Saturday 19 September 2009

I Don’t Give a Damn If I’m Depressed By Brian Coatney

I was sent this on Facebook. Here is my intro as I passed it on:
......there's some strong secrets here. Actually many sick in their bodies in the Body of Christ suffer the same kind of downward spiral. This is the "trick" whereby things can start changing. I recently posted a section on Derek Prince who ...until the age of 80 fought depression. For him the key was finally getting a revelation that God was His Dad and actually liked him. Whatever your key's probably not going to come while you are depressed that you are depressed that you are depressed....

I Don’t Give a Damn If I’m Depressed
By Brian Coatney

Oops, I shouldn’t have said that, but you know—it’s true. Worry about anything is worse than the thing itself, and millions of people experience some degree of depression, only to then obsess about feeling depressed so much that they give the devil an opportunity to interpret the very thing that God means as His way of opening new doors of faith. Think about Adam and Eve, for example: after falling into sin, they lost all the good gardening they had enjoyed, and Eve received the word that Adam would rule over her and her babies would come forth with great labor and pain. That was depressing news but God’s very opportunity for them to focus on the extraordinary promise that the seed of the woman would bruise the head of the serpent, meaning that a messiah would come.

Think of this too: Romans 8 tells us that the whole world groans and travails in pain, waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God. That’s depressing news except for the fact that Paul also tells us there that if we suffer with Christ, we will also be glorified with Him. Terrible circumstances produce terrible thoughts and terrible emotions, but these open the opportunity for us to believe that God is working glory in those who see Him in charge. So why not look for glory in the very same things that at first depress us?

Who ever became a Christian because everything was going right? The Bible says that we come into the world indwelled by the spirit of error and as children of the devil, which means that we think that the world centers on us, all of our inclinations being self-for-self. We think we’re just fine and independent selves who boss ourselves. And if perchance, others shatter our self image, we go from extreme confidence to self condemnation, which is really reverse pride—“Oh I’m so miserable and sad and depressed: no one suffers like I suffer.”

How will God cut through this kind of deception? He starts with the law, setting forth what is right and wrong, calling infractions sins, so that we might be open that we need a savior for our sins or else perish and go to hell. Some do acknowledge that they need a savior and ask Jesus into their hearts, beginning the Christian life—grateful and ready to serve God and be like Christ, not knowing yet that if they couldn’t keep the law before conversion, how will they keep it afterwards? The deception of independent self runs so deep that it follows us into the Christian life until life wears us down to accept that God created us powerless.

He created us powerless before the Fall; yes, powerlessness is not the result of sin, though when we are slaves of sin, we are powerless over sin. Even as new creatures in Christ, we are powerless, and in heaven we will be powerless forever. Powerlessness is not a result of sin but simply the way God created us, and sin comes from resistance to that fact. God created us to be pop-cans and not the pop, so the can is not the pop but the container of the pop. We learn this from the Bible word vessel, which means a container of water, wine, oil, etc—and in our cases God made us to contain Him and express Him.

Before we know that, our deep, underlying depression comes from not understanding the one thing God made us for. Oh yes, almost all Christians say, “I know that Jesus is in me,” but what they mean is a small Jesus in a great big self that still calls the shots. “Christ in you” still means God helping us instead of being Himself as us, for what else can “Christ in you” mean to God but all of Him in all of us? Therefore, the root of depression comes from believing a lie about why God made us, still supposing that we have to figure everything out and control everything, when in fact we can’t figure anything out and we can’t control anything. We only get insight from the Spirit of God, and we only have self control as a fruit of the Spirit, which means that we don’t control ourselves, the Holy Spirit does, but lets us experience this control as us.

Before anybody starts raving about chemical imbalances and heredity, I’m not saying that body chemistry and hereditary factors can’t contribute to depression, and I’m vehemently not trying to intervene in physician assessments. What I am saying is that even if we feel depressed, for whatever reason, we don’t have to be depressed about depression, and the best, first-move toward resolving all pervading depression is to accept why and how God made us and begin to enjoy our vessel-hood instead of resisting it. That way we’re not trying to do what only God can do: “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure,” as Philippians 2:13 says.

Aren’t we tempted to self will though? Of course. Dan Stone used to say, “Do you know when you won’t be tempted anymore? When they look over at you and say, ‘Don’t he look natural?’” Temptation isn’t sin, so why get all fussed up about cravings and urges, or even the pull to shrink back from God’s will? James tells us to count these as all joy, telling us that the fountain of wisdom is open for those who ask. Therefore, when depression hits, why not accept it and not fight it? Fighting only puts you in a knot, for what you fight, fights you. Years ago, I talked to my friend Sylvia Pearce and told her how depressed I was, only to hear her reply, “Brian, why don’t you just go with it?” This baffled me for it seemed that she was saying that I should wallow in it, whereas she meant, “Why not accept the depression without taking condemnation—and then look for what God is doing?”

Depression, however, doesn’t necessarily go away when we know that we’re pop cans. All kinds of things can cause us to feel depressed. If we say, though, “I shouldn’t feel depressed,” we risk putting ourselves under a law, as if we are independent selves who can manage and control our feelings. We don’t like our negative feelings, and we’re not supposed to like them; that would be foolish. Faith also isn’t a magic wand that changes our feelings. Faith does, however, take our minds off of our emotions and thoughts, and it puts us into a heavenly mindset on the Spirit, wherein we start to lose our former consciousness of how depressed we felt or feel.

Thoughts and feelings are like a big gear-wheel that starts out disengaged from the will, for thoughts and feelings cannot turn into words and actions unless we let the gear-wheel of our souls and bodies engage with the gear-wheel of our wills. Apart from the will, that gear wheel of the soul—all those thoughts and feelings—just spins around with no power. We simply hate it that such a wheel exists, and we want release from the negatives in our souls and bodies. Certainly we do, but we will be depressed if we think that the soul-wheel won’t spin fiercely with its negatives while we’re in this groaning, travailing world. Our relief from the existence of that wheel comes in the next world, whereas in this world, Jesus says, “In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). John says in his first epistle, “For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our hearts” (3:20).

When your soul, your body, or the devil—or any combination of these say to you, “I am depressed,” or “I feel so depressed,” why not say back, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn if I’m depressed.”

MORE LIKE THIS:Christ in me versus Christ as me , and Alphabet Soup


Paul Spencer said...

I have just read this article on Facebook and decided to do a search on Google to find the source - then I stumbled upon your blog.

This note strikes a chord with me because I have struggled with depression for as long as I can remember. I can relate to the sense of powerlessness and the desire to control things that Brian talks about. It is little wonder that depression and anxiety seem to go hand-in-hand.

You wrote:

"I recently posted a section on Derek Prince who ...until the age of 80 fought depression. For him the key was finally getting a revelation that God was His Dad and actually liked him."

This reminds me of something Andrew Wommack said when he related how hs whole life changed adn he experienced peace, when he gained a revelation of just how much God loved him.

I believe that acceptance of self, life and other people - is the key to peace and freedom from depression.

Chris Welch - 07000INTUNE said...

have you met Dan yet? He struggles with depression and has medication for it. Yet he runs the incredible blog Life on Wings.see link.I know its not something he wants to be settled with.
I've added you to the Facebook friends. Thanks for requesting.
What Derek Prince's story shows is that you can "medicate" your problems for decades....but somewhere down there is a key. Ironic really that as good as Derek's warfare knowledge was which he spent a good deal of time imparting to the much was just coming out of the "oppression of a warped idea of God". Sin has made us incredibly complex beings with layers and layers of hidden factors which need the light of God's love to heal.