Jesus said, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31b-32)
It took me a very long time after salvation and forgiveness by Jesus to acquire even the start of a righteous character. So many habits and layers of secrets had to be given up and surrendered. And many of these layers and secrets contained disgusting images of sexual immorality and other sins. The only way to rid one’s self of un-surrendered things after re-birth in Jesus is to unearth them, confess them and repent, and continue to try change one’s character and habits, and continue to seek forgiveness, and continue to lean upon the Lord. Along the way, I went through both clinical and spiritual depression.
One symptom of my depression was the inability to tell when I was angry. I would say something to someone, such as my wife Patty, or my friend Heather, that I thought was kind and gentle, but they reacted like I had hit them. The character of Christ in me was devastated, and the flesh was trapped in this duplicity. Paul’s famous confession of the conviction of the law in Romans 7 describes this: “For the good that I would, I do not do; but the evil which I would not do, that I do.” There was a deep psychological and spiritual war going on in my brain and body, and Satan was trying as hard as he could to keep me. I was not going to surrender to him, though. Because I had a personal relationship with Lord Jesus, and clung to that like a life preserver, and despite the perversity I knew I was performing; I knew that the way out of it was less of me and more of Him.
The biggest victim of my spiritual depression was Heather Pearson. She was a very mixed up person herself. She was on a disability pension and on drugs, but her heart was lit up with Jesus. She moved to the beat of the Lord, wandering here and there and meeting people for Jesus, and hundreds of people in a small community knew and loved her. My spiritual depression led me to say awful things to her. I do not even know what they were, because the depression hid my real words from me. This led me to seek help. Jesus in me loved Heather, and I did not want to be ripped apart by being divided from Jesus.
My doctor put me on Prozac, and I went to Christian counseling. So many things had happened in my life that I had never really dealt with or worked out with any resolution or acceptance. My mother died at 56 of ALS and my father died at 62 of heart failure. I had lost several jobs because of my increasing depression, and disregard for respect and honesty. My self-respect was at an all time low. However, as Jesus worked on me, sending me encouraging dreams, and leading me to read the Bible, I began to see that counseling kept tragedy alive too long, and Prozac hid the brain from itself. I craved honesty and dealing with the present.
I read a book called “Prozac Revealed” and learned how the testing of the product had been faked, and no one really knew the side effects, so I sought another way to handle my imbalance. This was how I learned to pray with all my heart. My wife Patty also researched the nutritional side of depression and discovered that B complex and Zinc are usually deficient in depressed people. I withdrew gradually from Prozac in two months, and started on B-50 complex vitamins, and 15mg of Zinc Gluconate. My prayers to regain my mind so I could give a clean mind to my Lord Jesus were almost constant.
About six months after praying, reading the Bible, and taking vitamins, I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit while driving down our road. I had to pull over because I was shaking and weeping with joy. It was one of the four times that I have been surrounded by a bright white light and the world is invisible. The only sound is a faint harmonious music. I am sure that my Lord was with me in that light. And after that, every night, Jesus was in my dreams showing me the outcome of the end of days prophesied in the Bible, giving me visions of observing the creation of the anti-Christ and the rapture while bullets were flying.
The real start of my road to righteousness and casting out depression was starting to live an ordered life in the Lord. This began with a very simple and ordered morning routine of feeding the dogs and making the coffee, walking the dogs, feeding the birds, and then eating my breakfast and reading God’s Word. It became very important to finish everything I started and not wander around with six things partly done. When I surrendered control of everything in my life to the the Lord, life became easier and peace more accessible. Obedience is easier than displeasing God. If you listen hard enough, and look for the will of God, eventually you live the will of God, and He lets you know through very natural means that you missed something or did not understand, and so he sends someone or makes you see something that makes you understand what he meant.
“For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God, sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the ordinance of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Romans 8:3-4)