My members, the parts of my body, are instruments of righteousness, yielded to God for His service and for His glory
For several years, while I was a pastor in London, I had a tremendous struggle against depression that would come over me, weigh upon me, and shut me in. It gave me a sense of hopelessness and failure. Maybe you can identify with this. I fought this situation in every way that I knew, but I made no progress. Then, I came across Isaiah 61:3: “To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them…the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.”
As I read those words, the Holy Spirit showed me, “That’s your problem!” It was like a flood of light coming in. I realized I was not fighting against myself but another being—an evil spirit that was tormenting and oppressing me. When I realized that, I was probably 80 percent of the way to victory. I actually needed only one other Scripture: “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved [“delivered” kjv]” (Joel 2:32).
Putting those two Scriptures together, I prayed, “God, You’ve shown me that I’m oppressed by a spirit of heaviness. I come to You now, calling on the name of the Lord Jesus. Deliver me.” He liberated my mind from that oppressing spirit.
Now, it was up to me to reprogram my own mind. I had habitually negative thought patterns, which God showed me to be a denial of my faith in Jesus. It was up to me to retrain my mind. Over a period of several years, every time a negative, pessimistic thought came to me, I would reject it, replacing it with a positive confession from Scripture. Several years later, my whole inner working had changed completely. I was a totally different person.