Take Heed

  • Aug. 5, 2013
  • #8156

Leaning on our flesh can often lead to sin and depression. Is there a way out? Beat the blues by finding your purpose in God.

Hi, this is Joni Eareckson Tada and I have a question for you today …

How many times have you watched someone dive headlong into immorality, and thought, “Nope, not me; I'd never be caught doing that”? If that’s you, beware. People who view themselves as standing firm are the most susceptible to the most gross type of sin. Upright and obedient Noah stood alone against a carousing, lustful world that drank itself silly; who would have thought Noah, of all people, would end up drunk? Look at Abraham. He was ready to push obedience to the point of sacrificing his own son; who would imagine he would be the one to lie straight-faced to government officials? And do it twice! Lot—look at him—remember Lot closed his door against the sexual sin in the streets of Sodom, but hardly does he get delivered from the city's destruction, then he falls into incest with his own daughters.

And look at bold and courageous David who was brave enough to go up against Goliath, but later on, he made believe he was a madman because he feared his enemies. Then there's Elijah. We take him to be a rather brave, good, honest and Godly man as he wielded the sword of God's vengeance against tens of thousands. But the threat of one woman, Jezebel, sent him plummeting into suicidal despair. Finally, there's Peter. He was part of the Lord's inner circle, following the footsteps of Jesus closer than anyone. Yet he ended up cursing and denying his Savior. 

First Corinthians 10:12 cautions us. It says, “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!”

Isn’t that the truth? I mean, just consider the human side of Noah, Lot, David and Elijah. And then the next verse says, "These things are examples ... [and] were written down as warnings for us." I tell you, just when you think you are doing pretty good you stumble into a sin which seems so out of character for you, but it's not. When it comes to relying on the body, our character will choose sin and death every time. But when it comes to relying on the Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, you won’t fall. You’ll never fall as long as you're leaning on Jesus. 

Yet I'm very much like Elijah and Peter, Noah and David … and so are you. We are human beings who are often prone to lean on the flesh … and when that happens, we not only fall, we fall into depression. Depression—you know, that numbness, that emptiness, inside; you feel like screaming yet you’re so tired. Fears overwhelm you and your brain feels like it’s in a fog. That’s what often happens to you … and to me, certainly, when I quit leaning on Jesus and start leaning on the flesh. And my good friend, Dr. Edward Welch, has written a most extraordinary little booklet on this subject of depression. He talks about how you may feel like you have no purpose, but God counters that feeling on every page of scripture, and He’s got the remedy for your depression: His purpose, finding and living out that true purpose He has for your life. Dr. Welch talks more about this in this little booklet simply called “Depression” and I hope you’ll visit joniandfriendsradio.org today for your free copy. Again, it’s about standing firm in God's purpose for your life and leaning on Jesus for the strength and energy to live that purpose out. If you do this, you won’t fall, and depression will release its tight grip on your heart and soul. So please, let what I’ve said today be an example to you. Just visit me at joniandfriendsradio.org and get your free copy of this extraordinary little booklet. Thanks so much for sharing these few minutes with me today and may God continue to help you to stand firm. Please visit us at joniandfriendsradio.org.  

© Joni and Friends. Previously aired as Program #7115 on 08/07/09.

 

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