Be happy Tip #14

Sometimes people ask me "Isn't my depression spiritual warfare?  Isn't Satan attacking me?"  Well, I certainly believe in spiritual warfare - because Scripture tells us in Ephesians 6:12 : "For we struggle not against flesh and blood, but against the kingdoms, against the powers, against the world leaders of this darkness, against spiritual wickedness in the high places".  And the Bible also warns us that "your adversary, the devil, walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" (I Peter 5:8)

So, is everything undesirable that happens to us a casualty of this battle?  I don't think so.  Yes, we need to be sober and vigilant (I Peter 5:8a) and yes, we need to be armed and able to wage war successfully (Ephesians 6). But we don't need to fear and we don't need to always chalk all our problems up to The Enemy of our Souls.  I like how John Piper puts it "Give the devil his due, but no more". 

Use the offensive weapons that God has designated for this purpose (The Word and prayer).  Keep your armor on (helmet of salvation, shield of faith, a heart protected by right-living, belt of truth and feet that are prepared to go and live the Gospel wherever He leads). Absolutely.

But let's remember a few very important points.

1.  Satan was defeated at the Cross.  Not only did Jesus pay for our sin, He disarmed the rulers and authorities of darkness, ridiculed them, triumphed over them (Colossians 2:14,15)
2.  We who are in Christ are filled with this same power. I John 4:4 assures us that "greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world".
3.  Yes, Satan is powerful and we shouldn't forget about him.  Yes, he wants to steal our joy and he actually wants to destroy us.  But he has already been defeated.  We can be victorious in our battle with him if we apply Scripture.
4.  Sometimes, we need to acknowledge that our own flesh is at least as powerful an enemy as Satan.  He would love to take credit for our depressed state because he loves the attention and he knows that will keep us from focusing on our personal responsibility.  If we fight the wrong enemy, we will continue in defeat. 

So, yes, sometimes we are attacked by spirits of despair and despondency.  Absolutely.  But we don't have to yield to them.  We can fight back because of Christ's victory over them. However, let's don't attribute more to the Defeated One than necessary.  Sometimes, we need to deal with our own sin.