The experience I had at the restaurant in North Carolina was my wake-up call. I knew I was hooked on a prescription drug, and I wanted to be free.
The next day I bought a book entitled Healing Through the Name of Jesus. I began to read it and to study and meditate on the Word of God. I continued to take Valium but gradually cut down on the dose. I came to believe Jesus was my answer.
One Scripture passage in particular that I regularly meditated on is Psalm 103:1-6: "Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's. The Lord executes righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed."
This passage gave me great encouragement because I realized that, though I was oppressed by the devil, the Lord was going to "execute justice" (v. 6) against my enemy. As I persisted in studying the Word, I developed an increased desire to be free from both the iniquity of depression and my dependency on drugs, and I began to trust God to heal me.
One revelation that helped me along the road to recovery was that my soul, or my flesh, which consisted of my mind, will and emotions, was at enmity with God (see Rom. 8:7). In order for me to be completely whole, my soul had to come in line with God's will for me. Otherwise, I was fighting a losing battle: My mind was telling me I needed the Valium, my emotions were trying to convince me that without drugs I couldn't function and my will was at the mercy of my mind and emotions.
The only way to stop this vicious cycle was to:
• Renew my mind through the Word. As I did this, the mood swings became less frequent, and when they did come they were not as intense or long-lasting. Also, my faith for healing increased.
• Make Jesus Lord over my emotions. I began to encourage myself by quoting God's Word so that what I felt became subject to what I knew to be true. God's Word said that God would redeem my life from destruction, and I believed it.
• Set my will to come in line with God's will. God did not want me to be oppressed or to be dependent on drugs; He wanted me to be free from iniquity, healed of all disease and renewed like the eagle! I realized that if He was big enough to save me from sin, He was powerful enough to deliver me from iniquity, and I determined to receive all He had for me.
Deliverance in my case was a process of growing spiritually, but one day I knew I was free. I flushed all my tranquilizers down the toilet. Since that day 27 years ago, I have not taken a single dose of any mood-altering drug.
What are some of the steps to overcoming depression? Here are the ones that helped me:
1. Recognize and acknowledge that you have a problem, and desire to be set free.
2. Realize that, if you are a Christian, you have a new blood line. The life of God flows through your veins, and the iniquities in your natural blood line have no hold over you. Renounce and break the bondage of these iniquities.
3. Renew your mind by meditating on the Word of God, especially on healing Scriptures (see Eph. 4:23). In addition, bring the other aspects of your soul-your emotions and your will-into line with the Word.
As you renew your mind, you will find that your thought patterns change. You will begin to think as God thinks, not as the world thinks. And your attitudes and actions will follow suit. Here's why:
When you study the Word, you put godly, conditioned thoughts into your mind on purpose. These lead to repeated thoughts, which are the thoughts that go through your mind again and again. These in turn lead to thought habits, which are formed from the continual processing of repeated thoughts and which determine the way you tend to think in any situation. The thought habits affect your attitude, which dictates whether you see things in a positive or a negative light. Your attitude in turn dictates your actions, or outward behavior.
In other words, if you repeatedly put godly thoughts in, what comes out-as displayed in your attitude and actions-will be godly, also.
4. Forgive everyone who has ever hurt or disappointed you. Otherwise, you will develop bitter roots that not only fill you with wrong thoughts but also affect your physical well-being. The Bible tells us that bitterness dries the bones-and this is where the blood is produced. Bitter roots bear bitter fruits.
Before I was healed, I had bitter root judgments against people. I was particularly angry with my ex-husband, and the court hearing we had over child support and custody made me even more dependent on the drug I was taking. But the Word of God changed my thinking. I stopped judging others and let God deal with my heart.
5. Ask God to deliver you, and trust Him to answer your prayer.
6. Thank Him for your freedom, even before it is manifest.
Now begin to live the abundant life Christ has for you!
Mary Jo Clouse has been teaching the Word of God in churches and at conferences for 27 years. She ministers regularly on the topics of generational curses and physical and emotional bondage, helping fellow believers to find freedom and wholeness in Christ.
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