Bluewater Bay Community Church

Weekly Teachings by Erik Momsen

Garment of Praise for a spirit of Heaviness

by Erik Momsen

Many people young and old are depressed and oppressed.  I have noticed this among younger people and especially among teens.  The debate about "depression" has raged around the world for thousands of years and even Hippocrates described a syndrome of melancholia as a distinct disease with particular mental and physical symptoms.  He characterized all "fears and despondencies, if they last a long time" as being symptomatic of the ailment.  Despite anyone's opinion, close to 30 million prescriptions of Zoloft are issued in the USA annually.

Strangely enough studies strongly suggest that the vast majority of major depressive episodes (23 weeks average duration) abate whether treaded of not.  The term depression itself was derived from the Latin verb deprimere, "to press down". From the 14th century, "to depress" meant to subjugate or to bring down in spirits. (wikipedia)


The Bible clearly acknowledges spiritual and emotional pain.

The Spirit of God of sent " ... to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion - to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of heaviness ..." (Isaiah 61:2-3)

Life results in many kinds of bumps and bruises.  Many are physical but more are emotional/spiritual.  As a Coke can is depressed, so the human spirit can be depressed.  Resistance to being dented depends largely upon what is inside the can.  A full or un-opened Coke can is not easily depressed.

Isaiah speaks of mourning, grieving, ashes and a spirit of heaviness.  He seems to indicate that there is also a spirit that causes the heaviness.  As a believer in the Holy Spirit I know that the infilling of the Holy Spirit brings great joy, peace, gladness ... The Bible is clear that there is a spiritual battle between angels and devils and that humanity is caught up somewhere in that.

God has promised that those who call on Him will be delivered (Joel 2:32 Acts 2:17-21, Romans 10:13).  Jesus said he came to destroy the works of the evil one.  We can start by vocally praying and resisting the dark spirit that might be causing the oppression/depression.

I strongly believe that praise - through the vocal chords - in song or without - is strong medicine to prevent and defeat heaviness (Isaiah 61).  The Garment of Praise replaces or wards off the numbing cold of depression.

"Studies have shown that 80% of those suffering from their first major depressive episode will suffer from at least 1 more during their life, with a lifetime average of 4 episodes" (wikipedia) --- It so often comes back.

To stay free one then needs to be equipped, protected, armoured (Ephesians 6).  Different people have different needs - cerebral people need mind protection / emotionally lead people need protection of the heart etc.

"But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet of the hope of salvation." (1 Thessalonians 5:8)
Heart protection - breastplate of faith & love - present focus - faith & love is now.
Mind protection - helmet of hope - future focus.
Note the greatest gifts are faith, hope and love (1 Corinthians 13:13).

The helmet is called the "hope of salvation".  The mind is set on a sure future - a future of salvation - All things are possible with God - And in all things God works for the good ... (Romans 8:28)

Faith and love that protects the heart/emotions is a now battle.  When attacked by the lion of fear I need a present faith.  Faith is a supernatural gift of God that wells up in the human spirit and resists. It says "I will not be afraid" (Psalm 91).

The Love of God is also the greatest protection for a heart under attack.  God is the one who binds up broken hearts and there is nothing like the manifest Love of God enfolding me to heal a broken heart.

"Biblical faith relates to the present from the realm of the heart.  Hope relates to the future from the realm of the mind.  The protection of the belivers mind is the helmet of hope.  Therefore I believe every Christian must be an optimist. .... I had to cultivate a totally different outlook - different attitudes, different reactions, different mental patterns." (Derek Prince)

The truth of God's word protecting your mind and setting you free.
The Love of God drawing closer warming your heart / the Love of God's people comforting.
Prayer in the Spirit - driving darkness away.
Praise in the Spirit - driving madness away (Saul & David).

Date Added: 2011-05-10

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