Monthly Archives: August 2011
“She girds herself with strength [spiritual, mental, and physical fitness for her God-given task] and makes her arms strong and firm.”
Depression can cause spiritual, mental and physical exhaustion. I saw a television advertisement that said, “Depression hurts.” Yes, it does because we can become paralyzed literally in our thinking, becoming so low that some have attempted to take their lives because of it. Depression is a tool that the enemy uses to stop progress in our thoughts. Thoughts of past hurts, of family woes, financial concerns, and abusive relationships can all take their toll on an already weak mind. When I say weak it is because depression seems to hit hardest when we’re feeling down about ourselves already, low self-esteem and self-hatred dealt cold hands. Sometimes it can go unnoticed, and it might have succeeded if had not been for the ultimate battle that came to claim its victim. Today I want to talk about THE CAST DOWN SPIRIT, because it is the in-between area that blends in with the happiest of times and the worst of times. However, it is the most hurtful because it is here that this silent enemy almost always wins unless we find strength to fight it. Depression is the number one cause of disability in women
We need to talk about it because there are some who even in this day and age with all the medical treatments and therapies available still find it hard to speak out that there is something wrong. This to me is the greatest tool that Satan uses against women and if you were brought up in an environment where secrets were kept makes it even harder to speak out. I want to go in-depth about this silent killer of good thoughts and see what the word is saying to us about gaining strength, but first let’s look at what thing really is doing to our minds.
Take a look:
What is Depression?
Minor depression is characterized by having symptoms for 2 weeks or longer that do not meet full criteria for major depression. Without treatment, people with minor depression are at high risk for developing major depressive disorders.
Some forms of depression are slightly different, or they may develop under unique circumstances. However, not everyone agrees on how to characterize and define these forms of depression. They include:
Psychotic depression, which occurs when a person has severe depression plus some form of psychosis, such as having disturbing false beliefs or a break with reality (delusions), or hearing or seeing upsetting things that others cannot hear or see (hallucinations).
Postpartum depression, which is much more serious than the “baby blues” that many women experience after giving birth, when hormonal and physical changes and the new responsibility of caring for a newborn can be overwhelming. It is estimated that 10 to 15 percent of women experience postpartum depression after giving birth.1
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is characterized by the onset of depression during the winter months, when there is less natural sunlight. The depression generally lifts during spring and summer.
Bipolar disorder, also called manic-depressive illness, is not as common as major depression or dysthymia. Bipolar disorder is characterized by cycling mood changes—from extreme highs (e.g., mania) to extreme lows (e.g., depression).
Symptoms of depression include:
• Little interest or pleasure in doing things
• Feeling down, depressed or hopeless
• Trouble falling or staying asleep or sleeping too much
• Feeling tired or having little energy
• Poor appetite or overeating
• Feeling bad about yourself, that you are a failure or have let yourself or your family down
• Trouble concentrating on things, such as reading the newspaper or watching television
• Moving or speaking so slowly that other people could have noticed or the opposite in that you are so fidgety or restless that you
Have been moving around a lot more than usual
• Thoughts that you would be better off dead or of hurting yourself in some way
Women may be more likely to report certain symptoms, such as:
• Somatization (the physical expression of mental distress)
• Increases in weight and appetite
• Outwardly expressed anger and hostility
Sometimes these feelings may seem normal, especially when we don’t know anything of a calm environment or may have had them early on. They were noticed them at their first onset, but were unrecognized or ignored. I was 20 years old when I first experienced this sad feeling. As I look back on it now it came in with the thought, “I should be married now.” Wow, what a difference time has made and what a blessing when wisdom comes…Thank you God, Amen. More lessons, yet more wisdom to go.
“Why are you cast down, O my inner self? And why should you moan over me and be disquieted within me? Hope in God and wait expectantly for Him, for I shall yet praise Him, Who is the help of my [sad] countenance, and my God.”
Even David was face depression because he asks himself, “Why are you cast down, O my inner self?”
Cast down means to be depress or as/like sinking and this verse gives us where this is taking place in our spirit (KJV says soul). It’s a very hurt feeling that comes along with thoughts but when first experienced it comes on so suddenly that one has to question why? Sometimes there doesn’t have to be anything going on and there it is. It’s reminds me of someone who is baffled about something and cocks their head to one side because they’re trying to figure it out but can’t quite pinpoint it, that’s the response to it; bewilderment.
“And why should you moan over me and be disquieted within me?”
I want to point out here two other words that can help us to relate to this condition because sometimes we become sorrowful in our spirit and can’t explain it. We are blessed that God has given us the wisdom to seek after the Him…we should want to know more, because He is showing up the enemy tactics. David use some solemn words to describe what he is feeling.
Moan: the Strong’s dictionary describes it this way, it’s clamorous, to make a loud sound, rage, tumultuous. There’s this episode of “I love Lucy” where Lucy, Ricky, Fred, and Ethel are traveling to California and they have car trouble to stop over at this little rinky dink gas/motel/diner. It’s the middle of the night and their starved and have no other choice but to stay over in this run down roach motel. They pay for sandwiches and the only room available so that the 4 have to share it. While the owner is outside trying to fix their car, they then find out that the cheese on the sandwiches is like rubber so they have to go hungry. So they go to their room and try to get some sleep, but the beds are a mess and uncomfortable, and then when they finally do manage to calm themselves enough to rest a loud train comes through which causes the beds to vibrate and move to the center of the room. Then they try to leave the place and find that their steering wheel has been stolen, and the owner just happens to have one just like theirs for sale; that’s a bad day. Similarly, that scene you’ve just witnessed is what it’s like when we can’t control our thoughts and emotions…seems that everything around us spiraling out of control.
David questions his downcast spirit and then he tells it the solution and what he will do, he says, “Hope in God and wait expectantly for Him, for I shall yet praise Him, Who is the help of my [sad] countenance, and my God.”
This is important because this moment of questioning and decision is where Satan uses our sin against us…this is where some will run back to the sin that so easily besets…alcohol and other substance, adultery, promiscuity. Remember that the purpose of the downcast spirit is to tie you up and force you back into to bondage; or keep you there if you aren’t delivered but have walking that way.
Where are we headed?
It’s either sink or swim, because we can choose to give in to this trick of the enemy or seek God in the middle of the sinking sand. We can either lay on the couch of the enemy or seek God through this sea of sadness so He can bring us to a place of wealth in our minds. Yes, I say wealth because if we are depressed then something has been severed from the promise of God. So it is the thought of where we are headed that seems most important at this point, so let’s look at the word of God:
“She girds herself with strength [spiritual, mental, and physical fitness for her God-given task] and makes her arms strong and firm.”
I have to tell you that when I look at the Proverbs 31 woman the way for the woman of God seems auspicious or favorable because God has given us a clear picture of what we will be like as we follow Him to wholeness. But this picture to me or could seem to others who haven’t attained this promise yet…a far reach. I believe that with all else we have to conquer being wives, mothers, students, etc., that we have to be whole in our minds to be anywhere near this woman portrayed here, this is impossible when we are weak in our minds; and most certainly cast down in our spirit. Where are we headed?
To “Gird, “means to put on something, look at this:
Proverbs 31:17, says, “she girds herself with strength in all areas of need.” the result is that she then becomes fit for her God given task. So that we see it as impossible to gain the type of strength needed for anything unless it is God given.
In all areas of need that are spiritual, mental, and physical. It’s not easy to take time to rest and do all that is expected of us as wives mothers, and employee not to mention if we’ve embarked upon other ventures of independence…”you’ve come along way baby” then has improved avenues of wealth not only has also added to diverse thinking but has brought about stress where there was none before. So if we haven’t gotten ahead or bettered ourselves in terms of that career profession or education then chances is that this too has become more of a hindrance than a help…has this become a cause of dissension in our mind?
Get help for your mind. Putting on strength means that we seek out those things to help us in our daily life. Some think that more money will solve the problem, and that may be so but if we are weak in any one of the three areas, I need to mention money will not help. Our source of strength has to be more powerful than we are. Seek God for your spiritual needs.
Here’s some other help:
1. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – With Help Comes Hope
2. Depression Center: Symptoms, Causes, Medications, and Therapies
http://www.webmd.com/depression/default.htm – Cached
3. 1on1health.com: Depression
http://www.1on1health.com/web/info/depression/english/…/Topic-Home – Cached
praying for sound mind and good thinking….be in peace.
Dearest Selfish Self,
I won’t ask how you are, because I know that still you’re the cold, calculating and deceitful selfish self that you’ve always been. I’ve thought about you often, almost everyday you held my heart. From the moment that I rise in the mornings my thoughts have been of you. I remember how you smile at the pleasure that you get from pleasing only you. The laughter in your heart when you say those nasty and hurtful words that you knew would bring pain to others. I’ve noticed the envy and how jealous you become when others are being prosperous in their lives, knowing full well that you could have done those things too, but that you never tried. You probably didn’t think I noticed that did you? Well I did. And now my eyes have been opened to the cruel, harmful and selfish life that we’ve led together. Today it all ends! This letter is to inform you that we’re through!
At first it wasn’t clear, but I began to see outbursts of rage every time you didn’t get your way, and to see how you belittle others(that haven’t quite got things together the way you seem to feel that you have). I’ve seen the hatred and contempt (that you’ve kept hidden over the years) for those people who hurt you, the unforgiving behavior that has spread through your whole being like a wildfire. I see how you start quarrels, fights, and cuss people out, and I see also that its gotten out of hand. I can’t take it anymore, I’ve given you chance after chance to get it together. I know that you’ve tried in the past to make an effort, but then I found out later that you only had your own selfish ambitions in mind all along. What a waste of a relationship, and for so many years! I thought we would accomplish much together, but tragically it’s finished at a dead end!
The thought that I was in love with the likes of your selfish self–well–it’s–insane, and sick! I just have this one question: how can you live with yourself and be so happy? Or is it happiness living a life that makes others as miserable as you are? My advice to you is to stop pretending! I know you haven’t noticed that I’ve become distant. I’m not surprised, because someone as self seeking as you only sees what concerns self. I don’t want to live that way anymore. I have to confess that at one time I thought that you and I were a great team, but not anymore.
I have a confession to make I’ve found Someone new. His name is Jesus, and His Spirit is perfect for me. He has filled me with His love, and He’s given me so much joy that I sometimes can’t stand it all–He’s so good! I never knew that I could live my life with so much peace. He’s teaching me to use self control now, even when things sometimes don’t work the way I planned. I’m learning to be gentle and kind to those people who wronged me in my past and my present, and to be more forgiving today. I am faithful in my relationship with him and others. I belong totally and completely to Him now. He even speaks to His Father on my behalf–He’s Wonderful! I wish I could say that I’ll miss you, but that’s not so. One thing that Jesus has taught me is that if I cannot be honest, then I can’t live for God. So you see I have to leave you selfish self, it is the only way that I will remain free. You won’t change, but I can, and I have. I’ve got a long way to go, but I give up that old life of bitterness.
From the words of the apostle Paul I quote: “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected: but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus, has laid hold on me. I do not count myself to have apprehended but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize in Christ Jesus.”(Phil. 3: 12-14). Good bye Selfish Self!
I have no regrets,
The fruit has ripened!
The knowledge of false teachers shouldn’t disarm anyone who was prepared and ready in the first place…this isn’t new to the person who has been in prayer and study of the word…
Look: “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves (Matt. 7:15).
The warning was important because Jesus later said to them: “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; therefore be shrewd as serpents, and innocent as doves” (Matt. 10:16).
The apostle Paul, with a deeply troubled spirit and in tears, penned a similar warning: “I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock” (Acts 20:29).
Throughout church history these warnings concerning professing Christians who deceive even the elect have seldom been taken seriously. How can the church be so easily deceived? According to Webster’s Dictionary “deceive” means “to lead astray or to cause to accept as true or valid what is false or invalid.” Could it be the church has not only lost its ability to discern truth from error but also to discern wolves from sheep?”
The word also says that, “my sheep know my voice,” (John 10:27 ).
There is a stern warning for the leaders of flocks, Pastors and prophets, “Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD.(Jeremiah 23:1)
So the only ones harmed are those who failed to believe God, the unsaved, and those who just refused to read the word.
God is great and desires for us to live a happy life, and there are three things He says that will make this happen.
THREE KEYS TO THE KINGDOM:
1) He says don’t walk in the counsel of the ungodly. This means don’t take advice, make plans with them and use prudence with them. Which says that we carefully weigh the consequences of a relationship with these individuals and act on right thinking.
2) He says don’t stand in the way of sinners, or sit in the seat of those who don’t believe in him. Standing in the way doesn’t mean that we block the way to Jesus but that we don’t hang out with them getting into their sins with them. Why would we want to hang out with people whose conversation and behavior is nothing to do with God.
For example: You don’t drink and party anymore, then why is it that you are still keeping company with people that do? This isn’t to say that we can’t witness, but the behavior is still that of the party scene. You still mingle with the drunks and the ungodly. This is “standing in the way,” because your behavior and actions are still that of a drunkard. God says no stop that or I can’t bless you.
3) He says delight in my way, the law and think meditate on it day and night. Read his word, study it, dissect it, eat it; it will save you. How is it that we say that we love the Lord and want a relationship with him and yet still continue to walk around and skip this most important and vital step of getting know him…it is impossible to know the things of God and be successful in this life if we don’t study His word.
No wonder then people aren’t being blessed. It is because we haven’t grasped these three important factors of living; application is key. Amen.
Here’s the Chapter: Psalm 1, take the time to study and review this lesson on how to be blessed, because if we aren’t applying this word then it would be fair to say this is the reason we’re not. The ending verse says that whatsoever the blessed man does prospers. I’m excited aren’t you? Because God has given this awesome key to the kingdom.
Let us pray:
Thank you God for this lesson of what to and what not to do to be blessed. We want to live a pleasing life before you God not walk with people who are crooked in their dealings, who don’t believe in you, who don’t trust you. We want to commit today to make a better effort of seeking out relationships with others who know the word, walk in your spirit and can help us in our walk with you; but we can’t do that if we don’t hear you. Help us be better witnesses so that all will know that we serve you. We pray Oh God for revelation of your word for us, and we thank you. In Jesus name. Amen
GOD IS WAITING EVEN WHEN WE MESS UP!!!
God has done it again!
I’ve found myself wondering why people have such competitive spirits in them. They want to challenge all that God is, deny his existence and do every thing contrary to the word of God.
I once lived in the world of unbelief too! I was brought up in church, I song in the choir. I am the product of generations of preachers, deacons sunday school teachers,and singers; my mother drug me to church every sunday starting at age seven. You would think that after all the learning about and hearing about him a person would be saved and believe in God whole heartedly! But sometimes it takes more than that to get our attention! Life can be an excellent teacher…but very hard in its lessons. I thank God that I was born to a praying family.
But since all the drama of all those life events, I’ve found out that God is no respecter of persons, and that the same things he does for you he will do for me. God’s favor is not limited to the ones who think they’ve got it all together, but to those who mess up like me! In fact even though he’s happy for the one who never strayed, he was more happy when I returned. because the word says that he took out the fatted calf for me and he celebrated the return of his long lost daughter (Luke 15:11-32).
I came back because after all that I’ve done to ignore his existance, I knew that he still loved me and he never gave up on me. Why? Because I heard the message…even though I didn’t believe it in my heart.
Today: Pray for someone who doesn’t know that God loves them. Even when you think they should know they may not. Pray for someone’s lost son or daughter to come home.
Be always blessed…
Yes, hell is the ultimate place where all who didn’t want to change and stop their sinful lives will spend eternity. But we have a patient God for when we think that we’ve got it right he reminds us that He alone is perfect. Not all sin is unto death…aren’t you glad that somethings God has taken away…we would be utterly and hopelessly struck down and doomed if it were not for God’s grace.
1 John 5:17-20
17 All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not leading to death.
(Knowing the True—Rejecting the False)
18 We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.
19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.
20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.
So we should lead people to all truth by the sharing of the word of God and through sharing our testimony…if the word has to be broken down into tiny pieces so that some can chew and not choke then do it…some of us being babes…which is the reason that we have to teach appropriate to each ones level. So we don’t assume that all are on our own levels wherever that is. We will know them by their fruit…some say this for false prophets but actually you know a baby by their fruits by the things they say and do…
“You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.”
Babes have to be taught the right thing…we were born into sin and iniquity so that people do what they know…sin. Teach them the right thing…that the oven is hot…No don’t do that…it will hurt you. Break it down (their food down) so they won’t choke. Amen to this word.
In Texas the summer’s heat is fierce. There are days even months when the temperatures soar to triple digits. Conditions during these times can become life threatening, especially for infants and the elderly. People are warned to drink plenty of fluids to keep themselves hydrated, and there are warnings to protect ourselves from heat exhaustion and stroke by staying indoors….we expect that. We may think that this would be the worst that could happen during the summers heat. But the worst of these times are the wildfires which destroy vegetation, livestock, and homes lost. Wildfires once set can cause total destruction and are almost impossible to put out. Someone haphazardly throws out a cigarette butt and the devastation after that is unspeakable.
The book of James warns us against the evils of the tongue, and our words against each other along with trouble they cause. Today my topic is about the power of our words and the harm they cause.
“For we all often stumble and fall and offend in many things. And if anyone does not offend in speech [never says the wrong things], he is a fully developed character and a perfect man, able to control his whole body and to curb his entire nature. And the tongue is a fire. [The tongue is a] world of wickedness set among our members, contaminating and depraving the whole body and setting on fire the wheel of birth (the cycle of man’s nature), being itself ignited by hell (Gehenna). “( James 3:2,6)
The tongue is a small member yet it causes many problems. Why don’t we think that what we say matters? We are very persuasive with it, speak life with it and even grieve the Holy Spirit with it. Yes, our tongues can be so gross, and negligent, and speak such ugliness that we can grieve the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30). If then our tongues have influence and can affect the Holy Spirit then what is it saying about the power it has to influence people; the effects of our tongues can be devastating.
We can bless and curse with it,
“With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse men who were made in God’s likeness!
I don’t think there is a single human being alive or now dead who doesn’t need a word of encouragement from time to time. Why? Because encouragement builds us up and helps us to feel good about ourselves and when we feel good we think good, and do well in our walk. We believe them and take them internally, so helpful encouragement becomes a blessing for us. So then we see that the opposite is true of those words that hurt, because these words taken internally can become hazardous, they break us down and thus hinder the ones who are targeted. There are people who were told they would never amount to anything and so they have nothing inwardly which tells them otherwise; those words have caused them to lose confidence not only in themselves but in God; they are cursed.
What is a curse?
1. swearword: a swearword, obscenity, or blasphemous oath
2. evil prayer: a malevolent appeal to a supernatural being for harm to come to somebody or something, or the harm that is thought to result from this
3. source of harm: a cause of unhappiness or harm
Cussing people out, wishing evil and speaking it towards someone can cause great harm.
In the Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionary the curse is clear:
to execrate; by analogy to doom: – curse.
Great harm is being caused when we speak evil, gossip, and speak words with wrong motives attached.
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
(Ephesians 4: 29-32)
Prayerfully we will do more to uplift and encourage and if we can’t do that then say nothing…..
Let us pray:
Father God in the name of Jesus help us to speak life to all who hear us. We pray Lord that we muzzle this member of our body called “the tongue.” Help us to think before we speak, help us to uplift and not tear down people with the words we say. We want to be an example to all people that your word is pure and life changing…we can’t do that if we don’t speak word that give life….Help us to live peaceably with all men…In Jesus name we pray and we thank you God for life. Amen.