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Breaking Free from the Dungeon of Depression


In 21st century America, we hear that word every day. While depression takes on a variety of forms, a “blanket” definition would be…

“the state of being depressed–a feeling of let down, of hopelessness.”

It can affect the body. It can cause an overwhelming sense of fatigue to come upon a person. In fact, there are studies that indicate that many psychological neuroses, as well as some fatigue diseases, are the results of living with depression.

A permanent cure for depression?

Is there such a thing? Statistics show that multitudes of Americans are hoping for the quick cure. In 2001, it was estimated that 28 million Americans were taking anti-depressants. In 2016, studies suggest that one in six Americans are on some kind of psychiatric drug, a figure nearly double the 2001 number.

When Jesus began His ministry, His very first sermon included a quote from Isaiah 61…

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. 
~ Luke 4:18-19

In Isaiah 61 (the original passage Jesus quoted), He goes on to say…

“… And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

The Bible doesn’t call it depression. The Bible calls it the spirit of heaviness. There is a demon involved here. David called it “being cast down.” Depression is a state of mourning in your life, a state of heaviness over circumstances. You are under the circumstances of your life. A great many things can open your life to the spirit of depression; circumstances, illness, negative and unhealthy thought patterns, bad (sinful) habits, rejection, death and loss, lack of direction, failure, and loss of passion for God can all be contributing factors that allow the enemy to gain access to your mind. The symptoms of depression as as varied as the causes; feelings of panic, unrelenting dissatisfaction,  unstable emotions, oppression, and feelings of being overwhelmed or forgotten are all signs that you are heading down a dark and lonely road of depression.

So how do you hit the brakes? How do you recover when depression has you bound up? What can put you on the path to positive spiritual and mental health?

In order to be healed from depression, you must experience a fresh work of the Holy Spirit in your life! Isaiah 61 (then again in Luke 4) tells how Jesus would come to the depressed, enslaved, and the broken…

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord anointed Me….”

Jesus came with an anointing, a yoke-breaking, depression-crushing, life-giving, freedom-announcing anointing. All you need to do is ask Him for it. Then ask for a fresh word from the Lord. He says, “I’ve come to proclaim. I’ve come with a word.” He is our help and our salvation!

The third thing you need is a fresh worship offering to God.

“Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. ~ Hebrews 13:15 (NKJV)

Remember Jesus says to, “Put on a garment of praise.” Don’t be afraid to let God do something different in your worship life.

You say, “Well, Brother Ron, I just praise Him in my heart.”

I can guarantee that when you get up tomorrow morning at 6 a.m., no matter how tired you are, you will get dressed for work. You can’t walk into your workplace with no clothes on, saying, “I didn’t feel like getting dressed; I thought I’d just skip that today.” God said, “I’ll give you a garment of praise.” You put on a garment whether you feel like it or not. Your heart may be heavy. You may have been through some painful stuff, but shout to the Lord anyway.

The devil can’t take away the blood of the cross. Satan can’t take away the resurrection of Jesus. He can’t take away your salvation. Proclaim along with Job…

Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him…”
~ Job 13:15a  (NKJV)

“For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth”
~ Job 19:25 (NKJV)

This devil of depression must be rooted out, or its impact will be devastating. If the depressed father doesn’t take these steps to overcome it, it could take his wife and it could take his children. Grandmother, it could take your grandchildren. You had better get rid of it.

I used to have to fight this spirit of depression every Christmas. Because of difficulties in my youth and the memories that would flood me, I feel myself begin to withdraw even as my children and friends around me were celebrating Jesus’ coming. God has used my kids to pull me out of this seasonal attack of depression.

Demons can’t possess Christians, but they can obsess, compress, and depress you. They can live in you like a rat or a cockroach. You have to drive them out. I didn’t get rid of them by telling them, “Well, I’m just so sorry you’re here.”  I just told them where to go. “Get out of my life, heaviness!”  And by the power and blood of Jesus, those spirits must flee!

~ Adapted from my book
Everyone’s Guide to Demons and Spiritual Warfare
Copyright © 2010 Ron Phillips
Published by Charisma House Book Group


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The Nature of Scorpions

Recently, I saw a post on social media in which a person, obviously hostile to Christianity, was taking scripture completely out of context trying to make a point (that, incidentally, was entirely contrary to scripture and the teachings of Jesus). When a person of faith chimed in on the post and, respectfully, called them out on their error, the hostile voice responded by chastising this person with yet more out-of-context scripture. The exchange was almost comical, had it not been so disturbing. It reminded me of the joke about the man who was looking for the will of God for his life. He said, “God, I need you to show me what to do with the rest of my life.” The man then proceeded to close his eyes, open his Bible, and drop his finger onto a verse. He opened his eyes and read the words…

“… And he (Judas) went out and hanged himself.” (Matthew 27:5)

“No, no, no. That can’t be it!” said the man. “Ok, God. I’m going to try again.” He repeated the exercise, and read…

“… Go and do thou likewise.” (Luke 10:37)

Exasperated, the man cried out, “God, I’m serious here! One last try… please!” One final time, the man repeated his ritual, and looking at the newest scripture, read these words…

“… What you are about to do, do quickly.” (John 13:27)

The Strength of Error

Error is a pervasive disease. So much of what we see and hear through media is nothing but out-and-out lies. That’s why we need to be zealous for the truth in living it as well as embracing it and preaching it to those who are around us. Those in the grip of error often do not see it. We must bring them to the light of truth. Those who are growing in the LORD will be able to discern error.

The spirit of the Antichrist is at work in our nation. This spirit denies the deity of Christ and stands against everything we believe in. It breeds lawlessness and the breakdown of society. Secular humanism is the polite name we give to this spirit of error.

Dr. Bill Bright, the late director of Campus Crusade for Christ, once said…

Have you ever wondered why our society is becoming more secular, why prayer and Bible reading are no longer welcome in our public schools? The religion of humanism is largely responsible. Have you ever wondered why Americans are much more tolerant today of sexual freedom, homosexuality, incest, and abortion? The religion of humanism is largely responsible.”

James 5:19-20 warns us that error leads to death.

Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.”

The moment we correct a lie, or refuse to embrace one, we are fighting against sin multiplying. However, if we allow the lie to run rampant, we are going to see “spiritual corpses” falling all around us.

scorpionI think of the childhood story of the scorpion and the frog. The scorpion asked the frog to carry him across the river. The reluctant frog, fearing the death-dealing sting, tried to politely decline, but was finally convinced by the eloquent words of the scorpion. When they reached the middle of the river, the scorpion stung the frog. “Why did you do that??? Now we will both die!” cried the frog as he felt the poison sear through his body. The scorpion answered, “But it is in my nature to sting.”

It is the nature of Satan to destroy. Maybe you are reading this, and have refused the free gift of salvation. Maybe you have lived for years proclaiming yourself to be a Christian, but inwardly, you know there has never been a true change in your life. If you would like to have a personal relationship with Jesus, He is a prayer away. Just pray…

Lord, forgive me for believing a lie for so long. I now believe that without Christ, I am lost. I receive His death and resurrection as my only hope. I accept Jesus as Lord and Savior of my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Maybe you are reading this, and you have been feeling the temptations offered in the infectious pull of error. Maybe you have been considering allowing the smooth-talking scorpion to ride on your back. While it may seem harmless at first, the “scorpion of error” has a painful sting that is inherent in it’s very nature. Don’t listen to the lies! Allow yourself to embrace only the truth. Stand on the living Word of God, and the righteous truth it contains. Choose a life of freedom and promise, based on God’s principles. Stand on the power and authority of the Word of God, and pray this prayer…

In Jesus’ name, I bind the spirit of error, and command you to leave my mind. I refuse and reject all lies and twisted thoughts you have brought to me. I here and now in my life loose the spirit of truth. I love you, Jesus. Thank You for setting me free from the lies of the enemy.

If you would like more information on what it means to have a relationship with Jesus, or to speak to someone, simply follow this link.

May God richly bless you as you walk in your new-found freedom!

Pastor Ron

— Today’s blog was, in part, adapted from my book,
Everyone’s Guide to Demons & Spiritual Warfare