This is part five of our five part series on overcoming depression.
Can depression be something external?
I think so.
We dived into the intricacies of the body, the mystery of the soul, but now, we are on the home stretch as we go deeper into the biggest mystery of all: the spirit.
We’ve mentioned how depression rooted in the body can be a behavioral issue like diet or lack of exercise, while depression in the soul can be a belief or an unforgiveness issue.
What about the spirit, or as sometimes we call it, the heart? Where does depression play in with the core of our being?
Depression in the spirit is just that: a spirit.
Let me explain.
Angels and demons are real. They act as agents of darkness (the demonic), or agents of Light (God's angelic forces), which influence the very spiritual realm around us. Our beings exist in multiple planes of existence at one time: physical and spiritual. We can be influenced by both, but we are often unaware of the influence from the spiritual if we haven't become attuned to it.
Depression, just like anger, rage, lust, and greed, is just as much a spirit as it can be a condition of the heart. To be truly, wholly free from depression, or any of these issues, we must be free in our spirits.
More often then not, the depression I end up feeling comes from spiritual sources. You can feel it without recognizing the source, which is the danger.
For example, I walk into a room. All of a sudden, I start to feel depressed whereas I wasn’t before I walked in. This is a signpost there is a spirit of depression in the room.
You might notice this with anger, sadness, or even pain in your body. It's your spirit and the Holy Spirit revealing what's going on underneath the surface in the room.
My point is this: whether or not you have dealt with depression before, the spirit of depression can be the source of the feeling of it. As I’ve walked through the process of coming out of depression, I’ve found understanding a few areas to be of great assistance when dealing with depression in the spiritual realm.
- Understand spiritual atmospheres — In the example I mentioned above, I would’ve been experiencing what I like to call a “spiritual atmosphere,” a specific feeling or sense about a place or around a person with the power to influence the people around it. Recognizing atmospheres is founded on the idea that not every thought, feeling, or emotion you experience is your own. Many times they come from spirits in the area. When you step into a new place, check yourself at the door. Be watching for changes in your emotions, feelings in your body, thoughts in your head, etc. Many times this will point to spiritual atmospheres in a place.
- Understand spiritual authority — The second step in dealing with spiritual atmospheres is recognizing that Jesus is the name above every name; that is, whatever in an atmosphere that is not of Jesus gets displaced when Jesus comes. A great way to respond to non-Jesus atmospheres is asking God, “What are you doing here?", listening for His response, and declaring what He’s doing. Another way is to state, “I see you (depression). I will not partner with you. I send you back in the name of Jesus and release His joy!” Making these simple declarations in faith releases His presence which overcomes any dark atmosphere. It’s the spiritual authority of Jesus!
Understand discernment — If spiritual sensitivity is the ability to pick up on spiritual atmospheres, spiritual discernment is the ability to determine if those atmospheres come from God, the demonic, or yourself. This is a gift (listed in 1 Corinthians 12) that can only be given by the Holy Spirit. I plan to write more about understanding this gift in the near future, but one thing can be certain: God will speak and let you know what’s going on! Right now, ask Holy Spirit to come give you spiritual discernment and wisdom in how to walk in it. He will come to fill you up with His presence.
Deal with open doors in your spirit - Have you ever been involved in witchcraft? Pornography? Illicit drug use? Pursuit of the paranormal or ghost hunting? If so, you may have some open doors in your spirit giving demonic forces access to you. Don't worry; if you desire healing, there are many qualified individuals out there who can help you. I personally recommend finding a Sozo ministry to help deal with these kinds of issues. They are trained individuals who know how to help close those open doors in your life so you can get total freedom.
We often limit depression to being an issue of the body, a chemical imbalance, a physical problem. But as we've seen, and as I personally have experienced, depression often goes much deeper than the body into the soul and spirit.
Wherever you are in this process of healing and freedom, remember this one fact: there is always hope. God stands by you in every moment calling your name, looking only to free you in His love. He has many tools available, some of them we've mentioned here in this series.
What's most important is this: if you want to be free, you can be free.
Question: How have these posts on depression helped you? Let me know if you have any questions!