SPIRITUAL DEPRESSION

June 18, 2016

...It’s Causes and Cure,"" is the title of a great book by Martyn Lloyd-Jones. Without question, one of the great passages in the Bible that helps us understand this issue is 1 Kings, Chapter 19.

Following one of the most dynamic spiritual showdowns in history, (Elijah facing and defeating the 450 prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel), the wicked queen, Jezebel, puts a contract on Elijah's head. Fear grips Elijah's soul and he runs for his life and spends the next 40+ days in a spiritual and emotional funk. 

How could such a mighty prophet be gripped with fear and run from those he had just defeated? It can happen to anyone!

I have experienced this many times (some more intense than others) after significant seasons of ministry. You are extremely vulnerable to the enemy's attack when your physical, emotional, and spiritual tank is low. What lessons do we learn from Elijah's depression?

  1. You are often weakened and fragile after times of great ministry expenditure. 

Vs. 3: and he was afraid and arose and ran for his life...and went a day's journey into the wilderness...and requested for himself that he might die.""

  1. Never underestimate the basic need for deep rest and refreshment

Vs. 5-6: He lay down and slept under a juniper tree...there was an angel touching him and he said to him, ""Arise, eat."" ...So he ate and drank and lay down again.""

  1. What you ultimately need, in time, is a fresh encounter with God!

Vs. 9: Then he came there to a cave and lodged here; and behold, the word of the Lord came to him...""

  1. Your depression may lead to a feeling of intense loneliness; that you are the only one doing what you're doing, and you may lose all hope.

Vs. 10: ""I have been very zealous for the Lord...and I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away""

  1. What you need most is to hear the gentle voice of God

Vs. 11: ""...the Lord was passing by! And a great and strong wind...but the Lord was not in the wind...an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake...and a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing.""

  1. If you will listen, God will remind you that you are not alone and will restore your soul!

Vs. 15-21: You shall anoint Hazael...and Jehu...and Elisha.... you shall anoint as prophet in your place...7,000 in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal...Then (Elisha) arose and followed Elijah and ministered to him.""

Food, deep rest, an encounter with the Lord and a reminder that He is there and there are many others who are with you, and the fellowship of ministry partners—is often the basic prescription to overcome spiritual depression.

Don’t think you’re greater than Elijah. It can happen to you. If you find yourself in a deep hole and cannot seem to find relief, seek the help of a great spiritual friend to get counsel. The Lord is there and He is not silent. In time, He will restore your soul!




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