May 18, 2010

Prescription for Depression

As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. I thirst for God, the living God. When can I go and stand before Him? Day and night I have only tears for food, while my enemies continually taunt me, saying 'Where is this God of yours?' My heart is breaking as I remember how it used to be: I walked among the crowds of worshippers, leading a great procession to the house of God, singing for joy and giving thanks amid the sound of a great celebration! Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise Him again - my Savior and my God! Now I am deeply discouraged, but I will remember You - even from Mount Hermon, the source of the Jordan, from the land of Mount Mizar. I hear the tumult of the raging seas as Your waves and surging tides sweep over me. But each day the Lord pours His unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing His songs, praying to God who gives me life. 'O God my Rock,' I cry, 'Why have You forgotten me? Why must I wander around in grief, oppressed by my enemies?' Their taunts break my bones. They scoff, 'Where is this God of yours?' Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise Him again - my Savior and my God! Psalm 42

Life can be hard on us and when things don't happen the way we want them to or expect them to, we can get very disappointed. As a result of the disappointment, we get discouraged. Left unchecked, that discouragement turns into depression, which is anger turned inward.

The cure for depression is a prescription plan that the Lord gave me based on the Psalm above:

Pill 1 - hope in God, not man

Pill 2 - remember what God's done previously for you

Pill 3 - praise Him

Pill 4 - encourage yourself

Following this prescription, we can put depression in it's place, often before it even begins. If you are battling with life's experiences and find yourself in a state of depression, odds are you are an encourager. For the enemy throws the opposite of what we are at us.

It's time we start encouraging ourselves like we do others. We all need to be uplifted sometimes.

Prayer: You are the lifter of our heads, Lord (Ps 3:3), so I pray that You help us, Father, to put on the garment of praise for the spirit of mourning and heaviness (Is 61:3), to arise from the depression and prostration that circumstances have kept us - help us to rise to a new life (Is 60:1) and I pray that You rejoice over us with Your joy, oh Lord (Zeph 3:17). Thank You that weeping only remains for a night - joy does come in the morning (Ps 30:5). Help us to praise You, Lord, whether we feel like it or not - for You are always worthy of our praise. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Need someone to talk to?  National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

May 12, 2010

Do You Hate Yourself?

If we don't forgive - God does this: Matthew 6:14,15 - For if you forgive people their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment], your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment], neither will your Father forgive you your trespasses.

If we don't forgive - the enemy does this: 2 Corinthians 2:10,11 - If you forgive someone, I will also forgive them. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we know very well what his plans are.

We are commanded in the Word to love one another, but I ask you, do you love yourself, or do you hate yourself?

When I first got saved, the Lord brought me through deliverance of many things. When He started walking me through forgiveness, I heard a sermon on it. Like I try to do with all sermons, I wanted to apply it to myself. So I asked the Lord who I needed to forgive.

I wasn't expecting the answer I got, 'yourself'. Ok. Had never even heard of that before. So many don't know that we need to forgive ourselves. But as the Holy Spirit started ministering to me, I realized that I hated myself. So how in the world could I forgive myself? I had hated myself so much and what I had become that I didn't even clean the mirrors in my house, for I couldn't stand to look at myself. I sure couldn't look in my eyes, 'cause they are the windows to the soul. And it just wasn't very pretty what I'd see.

After the Lord revealed to me that I needed to forgive myself, I reluctantly chose to, by an act of my free will (not my feelings, because I didn't want to) to forgive myself. The Lord then led me to stand in His Presence for a minute to actually receive that forgiveness. I felt such a weight lift from off my shoulders, I couldn't believe it. Coming to Him and asking for forgiveness set me free. Period.

All these years I've subconsciously been trying to punish myself by hating myself and holding on to the guilt. I was trying to make up for the work that Jesus had already done at the Cross for me. That work was enough, Jesus didn't need my help. Jesus became the guilt offering for me, so I don't have to carry around all that guilt and condemnation for all my sins and wrong choices that I've made in life. Since Jesus did all the work for me at the Cross, who am I to say I can't forgive myself?

The Word actually says that we are loosed to the tormentors when we don't forgive (see Matthew 18:21-35). I've felt that torment and at times through my spritual eyes could see it. It's scary. And the enemy has plans to use us not forgiving ourselves to cause us harm and all sorts of pain and anguish. Some cut themselves. Some commit suicide. Some abuse others. All trying to relieve the feelings of torment from within.

We even wear masks to make us look different to people, thus more acceptable. Sometimes we wear too much makeup, or hang our hair over our eyes, or pretend to be something that we're not, all because we're hoping that people don't see what we believe to be the ugly inside if they could really see us/knew us.

We forgive others every day. Can we not do the same for ourselves? Isn't it time we forgive ourselves, and let ourselves off the hook? For whom the Son sets free, is free indeed!

Prayer: Help us, Lord to see ourselves as You see us. We choose to lay down our anger, bitterness, resentment, self-hatred, guilt, condemnation, and shame for ourselves and wear the robe of righteousness that you have provided for us when we give our life to You. We choose to forgive ourselves. I love You, Lord. And thank You for helping me to be able to face myself, live with myself, and love myself in a healthy way, 'cause it's been a long time coming. For once in my life, I want to live.

May 10, 2010

Step Away ... from that Stale Cracker!

John 8:36 - If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

When we become involved with someone, we form ties, called soul ties, with them. A soul tie is a tie or a bond between two people in the realm of the soul, which is the mind, will and emotions. There can be good soul ties - that are healthy, and bad soul ties - which can be very destructive.

We have a soul tie with everyone we've slept with and those in close non-sexual proximity, too.

Godly soul ties are those in which we lift up and encourage each other and not put down, abuse, take advantage of, or control each other. These are healthy relationships.

And then there's the ungodly soul ties. Maybe you got involved with a person that abused you, controlled you, kept you from your family and friends. Or maybe you were molested/raped or had some other type of bad experience with someone.

Maybe you've split up with a person that wasn't abusive, maybe they were good and you messed up. Or you both mutually decided to go your separate ways or divorce. Or maybe they passed away.

If you have ungodly soul ties in your life, you need to break them now. For those who have been raped - the soul ties need to be broken now. For every person you've ever sleep with, if you're not in a godly relationship with them right now, it needs to be broken. No need to hold on to that person or persons any more. It's safe to let them go.

For bad soul ties, if God's delivered you from a relationship with someone, don't lower yourself by driving by their house to see who the new 'miss thang' is in their driveway now. You're not just belittling yourself, you might be keeping soul ties attached that way, that you need to be cutting and leaving severed.

Keep it real ... you'll be fine without that person that hurt you. No need to reminess or hope for the way it used to be. If God's removed someone from your life, let that stale cracker go! Remembering those few little good things about the relationship or feeding thoughts that 'it really wasn't all that bad' or longings for them can open a door the Lord probably wants to remain closed. And it can unintentionally cause you to go running back. Don't do it!

Quit dredging up that old stuff. Step away from that stale cracker. God's got something new for you, but you have to let go of that old thing first. Were they really all that great, anyway? Were they ... not working, unattentive, abusive, rude, demeaning ... PLEASE, PEOPLE ... don't go back to that! Believe better of yourself than that. If you keep going back, you're basically abusing yourself just as much as they were.

Seemingly innocent conversations, sharing intimate vulnerable details and becoming emotionally dependent on a person and always thinking about them and thinking that you can't live without them are all signs that you need to step back and re-evaluate your relationship with that particular person.

Be careful who you hang around and be careful who you share your heart with.

Proverbs 4:23 - Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

Prayer: Father, in the name of Jesus we pray that by way of Your Holy Spirit You bring to our remembrance anyone that we need to break a soul tie with. We call out each name to You, Lord and we break that soul tie with _________ in the name of Jesus. We pray that the tie stays severed and that we don't try to go back to try to reattach them. We believe in You, Lord and trust You and Your judgement as far as who to let into our hearts and lives and who not to. Thank You, Lord for protecting us and keeping us from getting involved to deep with those You don't want us to. In Jesus' name, Amen.

May 3, 2010

He Heals Us ... Anyway!

Isaiah 57:18,19 (NLT) - I have seen what they do, but I will heal them anyway! I will lead them and comfort those who mourn.Then words of praise will be on their lips. May they have peace, both near and far, for I will heal them all, says the Lord.
For those of us who think we deserve where we're at or what we're experiencing because of what we've done ... we need to take the above scriptures to heart and receive them personally for ourself.

It's the Lord speaking in these scriptures, and He wants us to know that He hasn't forgotten us or left us to wallow in the mess we've made for ourself.

Instead of saying 'you made your bed, so lie in it', our unfailing, merciful, loving Father wants us to know that because we're His, He's going to rescue us out of that in which we've gotten ourselves in to, and He's going to heal us and give us peace ... anyway ... even though we may have put our on selves in the position we're

A good friend of mine wrestled with guilt for years because she married a man that she knew the Lord was telling her not to. She suffered years of torment and abuse at that mans hand that could have been avoided if only she had obeyed the voice of the Lord.

Thank God, just like these scriptures say, even though she disobeyed and got herself into the situation that she was in, the Lord had mercy and compassion on her ... and got her out. He's since brought her much needed healing and peace. Now she's free ... and the words of praise are on her lips.

We serve a loving and compassionate God, and when we submit ourselves to Him, He restores us, bringing healing into our lives. He’s gonna take that bad situation, turn it around, and use it for good.

In verse 20 of the same chapter, it says that for those who choose to still reject the Lord, they'll be like the restless sea, and they will have no peace.

I received this word from the Lord on Sunday, and I shared it with the friend mentioned above just before we went into the prison in Dayton to do the chapel service. The Lord led her to share this with the inmates and I believe that they can identify with this because so many beat theirselves up and live with guilt and believe that they deserve the punishment of being in prison for what they did to get there ... maybe according to the law, but God STILL forgives and restores - regardless.

Our sweet, Heavenly Father's gonna love us out.

It's time we forgive ourselves, let it go and move forward from here.

Prayer: We humble ourselves before You this day, Lord. Thank You so much, my Almighty Father, for loving us out and for taking the Holy Ghost broom to clean up our messes and to right the wrong decisions we've made in life. Thank You for healing us despite ourselves and giving us peace. Help us choose to forgive ourselves and move on. Amen.