(This is Part 2 of the message, Chain Breaker: Keys to overcoming depression and anxiety. See the last post for Part 1)
- God’s presence is our refuge. Psalm 62: 8 and 9 says, “Patiently wait for God alone, my soul! For He is the one who gives me confidence. He alone is my protector (my high rocky summit) and deliverer. He is my refuge; I will not be upended. God delivers me and exalts me; God is my strong protector and my shelter. Trust in him at all times, you people! Pour out your hearts before Him! God is our shelter!
Years ago, when I first started pondering on this and other scriptures that talk about God being my refuge and my shelter, I would imagine myself as a tiny bird tucked away in the cleft of a huge mountain face with the wind whipping all around me. But in my safe little spot, tucked away in secure rock, I could wait out the storm, enfolded by the mountain. You are the most secure when you run to the Rock and hide in the security that is God’s presence.
So how do we do that? The Scripture says, “Pour out your heart in his presence.” Look, we’re like glass to the Lord. He sees right through us, so trying to act as though we’re all full of faith when we’re not feeling it is only going to heap shame on top of the negative emotions we’re already dealing with.
But, on the other hand, if we stay away from the Lord because our thoughts are such a mess, then we’re staying away from the only one who can right the ship. When we’re capsized in our thinking, we under water. We can’t get on top of it, or we would have by now. But in the presence of the Lord, we can cry it out, let it out, get mad and even question what’s going on. He’s not threatened by or upset by what we’re thinking because he knows what we’re made of. And He knows He can bring alignment.
In His presence, every chain is broken. Exodus 33:14 says, “My Presence will go with you and I will give you rest.” The chains may not feel broken in the instant, and it may take a little while before you see what He has done, but faint not. Keep coming. Keep soaking in his presence. Cultivate that place of refuge and shelter and you will see Him pull the chains off of your mind.
Because he is the Chain-breaker, you are free. You are no longer captive. You will see his victory over the lies of the enemy. You will hear him speak to you personally. And that leads me to my last Key which is that God’s voice is our necessity.
- God’s Voice is our Necessity: When I started journaling years ago as a young Christian, all of my journal entries were one-way conversations with the Lord. I poured out my concerns and prayer requests and that was pretty much it. Sometimes, I would find a Scripture that would encourage me and I would write it down. But over the last decade, I have received great teaching on hearing the voice of the Lord specifically for myself and it has revolutionized my relationship with Jesus and is shattering the bondages of depression and anxiety in my life.
So to rehearse my first two keys: we said that God’s Word is our lifeline and God’s presence is our refuge. So with this third key, we wait upon the Lord and expect Him to speak to our soul about our soul because God’s Voice is our necessity. It is our urgent need. Jesus opened the way to the Father so that His children could freely approach Him in whatever condition they are in and hear His voice of loving alignment, direction, and tender affirmation. But unfortunately, many of us aren’t accessing what has been opened to us so we stay bound in shackles that the Lord wants us to walk out of.
I have a habit when things are absolutely ‘Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs’, of asking the Lord what He has to say about the situation that I’m desperate about. Below is part of a journal entry from one of those times. Feel free to read this as though the Lord is speaking to you. You can take my Word and apply it to whatever you’re going through:
“You are coming out. You are in the middle; this is not the end. The enemy is a liar who spews forth venom and accusations against you, against Me and against others. Love draws together, believes the best and speaks life. My love is in you but lies have thrown dirt over it. I wash you and cleanse you.
I have compassion on your weakness and I am on your side. I fight for you and appreciate your heart turned toward Me. Keep crying out. Breakthrough is coming.
Release disappointments to Me. Arrest negative images and keep declaring My Word to create an atmosphere of faith. Faith is not a feeling. Faith is action. So when you choose to repent and resist and declare my Word even when your emotions contradict it, you are in faith. Your actions speak a better word than your emotions.
You are not as your appear to yourself or even to others. Do not be afraid. My love is holding you. You will NOT be lost or rejected. I have given you a heart to seek Me and find Me which is why you are experiencing such great opposition.
You are increasing in strength. While the enemy has told you that you’re losing your mind, I say, No. He is a liar. I say, You are Mine. I have purchased you and you are holy unto the Lord. I have given you to my Son and we are one. Rest in faith that I delight in you. I see you and I know you. I created each facet of who you are. I am not surprised or appalled or angered by what I see in you. I have conquered all that would try to overcome you. You win. My life in you has overcome sin and death. Smile and laugh because you are my daughter and I am yearning for you and delighting in you. I am not disconnected from you. You are in my sight every minute.
I see you dancing, singing, light and free in My presence. No more sadness or heaviness. Give thanks for your season of joy – great and lasting joy – has come.”
There is a lot in that word. It’s probably hard to catch it all, but I hope you heard a few key things:
- The Lord loves us and he does not see us the way we see ourselves
- When the Father corrects us, he gives a vision for where we are going rather than beat us up over where we’ve been
- He is working in us and fighting for us. We may feel weak and under it at times, but in His presence we break out of our chains.
Because He is your Chain Breaker, you are free – you are no longer a captive.
In closing, I want to exalt the work of Jesus in order to set us on the right course. What Jesus did for us in his life and on the cross is what makes Him our chain-breaker. Simply telling you that Jesus is our chain breaker without supporting it with Truth doesn’t give you the power your faith needs to set you free.
When Jesus hung on the cross, he uttered three words that are the most powerful words that have ever been uttered on this planet. Jesus cried out with his last breath, “It is Finished!”
Before Jesus even got to the cross, he took the beating of 40 lashes with whips that tore his flesh off and exposed his internal organs. That beating paid for our complete physical and emotional healing. And on the cross, the justice that satisfied our guilt was completely fulfilled. Jesus didn’t just take on our sin – the Spotless One became our sin. So when he uttered those three words, “It is finished,” our TOTAL salvation, which is our healing AND redemption was paid for and won.
Now we can all expect to be healed from everything that is not of God. I wish I could answer why some people are healed right away and others aren’t. But I can tell you that God is the God of the In-Between. There is often a season of waiting in between the promise and the manifestation. And it’s in the waiting that we learn to grow in faith, to practice our faith and to lean into the Lord when it looks as though nothing is happening.
So while we are waiting for the complete manifestation of our healing, we are going to experience freedom by remembering that God’s Word is our lifeline, God’s presence is our refuge and God’s voice is our necessity. Because He is our Chain Breaker, we are Free – we are no longer captives. We are free now!
- Do you know how to access the Presence of the Lord?
- Have you made a habit of asking the Lord to speak to you about things that concern you?
- Do you write down what you hear in your heart? Do you have anyone who is scripturally grounded who can help you screen those words?
The Word says that the Lord is enthroned upon our praises (Psalm 22:3), and we know that worship is the atmosphere of heaven (Revelation 7:11-15), so when we worship either in song or with our words, the Lord’s presence is magnified. While He is always with us, we need to learn to increase our awareness of His presence. Worship, praise and thanksgiving focus our attention on Him and clear our minds of worldly clutter.
I encourage you to schedule some time with the Lord, like a date with a friend. Turn off the phone, and focus on Who He is. As you learn to direct your thoughts to the multiple facets of God’s greatness and love, you will begin to be aware that chains are falling away that were once impossible to get free from.
Lord Jesus, this life is so busy and confusing. I am pulled in so many directions and feel the weight of my burdens pressing down on me. I am caught in “time” and can’t see how any of this is going to work out for my good. But I know that You are Good and that You are my Father. You promise to protect me, to deliver me from evil and to work everything out for my good. Jesus, please sustain me with your love. Pour out Your peace upon the fires in my heart. Quell every frightful thought and release me from the stranglehold of the enemy. I exalt Your victory over every bondage of the enemy and your victory in me. In Christ, I am free! There is freedom laying all my worries at your feet. Your peace won’t let me go! In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.