several reasons that a spirit will leave the home of its physical body: namely that the body becomes unable to house a spirit (it's too damaged), or because the spirit decided to go. Have you ever come across that? Have you ever had a grandparent, who upon the death of the first grandparent decided that they didn't want to live anymore? Sometimes people do that, and they don't usually stay very long.
So back to what I was saying: Adam didn't just recieve a death sentence where someday down the road he would die a physical death. He had died spiritually. Before he ate the fruit, he was naked, and was unashamed. After he ate the fruit, he realized that he was naked. Something had changed. Adam had left the life of God which he knew in the beginning, and had entered into agreement with a snake. It was not what he thought it would be. There was no great revelation or likeness to God as the snake had promised. There was sin, and death, just as the Father had warned him.
God loved Adam and Eve- He couldn't bear to let them go- and he sacrificed an animal. A death in their place. Sin was punishable by death, but God put their sin on the animal, and instituted a plan for the redemption of Adam and Eve. A Real Spotless Lamb would come someday, but until then, all they could do was make the sacrifice. They were fallen flesh. Dead on the inside.
What does it have to do with the kindom of heaven, like we mentioned at the beginning? Well, now the world was under the dominion of the evil one. Adam no longer had control, and although he had entered into a covenant with God, he was now battling a terrible enemy. Often he was losing. This is the true root of all fear and depression and disease. The fact that the perfect had been turned over to a nemesis who hated all of mankind, and wanted to destroy them.
What it has to do with the "kingdom" is that a Savior had to come. A True Lamb. A Man had to come to undo what Adam had done. Adam had sinned, and had to die, but instead of going through with the eternal death of Adam and all of his descendants, the Father sent His own Son, His own Self. He sent Him as a perfect Man, One who was truly able to take Adam's place, as well as ours. When Jesus, the Savior, the Son of Adam appeared, he went around preaching that God's dominion had come. It meant that satan no longer was in authority. Just like an evil dictator, the serpent had been ousted. The true, sinless son of Adam (remember, Jesus was born of a woman, he was a man too),the One to whom all authority rightly belonged had come.
To prove what He was saying, Jesus healed the multitudes, and cast out demons. This was His way of showing that God was in control.
And so, I ask you, is God in control in your life? If you believe this, that Jesus came for your new life: your birth out of the old death sentence of Adam and into the new eternal life of the True Jesus, then you have entered the kindgom that is at hand. It is here now, God's rule, His domination.
The thing is, it doesn't just happen passively, because Jesus turned the authority over to us when He ascended. He gave man back his rightful authority, and he commanded that we go tell everyone that the kingdom of heaven had come- that it was here now! Now man has misused his authority right and left, and often allowed the devil to use it because of his ignorance of God, or simply his laziness. This was not God's plan. It was never God's plan for you to be depressed, or under the dominion of anything for that matter. God's plan was always for you to rule. Now that garden cannot ever be regained, but the "kingdom of heaven" is.
If you are a member of that kingdom, you need to know that there is no depression there. The kingdom of God is what Jesus displayed for us, and Jesus healed everyone.
Even if you are not feeling very healed right now, it doesn't matter. It is the word of God that determines what is true in your life, not your feelings.
You can be free- you can be out from under the dominion of depression. If you are in Christ, then you have been transferred out of the kingdom and dominion of the enemy, and into the kingdom and dominion of Love.