I know what you are thinking, "Warring in four steps? Sherri has no clue what I am dealing with, depression & anxiety can't be overcome in just four steps."
YES, they are easy in the sense that anyone who serves the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior can do them, and if you do them, I promise you will overcome the spirit of heaviness and fear as you abide in Him, and it can happen TODAY! (If you haven't yet but want to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, message me!)
This post is long, but when dealing with spiritual warfare we must study to show ourselves approved according to 2 Timothy 2:15. If we want to get to the deep matters of things, we must dig, and digging takes time.
Disclaimer: For those who have been through SRA or other severe abuse, especially in childhood, I do not recommend doing these steps alone. Find a trusted inner healing and deliverance minister to help you. If you would like our help, just visit the CONTACT page and send us a note and we will pray to see what the Lord will do.
Step 1: Recognize that there is a spiritual element to what is happening in your body.
People want to separate the 'spiritual' from the physical and use medical tests to 'prove' that their symptoms are not spiritual at all. They may say things like, "But my doctor said...." Or, 'The blood test shows..." I will never understand that reasoning. We are first and always a spirit in a body. Our body reacts to our spirit (and other spirits) and our spirit reacts to our body.
An example of physical power and effect over the spirit realm is Salvation! Proverbs 18:21, The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Romans 10:9 If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.We may speak with our tongue (a physical body part), but the effects have spiritual power.
An example of spiritual power and effect over our physical body is from Matthew 17: 14-18 when Jesus heals a boy with epileptic seizures, When they returned to the crowds again a man came and knelt in front of Jesus. “Lord, do have pity on my son,” he said, “for he is a lunatic and is in a terrible state. He is always falling into the fire or into the water....Bring him here to me!”Then Jesus reprimanded the evil spirit and it went out of the boy, who was cured from that moment.
This was a SPIRITUAL problem that was causing a very physical, medically provable problem, and as you can see, the answer was SPIRITUAL. Medical proof of chemical imbalances, disease or sickness does not negate the fact that the root is spiritual. Throughout the bible depression and fear (anxiety) is a shown as spiritual issue. Not once (that I have found) is it shown as merely a physical issue that is dealt with through medication, but yet today-this is how many Christians deal with it. They ignore the fact that biblically, the word for sorcery is the very word we get our word pharmaceuticals from. I believe God grieves over His children coping through life with meds instead of seeking understanding of how to overcome in the power of the cross, but that is a post for another day.
Step 2. Ask God who you need to forgive then DO IT.
Out loud, regardless if you feel the emotion of it. Satan hates people and uses everything they do against them as his spiritually legal right to judge and prosecute them. Jesus is the opposite. He took pain, judgement and punishment in our place and forgives us everything we have ever done. When we do not forgive people, we are spiritually linking arms with satan, and guess what? That gives him access to do whatever he wants in our lives, including making us carry a spirit of heaviness. Refuse to have anything in common with the enemy at all, but especially UNFORGIVENESS. Choose to link arms with Jesus instead. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you who you need to forgive and then profess it out loud. "Father, I choose to forgive so and so for _____, and _____. I take my hands off them and ask you to judge them with your perfect love and justice, repay them with your wrath against their wickedness according to Romans 12:19 and if possible, bless them with your redemption. I leave them here with you and break agreement that I made with Satan against them in Jesus holy name." Do this for every person that God brings to mind then cast off any spirit of bitterness or unforgiveness and ask the Holy Spirit to fill those places with His love and compassion.
Don't overlook forgiving yourself for mistakes, regrets, etc. And sometimes we even need to forgive God if we blame Him, consciously or subconsciously for the wrongs in our life or if we are waiting for something and we believe He is withholding (like a baby or a job) for instance. He knows your heart anyway, confess your unforgiveness toward Him and ask Him to reveal the truth about the matter. According to Psalm 84:11, The Lord withholds no good thing from those who do what is right. If you are not getting what you want out of life, it is not God's fault, something else is going on.
Step 3. Let Father God deal with the sins of your past and present. The ones you committed and the ones committed against you.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, Your God, has placed you above Your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy." (Psalm 45:7 & Hebrews 1:9)
God wanted us to get this so much that He placed it in both the old and new testaments! LOVED and HATED are active verbs, not just thoughts and emotions. The word LOVE in the Greek here indicates befriending. Become companions with righteousness & holiness while despising sins & wickedness so much that we avoid them at all costs. What is the reward for loving righteousness? JOY. The joy that will elude so many others.
So what do I mean by 'Let Father God deal with'? We may have confessed the sins, but have we received His forgiveness? 1 John 1:9 says He is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. This is not some hypothetical thing that happens that we will feel the effect of someday when we get to heaven, no, this happens in the moment. We are cleansed in the moment! But if we fail to receive the forgiveness and forgive ourselves, the effects of that cleansing will have no bearing on our physical body. Proverbs 23:7 says that we are what we think! If we think we are 'just a sinner saved by grace' then guess what, we will remain 'just a sinner.' If we think that we are undeserving of God's forgiveness and cleansing then guess what, we remain dirty. How tragic!
To quote my wise husband, "People fail to realize just how much God has left up to us. How much authority He has given us, and how much is in our hands to do." In other words-God won't do what He has told us to do and He won't go against our will, it is up to us. So rather than begging God to heal your depression or anxiety you must proactively partner with Him to embrace what was already given at the cross. He is not withholding healing from you, He gave it over two thousand years ago and it is up to you to spiritually work it out in your life so that it manifests in your physical body.
So HOW does one do that? Get quiet before Him. Worship and ask the Holy Spirit to come, then pray Psalm 139:23-24, "Search me, O God, and know my heart, try me and know my thoughts. See if there be any wicked way in me and lead me in the way everlasting." Confess OUT LOUD whatever the Holy Spirit brings to mind after that, even if you don't remember committing the sin, trust Him and confess. (For instance, HATE in your heart can translate to MURDER spiritually speaking, so if the word murder, or a picture of it, pops into your head-CONFESS IT.) For each sin confessed, in Jesus' name-break agreement that you made with the enemy by committing it, cast off any unholy spirit that attached itself to you as a result of the sin, thank God for and receive His forgiveness and cleansing in that area. Ask the Holy Spirit to fill the places in you where that sin and associated spirits took up space. Do these things out loud for each sin that the Holy Spirit brings to mind and keep asking and confessing until He says you are fully free and cleansed.
To repent means to 'turn away from', so you can repent or 'turn away from' the sins that were forced upon you as well, such as rape or slander. Profess that you turn away from the things that were done to you and their effects on you and rebuke in Jesus' name any unholy spirit that attached itself to you because of these sins committed against you.
By this time, you should feel the heaviness or anxiety lift and you should have a sense of freedom and 'lightness' that wasn't there before. If not, proceed to Step 4.
Step 4. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the root of fear or heaviness, then deal with what He shows you.
Sometimes things like depression and anxiety are tied to a lie, sometimes they are tied to a painful memory or truth about ourselves that we have been ignoring. Whatever comes to mind after you ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the root, that is your answer. If it is a lie you are believing such as "God doesn't really love me." Or "I have to protect myself because God won't." Or "I am not worthy of the love of Jesus, I'm not even sure if I am really saved." Confess to the Lord your part in believing this lie from the enemy, break agreement with the lie and the enemy behind it (out loud, always) and then ask Him to lead you into all truth by showing you scriptures that replace the lie you were believing with the truth of Gods word. Write them down, paste them all over you house, car, office-everywhere! Memorize them! And when you start thinking within the framework of the lie-rebuke it in Jesus' name and profess the truth out loud. Renew you mind in this way constantly until your body, soul and spirit are transformed. (Romans 12:22)
If it is a truth revealed about ourselves such as, "I have been keeping God at a distance." Or "I am a pessimist and am always waiting for the other shoe to drop." Or 'My Grandma was always angry, my dad was always angry, and I am always angry, that is just how my family is." Ask Him to show you why you are like you are. Confess any sins He shows you, break agreement with any lies that made you think the way you do, rebuke unholy spirits associated with the so called part of your 'personality' such as doubt, pride, hopelessness, anger, etc.... Ask God to show you who you really are, your identity is JESUS who makes all things new.
If it is a painful memory that the Holy Spirit reveals, ask Jesus to come in and help you face it with Him as your guard and guide, then watch to see what He shows you and how He comforts you to bring restoration to your soul. Or please feel free to visit our CONTACT page and we can schedule a skype call so we can help you work through it to receive the Lord's healing.
God bless your journey friend. It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. (Galatians 5:1) Never forget that and never stop seeking that freedom in Him, it's not rocket science, the ways and hows are all in scripture if we only open our eyes to see.