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Fighting from all angles

6 March, 2013

On Sunday a line was drawn in the sand and a battle ground established you could say. When C prayed with me she had arranged to come to my home and pray with me. She came last night and set out her plan.

We would meet weekly for 8 weeks, she was accountable to the prayer support team and if she felt out of her depth she would have to go to them for help but other than that what was said was in confidence. She would also just be dealing with me. This isn’t a snitch and bitch session about the marriage, kids or anything else. This is about God working on me and my depression from a spiritual point of view.

This week she shared verses and passages of the Bible of what had helped her from depression. Psalm 27, 2 Timothy 1:7, John 8:31-32, Ephesians 6:10-18, Joshua 5:13 and Psalm 25. If you want to look them up go to and find a Bible Translation you can relate to – New International Version, New Living Translation, Message and Amplified are all favourites for me.

I’ve shared before that I can relate to David, who wrote the Psalms, and his encounter with depression and how he dealt with it without the aid of modern medicine. I still marvel how often he was in the pit of depression and how singing lifted him up out of it. I related to C how when depression hit me that my world went quiet – I lost my song. Even now my mind is subdued by meds as it was always a chatter-zone but at least I have my songs back.

So I thought I’d just concentrate on one of the chunks of scripture that was given and expound with my own understanding and thinking of how it’s relevant to me. My words in italics:

Ephesians 6:10-18

Amplified Bible (AMP)

10 In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides].

It’s a comfort to take strength from other people. It’s like a little kid when scared hides behind a parent’s leg and peeks out and that gives them the strength to do something bold like stick their tongue out or grin.

We don’t talk much about being “empowered” anymore unless you go along to a motivational speaker but it’s something that I feel comes from the gut. It’s a confidence, it’s a strength from within, it’s a resolve, it’s motivation, it’s gutsy, it’s get out and do it and it gets things done.

11 Put on God’s whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil.

I arrived home and the middlest was watching Gladiator and it was around two thirds through but a very familiar story to me. Maximus (Crowe) was tied up and Commodus (Phoenix) (the weak, scared, snivelling brat) was supposedly honouring him when he stabbed Maximus to give Commodus the upper hand in the fight. Commodus told the soldiers to cover up the wound with the armour. This is the armour I think of when the Bible talks of armour.

12 For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.

I confess I had to look up the word “despotism” (Despotism is a form of government in which a single entity rules with absolute power). Time to concentrate on the spiritual component of this fight properly as both C and I firmly believe that while God allowed this, Satan and his henchmen (evil little goblins) will take advantage and I have blogged already on being out for a walk feeling suicidal for no discernable reason and a christian song lifted me up out of it. Read CS Lewis’ Screwtape Letters for some more understanding – I howled with laughter reading it. It’s great visuals in it.

13 Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place].

Stand. Stand with the armour on. Stand your ground – not advance, not retreat. Kitted up and ready to go. Stand

14 Stand therefore [hold your ground], having tightened the belt of truth around your loins and having put on the breastplate of integrity and of moral rectitude and right standing with God,

Stand. Belt of truth – truth of what you might ask. God’s truth about who I am in Him. About who I am and who He is. You know when you have someone you look up to and it’s more than a passing fan, you KNOW them – faults and all, but you know what they mean to you and you know what you mean to them – THAT truth.

Breastplate – it covers the front, the chest to the stomach – the squishy bits that you need to live. Sometimes there is a back on the armour but the whole point of the armour is that you face your enemy and therefore wouldn’t need the back shielded – and another soldier will have your back too.

15 And having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace.

Gospel of peace – this isn’t about getting all “het up” and getting into a boxing match, wrestle or battle to convince. It’s knowing why Jesus even came, what His purpose is (not just “was”) and how relevant that message is even today.

C and I spoke about how we have fought depression with faith and it’s been hard but we have had moments of victory (she is released from hers) through faith, through a Christian song, through words of the Bible and it has soothed our souls from the constant torment the “black bitch” brings with it. We couldn’t imagine how much tougher people without faith find depression. What resources do they have to dig into for encouragement? When things happen can they explain it – either positively or negatively?

16 Lift up over all the [covering] shield of saving faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked [one].

The shield is held in the off-hand. It comes between you and the weapons thrown at you – that doesn’t mean a good soldier won’t get hit but the chances are slimmer if they are trained and ready. Saving faith is an active faith. It’s not a faith that “was saved 30 years ago “she’ll be right” attitude”, it’s currently active.

The sword – a short sword for swinging around. In a camp I used to go to as a kid we had what we called “Sword Drill”. “Shield your sword”. I would hold my Bible in my right hand and tuck it under my left arm. “Draw your sword” Pull out the Bible from under my arm and hold it high over my head. Then we’d be told a Bible verse to look up and told “Charge” and I’d snatch my arm down and race to find the verse in my Bible first and then shout it out.

The sword is the Bible. It is the word of God. Even Jesus (and I can’t think I’m better than Him) used the Bible to fight Satan. So it means I need to read it, to eat it, to chew on what it says and when Satan says lies to me I will know what it is God says about me. You speak it out (Satan and his cohorts aren’t mind readers) and they can’t hang around for long if you are spouting God’s word at them – so you get a break.

17 And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God.

Helmet – well I guess the stupid noggin needs protection too, but more so it’s the mind that needs to be certain on that day of salvation – the day you said to Jesus that you weren’t good enough to get into heaven alone, that you were done trying to “do life alone”, that you trusted Him to help you and to move into you and change you from the inside out to be more like Him – because while He didn’t have “life” too good, eternal life (whether in heaven or hell) is forever and I’d rather be doing it with Jesus than without Him. So we need reminding that this stupid “nut-case” once made that decision and no-one can take that away from us!

18 Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people).

This has possibly been my weakest point. Along with the fact that my “prayer time” is fairly unconventional in that I’ll chat with God as you would over a cup of coffee sometimes. So it probably happens more than I realise – reading the news, hearing from friends and family and just dealing with day to day stuff.

One thing C said to me was I should pray in tongues – something that stupidly never occurred to me to actually do for a while now. It’s like knowing you’ve got a skill but forgetting to use it and it’s effectiveness. It feels weird – I mean who talks to themselves out loud?! It sounds weirder as you don’t always know what it is you’re saying (speaking in the language of angels) but if there is a spiritual war going on, we can’t see it, we originated from spirit – it’s who God made us to be too (body, mind and spirit like Him) so there’s something within us that understands some aspect of the spirit world even if we don’t fully understand it. It’s like going to a completely foreign country where you don’t speak the language but after you’ve been there a little while you begin to sense nuances and you know (even though you don’t know you know).

And pray for others, because it’s not just me alone on this little block of land called the world – there are others in this same fight who are also standing armoured up (or not).

So these sessions are going to help me become more sensitive to the spirit part of me. The meds are looking after my body, my psych and I are working on the mind with CBT and C and I (as well as many friends) are working on the spirit – all together.

The time is right.


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