Depression and Intimacy with God

The intense longing, the loneliness that we have all felt at some point, tugs at our heart and we know there has to be more, that this can’t possibly be all there is.

I wonder if this feeling of lonesomeness is not what drags people into depression and unless it is stopped, to death. In that regard I was thinking of the murder/suicide death of the young man at Sandy Hook.

There are many who are seeing counselors, psychiatrists, or psychologists because they can’t make any sense out of their lives and they feel lost and alone, depressed and disappointed how things have turned out.

As a believer in Jesus Christ I also see this in the church, a place where it should be impossible for that to happen, and yet many sit in the pews Sunday after Sunday lost in the fog of depression with little way out other than to be drugged to survive.

When God created man and woman it was because He wanted fellowship. Many years ago people used to fellowship together at work and after work, at school in clubs and playing sports etc., this camaraderie is, for the most part, missing today because of the perversion and persecution against what is right. It is my belief that we have entered into the time when good will be seen as evil and evil will be seen as good, as the Bible says.

How has this happened?  I think it is because every man is doing what is right in his own eyes.  Truth is not important, most things are relative and there seems to be little regard for the other guy.

When families gather together electronics take the place of conversation. I recently got an e-mail that showed people in many different situations and each person was gazing at his phone or texting. Human interaction one on one or in groups is what gives us that sense of belonging, that sense that all is well with the world. It was for this “fellowship” that we were created. Lacking that we are slowly being isolated from one another and becoming dependent upon unfeeling mechanisms.

Please hear me…I am not against modern inventions. I have an iPad, a PC,  and a cell phone, I enjoy them and I use them all the time.  But, I have relationships with and build relationships with God and with people in order that my life may be whole.  I have something to contribute in this earth and so do you.  Without relationship and fellowship you become an island, this is not what God envisioned when He created you.

Recently I have talked with a number of people who are dealing with depression at some stage or other, without exception these folks have lost their way. Somehow they got off the track, off point and are wandering in an unfamiliar land of darkness. They have lost the signposts that tell them which way to go.

I would not set out on a journey by car without knowing where I was going.  I would have a map or a G.P.S. to assist me if I was hesitant.  Someone said, “If you don’t know where you are going any road will get you there.” True. Also, when you are driving, focus will prevent you from having an accident.  How much more important is our focus spiritually.

In the New Year many of us resolve to do better, to be better, to accomplish something for ourselves, but very often these desires get lost in the dailiness of life.

My pastor encouraged us to make it our goal to get closer to God, to press in, to make changes in this new year we have been given, to leave the past behind. It is so easy to become satisfied with where we are, even if we are not happy with it.  God instructed us to be content, but we can’t be satisfied with where we are, for to be satisfied is to become stagnant, to not grow, to accept the status quo and not challenge ourselves to move ahead.

Years ago a dear lady discipled me for three years. Today we would call it mentored. She gave me the best piece of advice I have ever gotten, it was this: “God accepts you the way you are when you come to Him, but He still invites you to grow. Your part is to let Him work in you what pleases Him. Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him, He will finish what He started.”

I took that advice and added this to it…I submit myself to Him every day, I resist the enemy in Jesus name, at the same time, and I choose to rest in what Jesus did for me.  I call it active rest.  I have a race to run and I am to run it patiently…patient with myself, my flaws, my weaknesses and those of the people around me. I am to forgive as I am forgiven…myself and others, because God has forgiven me a much greater debt than anyone could afflict upon me. I am to draw near to God and He will draw near to me.

Have you ever seen a person that you were instantly drawn to and you wondered why? As you examine your heart motive before the Lord and then pursue a relationship with that person they may or may not respond to you. God created us, He loves us and is drawn to each of us as individuals, He wants a relationship with us, but He will not force it upon us because He is a gentleman. The “ball is in our court”, so to speak.

How refreshing, fulfilling and exciting when you can begin a relationship with another human being, another of God’s special people. The Bible talks about God’s love for us, how He has such great joy that He sings over us. Incredible!

Sometimes, all it takes in relationship is for the other person to know that you care for them, that you are interested in knowing them, for them to reach out to you.

God has let us know, in no uncertain terms, that He is more than interested in us, He loved mankind so much that He sent Jesus to pay a price that only He could pay so that “many sons” could be brought Home! Our Father in Heaven is waiting patiently for the precious fruit of the earth. I want to bring a bunch with me, how about you?

The cure for depression…intimacy with God.

If your heart is not yielded, if you have not surrendered all, if you have not laid it all on the altar, then there will be hindrances that will keep you from Him and these will be open doors for the kingdom of darkness to invade your life.

“God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.” But, He must cloak Himself in a cloud of darkness when He is around men, otherwise the sin in mankind would cause us to disintegrate, it was His love and kindness that caused Him to come to earth and wear a flesh suit so we would see what He was like.

Tommy Tenney says that God basically plays Hide and Seek with us…not that we should not find Him, but so we can find Him. The poem, “The Hound of Heaven”, speaks of God chasing us and us “finding Him, finding us.” He is the original lover who pursues His beloved, but our part is to seek and the promise is that we will find.

Today if you find yourself depressed choose to pursue a relationship with God.  He is the answer to the loneliness you feel.  “God is for you, who can be against you.”

Application:

Pray verbally, ask for understanding and then choose to receive it.  Start reading the Bible in the gospel of John, read it over and over and over until you understand what God did for you through Jesus.  It may take days depending of the depth of your depression.   Then move to I John and do the same thing.  Point being:  God Loves You!  “If you had been the only one who needed to be saved, Jesus would have died just for you.”

Get alone with God and out loud begin to ask Him to be with you, to forgive you, and to help you.   Out loud tell the “adversary”, the “accuser of the brethren”, you are not his property and you have decided you are going to resist him and all of his ways, then tell him he must go.  Ask God to send His angels to help you in the battle.  He will.

God is light and when you break through the darkness in your soul by drawing near to God, darkness will flee.    But, here is the key:  You have to be 100% willing.  God does not play games.  He will not join your pity party.  When you get serious, He will take you at your word.  Then and only then will the change your spirit man desires, come.

It is the struggle that Paul spoke about in Romans 7 between soul and spirit.  So many of us want to feel and see, but walking with the Lord is by faith, not by sight or feeling.  If freedom and liberty is what you want then you can have it, but you have to get over yourself, your flesh, because it will buck you every step of the way and you must see yourself crucified with Christ and alive IN HIM.

I walked this road, I know whereof I speak, trust me on that!

I am,

Joyfully His, blessed to be a blessing…still growing up.

PS:  Sarah Young, in “Jesus Calling”…”Fill up the spare moments of your life with praise and thanksgiving.  This joyous discipline will help you live in the intimacy of my Presence.”

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