You Are Not Bound to Anxiety or Depression: There is Freedom in Christ

What if I told you that you weren’t created to live in anxiety and depression? What if I told you that Jesus has made a way for you to be free from that and he’s calling you to join in on that freedom today? Would you believe it? Or does your life’s experience make that sound like an unattainable fairytale. 

 The weight of life is heavy and its vision is often dark. When we fail to “feel” Jesus, we often assent that he isn’t there, or that we have done something wrong to dispel him from ourselves. What if I told you that the key to unlocking freedom from depression and anxiety has nothing to do with feelings at all? The world today is all about feelings, walking in the way that seems right, chasing after a pleasure which was meant to be filled by God. Why would we want to walk in the same way as the world, when we are called to walk differently (Rom. 12:2)? We aren’t called to live by feelings, but by faith. 

Now some of you might say “Brennan, are you saying that I have to go through life denying my feelings living in a lie that says I’m okay when I feel broken?” My answer to that would be: By no means! What I am saying is that it is not a reversal of feelings that bring freedom, but an understanding of truth. It was Jesus who said “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). This is the beginning of freedom, understanding that not any truth, but knowing that Jesus who is the way and the truth and the life (John 14:6) is the ONLY means to freedom. Without him we remain slaves to sin, reaping the effects of depression and anxiety with no escape. 

Are you to blame for your depression and anxiety? I don’t think so. Many hold blame on themselves even though God says we who are in Christ have no more condemnation (Romans 8:1), but others then usher blame to a God who “has abandoned them” not realizing that the God of the Bible never forsakes his children. If God created you in his image, wouldn’t that mean God intended you to think like him as well? I think this is true, and precisely why after Jesus redeemed those that believe, Paul in the Bible says “we have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16). Those that have called upon the name of the Lord to be saved, have full access to not just his thoughts, but his thought process as well. We aren’t just to flood our brains with his truth temporarily, but to actually reason and develop thoughts throughout our life as he does.

Humanity chose to disobey God in the beginning, resulting in a fallen world, and experience that is less than the original design of God. Understanding this is vital to understanding the new identity given in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). If you think your brain is to be mended and “fixed” to think properly, then you may just be attempting to accomplish what no one in the Old Testament could. They could not “cure” their fallen state by trying to hold to God’s law; they all fell short (Rom. 3:23). What if instead the key was understanding the TRUTH about your new identity; that you have been given the mind of Christ and have been called to partake in his divine nature?

Now I understand that’s easier to say than to accomplish, and I agree. But wasn’t it already finished when Jesus died on the cross for our salvation, which is not just a ticket to haven, but a transformed self, with a new mind and heart to know God? Why do I still feel like this if it’s already finished you might ask? Maybe you’ve been deceived by the world, and by Satan, to think that God is not powerful enough to restore your brokenness. Hear me clearly, I am not condemning you, but I know that God is good, and his will is to heal and restore brokenness, and to destroy the works of the devil. That being said, he has invited us to have faith, believe in his truth and be saved, without working to do righteousness, but to simply be it.

You may still ask, how do I grow in faith to understand my new identity? Romans 10:17 says that “faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ”. The response is simple, read the Word of Christ, the Bible, surrender the old self which we were NEVER created for (the old self filled of depression and anxiety) and RECEIVE the new self that is freely given by Jesus. Will this happen overnight? Maybe. Will it take time to grow in faith and belief in the word? Maybe. In either case, the emptiness of surrendering the old self has to be filled with the truth of God. Repent (turn away from sin and a corrupted self and to God), and embrace the new life lived in the Kingdom of God which is far better than anything the world has to offer, and incorruptible by the world. Just reading these words about the nature of Jesus will begin to stir the seeds others have sown into your life which God will grow into such beauty. In all things know that GOD IS GOOD.

 If you do not know God and you want to, just know that he receives all that come to him in need. There is a cost, but it involves giving up the self we weren’t created for, and surrendering all of our new self to him. I can promise you, in this new life is joy, peace, and purpose like never before. Trials and suffering still come to anyone who lives in this world, even Christians, but what an honor it is to walk through trials and sufferings not in despair, but in joy with the hope of Christ living in side of me. Those who choose this new life are made new and have become:

Alive with him (Ephesians 2:5), free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2), far from oppression and fear (Isaiah 54:14), born of God whom the evil one cannot touch (1 John 5:18), holy and without blame in his love (Ephesians 1:4, 1 Peter 1:16), God’s child born in an incorruptible seed of the Word of God, living and abiding forever (1 Peter 1:23), God’s workmanship, created to do good works (Ephesians 2:10), a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), a believer in which the light of the Gospel shines through the mind (2 Corinthians 4:4), a doer of the Word who’s actions are blessed (James 1:22, 25), a joint heir with Christ (Romans 8:17), more than a conqueror through Christ who loves (Romans 8:37), an overcomer by the blood of the Lamb and the word of my testimony (Revelation 12:11), a partaker of his divine nature (2 Peter 1:3-4), an ambassador of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20), part of a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people (1 Peter 2:9), the righteousness of God in Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:21), the light of the world (Matthew 5:14), his elect, full of mercy, kindness, humility and longsuffering (Romans 8:33, Colossians 3:12), forgiven of all sins and washed in the blood of Jesus (Ephesians 1:7), redeemed from the curse of sin, sickness, and poverty (Deuteronomy 28:15-68, Galatians 3:13), called of God to be the voice of his praise (Psalm 66:8, Timothy 1:9), healed by the stripes of Jesus (Isaiah 53:5, 1 Peter 2:24), raised up with Christ and seated in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6, Colossians 2:12), greatly loved by God (Romans 1:7, Ephesians 2:4, Colossians 3:12, 1 Thessalonians 1:4), strengthened with all might according to his glorious power (Colossians 1:11).

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The Mind of Christ-Perceiving the Kingdom

Who are we to think that our experiences dictate what is possible or even probable in the kingdom of God?

As humans we love to found our thinking on a logical basis and simply incorporate information into that way of thinking in order to yield results that can be easily computed. What I mean by that is that if our experience is little and our perception of what is possible comes from our logical way of experiential thinking, then we will miss sharing a piece of “the mind of Christ” which we have been given. The mind of Christ is not a system which takes in worldly information to yield a better worldly result-it transforms the perceptions of carnal reality into the realms of heavenly thinking. It goes above and beyond the capacity of the human mind to catch a glimpse of heaven on earth.

What would it be like to be so heavenly minded that walls of limitation start to vanish and the kingdom of God loses transparency to become fully visible on earth? God has not given us his mind for a better day, but to function as a medium through which our identity is transformed into the likeness of Christ’s where we can usher and contribute to the building up of the Kingdom of God on earth.

We are under the rule of a King who gives the greatest gifts to his builders. We stand in a position of exaltation from God to rise above not just the enemy, but above every negative aspect of “life” the world has to offer. What a job we have! We are basically paid in unending grace and commissioned to bring the greatest conceivable good (God) to all of humanity that has yet to experience him.

The Lord does not require an impressive resume for acceptance into relationship-he simply requires faith and submission to follow him. Who wouldn’t want to give up a perversion of good (fallen humanity) for the greatest good?

If you continually believe you are bound to the faults of the fallen mind, you will always live less than you were created for, but if you let heaven dictate even your physical reality, you will see breakthrough like never before. The God of the universe has not set up his creation for failure, but has given every faucet of himself for the ability of humanity to walk like just as Jesus walked.

When we accept an identity less that one which reflects the fullness of Jesus, we are agreeing with a lie that says that the Holy Spirit is incapable of overcoming our initial fallen nature which derives from hell. As Todd White puts it “to say you’re only human is to say you’re only demonic”. He describes one speaking of falling short who claims limitation by human nature. The humanness we often associate with as our own, is nothing more than the influence of Satan trying to recreate his image in God’s creation. Let us stop dictating human capability and look at the perfect human-Jesus Christ. That ought be the standard for our living, as we too are empowered by the same Spirit. We fell from a real human nature that bore the image of God, but in Christ have been redeemed to that nature, to partner with God and exercise his thoughts into our present reality.

When we can begin to identify as “holy, blameless, and above reproach”(Colossians 1:22)  we will begin to see what our Father sees.

Know the mind you have been given. If you are reading this and you have yet to surrender the perversion of good you walk in, for the greatest good that God is, I encourage you to step into this calling of a newness of life. Jesus made the great exchange to take sin and give righteousness to those who might believe. We were created for Him. Apart from him is a life which lacks love, purpose, and direction. With him is a relationship above all else.

I am not setting a new standard for Christians to attain, but rather describing the mind Christians have already been given. Salvation isn’t just a ticket to heaven but an invitation into the mind and heart of Christ. Let us humbly take what we have been given and be faithful in building up the church and the kingdom of God.

What we’re Missing as Christians

What if I told you that we’ve missed or skewed an important part of the Gospel…Our Identity.

We read the Bible and we understand God’s word so far as it applies to our lives. We take verses and apply them as principles to help us in tough times. Why is it that we turn to fear, shame, and guilt when we walk through the trials of the world instead of rejoicing in the Lord and becoming the Love he calls us to?

Maybe we haven’t completely understood the Redemption in Jesus Christ. If we were to be called redeemed that would mean we once had an original value which was lost wouldn’t it? We were made in God’s image for relationship with him. We were NOT created for sin, but to look and be like our Father. When Adam sinned we took on sin identity and our original value was lost and masked by sin. We became all about ourselves and the root of our sin became inward-seeking satisfaction that cried out “I don’t need God”. A glorious relationship with the God of Love had no longer been perfected because we chose to turn away and believe the lies of the Thief.

And then…

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21


“For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” Hebrews 10:14

“For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.” Romans 6:6

“You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.” Romans 6:18

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” Ephesians 4:22-24

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

Why is it that we see sin as who we are if we claim to be Christians? Why is it that we wake up tomorrow expecting to sin instead of waking up knowing who God says we are?

Jesus didn’t just die to get me into heaven he died to make me a Son and set me free and…”If the son sets you free, you will be free indeed” John 8:36

We have to see the love of God to become who he says we are. Faith involves a relationship of seeking him in love to have fellowship with him. The world isn’t a place we endure until Jesus comes again; it’s a place we manifest the Love of God so that we can see that we’re Sons and Daughters and walk out into the world looking like our Father, bringing his light wherever we go.

We’re so quick to call out “heretic” or “false prophet” when someone speaks about being free. It’s all over the Bible. We must not deny the finished work of the cross. What if we stopped reminding each other daily about our “Sin Nature” and using it as an excuse that cries out humble and start living out the truth in God’s Word which the Holy Spirit empowers us to walk out. We’ve been made new. Jesus comes to give abundant life and the time to live is now.

 

 

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