17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.
So far in our mini-series on spiritual depression we have looked at the causes of this all-too-common condition. If you haven’t read any of the previous pieces you can do here.
Today we see that there is a whole life response needed to the truths of Jesus to avoid spiritual depression. We know that the whole counsel of God’s Word is needed to communicate the truths of Jesus, and it stands to reason then that our whole lives must be influenced and affected by it.
Romans 6.17-18 points to the whole person, as does Romans 12.1-2, and we read of obedience, the heart, the standard of teaching, and being slaves of righteousness.
We need balance in our Christian life in order to avoid spiritual depression, and to experience all that God has for us:
If we focus on the mind only, we become brainy and insightful with no desire to serve.
If we focus on the emotion only, we become overly emotional in our faith but lack understanding.
If we focus on the will only, we become fired up to serve, but don’t really connect with those we are serving.
The whole truth of Jesus needs a whole life response – mind, emotion, and will, or head, heart, and hands.
Lloyd-Jones speaks into the balance needed to live the fruitful Christian life, and offers this in response to those to focus on only one element of their person,
These are the people who decide to take up Christianity instead of being taken up by Christianity.
He goes on to call them spiritual monstrosities, and says that if truth is not first understood and internalised then the heart and hands will never work properly, so to speak.
The order suggested is this – head, then heart, then hands.
First we must understand what it is we are responding to. Understand why Jesus shedding His blood for you was such a big deal. Understand the huge change that has taken place within you, and the power that now lives in you.
When this is understood, the heart is softened, and the hands are readied.
Truth is received through God’s greatest gift to man, the mind, the understanding.
Simply then, one big step on the road to avoiding spiritual depression is to order the way God’s truth flows into our lives, first head, then heart, then hands.
Let us commit today to understanding and knowing more about our great God, and having hearts softened and hands readied by this wonderful truth.