Hey, long time no see! Today I want to let you guys know what’s really been on my heart lately.
I’ve been a little hesitant to write this post, sort of because of the personal nature of it, and also because I wasn’t sure it would be relevant to anyone else. But I just started thinking about it again and I think it’s absolutely something every believer needs to be reminded of periodically.
It’s the simple fact that we are no match.
A fewish days ago, Sunday, I woke up in absolute misery. It was about 9:15, and church was going to start at 10. I needed to drive myself there with a car that wasn’t doing so hot, but would probably get me there.
I was absolutely drowning in depression. Once you’ve gone through long-term depression, you have a really great idea of what it feels like.
A huge part of my testimony is that shortly after I decided to start following God for real (not just in words, but in action), He took my depression away. That was September 2014. When Summer 2015 rolled around all of a sudden I was fighting it off again. Yes, I spent a lot of time wondering why God was letting it get to me again and where to go from here now that I was back, in my mind, at “square one.”
When I woke up on Sunday I knew I wasn’t going to make it to church. I barely made it out of bed. It was 10:02 by the time I started making breakfast.
Another thing I knew, was that I wasn’t going to let this depression distance me from God. So I decided that if I wasn’t going to church, I was going to spend that approximately one hour and thirty minutes with Him. So I went to my quiet time spot and just started to numbly cry out to God. The sadness and pain were overwhelming. I listened to “Always” by Kristian Stanfill (10/10, would recommend). Somewhere deep down I knew the lyrics were true, that God will always come through, no exceptions, but it was really hard to believe that he would come through this particular time.
Long story short, I felt led to watch the video called “Jesus is Loving Barabbas.” It’s on YouTube, and I think everyone should see it, tbh. Hint hint.
During the second half of the video there was one line that jumped out to me like nothing else ever had in my life: You are no match for the powers of hell.
And I guess I knew that, but I’d been hearing a lot about the authority we have over the powers of darkness–and we absolutely do, but only because Jesus has authority over darkness and He is always present–and I thought maybe, just maybe, I needed to fight the depression harder.
I wasn’t doing enough positive thinking.
I wasn’t getting out in nature enough.
I wasn’t spending enough time with my friends.
I needed to resist sin better.
I needed to believe I was free…better.
I. I. I. I. It’s not about “I.” It’s about “He.” And that’s what I was missing. I wasn’t accepting His gift and mercy because I was too busy striving.
He lifts depression because He is merciful, not because we fight it hard enough.
Those 3 words: “YOU’RE NO MATCH” may have been the 3 most freeing words I’ve ever heard, because it means it’s 100% about giving it to Jesus. It’s not about smiling bigger.
And you know what? By the time that video ended my chains were gone. I stopped struggling against them long enough for Jesus to once again wrap me up in His arms and unlock them.
I’m free because I stopped trying to be free and started looking to the man who holds the key.
I can’t explain the exact physics of this process because it’s just one of those mysteries that won’t be revealed to us until we’re face to face with our King, but freeing prisoners and resurrecting what’s dead is kind of what He’s all about. Praying and then LISTENING (A lot of us forget about this part, myself included) for Him to speak. I absolutely believe–from experience–that He speaks to us in those quiet thoughts we don’t pay attention to unless our minds are stilled, the quiet thoughts that fill us with a power that doesn’t come from our own strength.
There are 3 enemies in this world: Our own flesh (Galatians 5:19), the devil (1 Peter 5:8), and the desires of this world (1 John 2:15-17). You want to know something? We are no match for any of them. They are infinitely stronger than we are, so we might as well stop trying to beat them. In fact, we should, because our God already defeated them. He sends His Holy Spirit to walk with us daily so that we can rest in that victory. The Holy Spirit is our powerful protector, advocate, and counselor.
He is what set me free from trying on Sunday. I felt so full of His light and power, and there was no trace of depression left because there was simply no room. No vacancies. Sorry, messed up brain chemicals, you’ll have to find someone else to bother.
One moment I was absolutely dreading the moment I would have to face another human being or, God forbid, have to explain why I wasn’t at church, and the next moment it ceased to matter because I was no longer in pain. It turned from a story of pain and weakness into a story of victory. Jesus is good, and He does really great things. I could laugh (genuinely) with people again, I could bear to think about the future again, hope was once again real and not a distant memory of a fairytale.
Hebrews 4:1-12 describes the critical nature of Godly rest, and I think I’ll be taking part in that a whole lot more from not on. I guess that passage could really sum up this entire post, so I’ll leave you with it.
Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. 2 For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed.[a] 3 Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said,
“So I declared on oath in my anger,
‘They shall never enter my rest.’”[b]
And yet his works have been finished since the creation of the world. 4 For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “On the seventh day God rested from all his works.”[c] 5 And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.”
6 Therefore since it still remains for some to enter that rest, and since those who formerly had the good news proclaimed to them did not go in because of their disobedience, 7 God again set a certain day, calling it “Today.” This he did when a long time later he spoke through David, as in the passage already quoted:
“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts.”[d]
8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. 9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works,[e] just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.
12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.