Spiritual Depression Chs 12&14 (Quotes)

By D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
from Chs 12-14, Spiritual Depression

Weary in Well Doing (14, p.191); The Spirit of Bondage (12, p.163)

 

 

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.  The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.  And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together.  Romans 8:15-17

 

The danger with some of these resounding phrases is that we tend to content ourselves with the words, or with some general impression which they make upon us; we enjoy them so much that we do not realize their significance, and therefore we do not appropriate to ourselves the teaching which they are meant to convey.  p. 163

 

…these pronouncements and doctrines are always introduced with some practical object in view, with the pastoral element right in the very forefront.  These letters are pastoral letters written primarily because the Apostle was concerned to help people to an actual enjoyment and out-living of the Christian faith which they had believed and accepted. p. 164

 

These people to whom he is writing have been converted and have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, but now they are up against the problem of living this new life which they have received, in a world that is antagonistic and utterly opposed to them…But here the difficulty seems to be that of ailing to realize that faith must be appropriated.  p. 164-165

 

The slave attitude generally arises from the tendency to turn the Christian life and the living of the Christian life into a new law, into a higher law…They think of the Christian life as great task which they have to take up and to which now they are to apply themselves…holiness becomes a great task to them and they begin to plan and organize their lives and introduce certain disciplines in order to enable them to carry it out.  p. 165-166

 

What is the answer?  It is that we must realize the truth concerning the doctrine of the Holy Spirit and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the Christian…that works out in two ways.  The first is that as I confront this mighty, glorious task of denying myself and taking up the cross and following the Lord Jesus Christ I realize that I am to walk through this world as He walked.  As I realize I have been born again and fashioned by God according to the image of His dear son, and as I begin to ask:  “Who am I ever to live so?  How can I ever hope to do that?” – here is the answer, the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, the truth that the Holy Spirit dwells within us.  What does it teach?  It first of all reminds me of the power of the Holy Spirit that is within me. p. 169-170

 

This is the way we are to get rid of the spirit of bondage and that false spirit of fear.  We are to realize that the Spirit of God is in us.  We must look to Him, we must seek His aid, we must rely upon Him.  That does not mean that we are to be passive.  It means we believe, that as we are wresting, He is empowering us.  We would not even have bothered to exert ourselves unless He had prompted us to do so.  He works in us and we work it out, and as we realize this, the task is not impossible…Do we realize that as Christians we have within us the self-same Holy Spirit that was in the Son of God when He was here on earth?  The Father gives the Spirit and it is the same Spirit that was in the Son that is given to us.  The Spirit that enabled Him will enable us.  p. 171

 

…the second principle – the presence of the Holy Spirit in us reminds us of our relationship to God…it enables us to see that our object in living the Christian life is not simply to attain a certain standard, but is rather to please God because He is our father – “the spirit of adoption whereby we cry, Abba Father”…So we begin to realize this, that we are now sons of God, children of God.  We have this new dignity, this new standing, this new status, this glorious position in which we find ourselves.  Go back again to that High Priestly prayer and notice how our Lord says that we are to glorify Him in this world exactly as He glorified His Father.  Have you realized that?  That is the Christian life, that is the reason for living the Christian life; it is to realize that I belong to God and that I must glorify Him…What a wonderful position.  And the Spirit is in me and is enabling me to do it.  p. 172-173

 

Finally…the Holy Spirit within us reminds us of our destiny.  “If children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ.”…It is not a question of keeping to a standard, it is not a question of vainly striving to do something; it is a question of getting ready for the place to which you are going. p. 173-174

 

If you are in Christ, rise to it ‘o’er sin and fear and care”.  Take your full salvation and triumph and prevail.  p. 175

 

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 

Galations 6:9

 

The Bible is a Book which has been written in order that God’s people may be helped in this world.  p. 191

 

Here, the devil does something much more subtle, in that there is apparently nothing wrong at all.  What happens is that people just become weary and tired, while still going in the right direction.  Here we have the case of those who are on the right road and facing the right way.  They are moving in the right direction but the trouble is that they are shuffling along with dropping heads and hands and the whole spectacle and picture they present is the very antithesis of what the Christian is meant to be in this life and world.  pp. 191-192

 

This is the stage which follows the initial experience, that initial experience in which everything was new and surprising and wonderful and clear, the stage in which we were constantly making new discoveries which never seemed to come to an end.  But suddenly we are conscious of the fact that they do seem to have come to an end, and now we have become accustomed to the Christian life.  Now longer are we surprised at things, as we were in the beginning, because we are familiar with them and know about them…this may be true of us individually, it may be true of our work, it may be true of our church, it may be true of a whole collection of people…country…society… pp. 192-193

 

…we are considering people who are not so much tired of the work as tired in it. p. 194

 

 

 

 

 

Whatever you may feel about it do not consider the suggestion that comes to you from all directions – not so much from people, but from within yourself, the voices that seem to be speaking around and about you – do not listen to them when they suggest that you should give up, or give way, or give in.  You say: “I am weary and tired, the thing is too much for me”.  And there is nothing to say at that point but this negative – do not listen…You must say to yourself:  “Whatever happens I am going on”.  You do not give in or give way.  p. 194

 

Do not resign yourself to it…The danger at this point is to say something like this:  “Well, I have lost that something which I had, and obviously I shall not get it back again.  But I am going on, and out of loyalty I will go on, as a sheer duty.   I have lost the enjoyment I once had, that is gone and it is undoubtedly gone forever.  I just have to put up with it, I will resign myself to my fate, I won’t be a quitter, I won’t turn my back on it, I will go on, though I go on feeling rather hopeless about it all, just shuffling down the road, not walking with hope as I once did, but keeping on as best I can.  That is the spirit of resignation…p. 194

 

Do not resort to artificial stimulants…I have seen people in the church dealing with this general spiritual weariness in that very way.   They work up some kind of excitement or they adopt new methods…Now that sort of thinking in the spiritual life and in the life of the Church is comparable to one thing only on the natural leve, and that is to the man who takes to drink or drugs in order to give himself some excitement or to work himself up.  Obviously this is an extremely subtle temptation and a very subtle danger.  It seems to be so plausible, it seems to be just the thing we need, and yet, of course, the terrible fallacy behind it all is that, in a scientific sense, what you are really doing is to exhaust yourself still more.  The more a man relies upon alcoholic drink or drugs, the more he is draining away his natural energy.  Moreover, as he becomes more exhausted, so he will need to have still more drink and still more drugs; and so the process goes on in a cumulative manner.  And it is exactly the same in the spiritual realm. pp. 195-196

 

I must ask myself why I have been doing this work and what has really been my motive…If we are working to satisfy and please self in any shape or form, the end is always going to be weariness and tiredness. p. 197

 

Has this work, I wonder, kept me going?  Instead of being God’s work, has it been a sort of mainspring of my life?  …the activity is not in its right place as something which you do, but has become something that keeps you going. p. 198

 

There are phases in the Christian life as in the whole of life…The Christian life is not always exactly the same, there is a beginning and a continuing and there is an end.  And, because of these phases there are many variations.  Feelings, perhaps are the most variable…Very often Christian people become weary because certain feelings have gone.  They do not realize that what has happened is that they have grown older…But as we grow and develop spiritually, changes must take place and all these things obviously make a difference in our experience. pp. 198-199

 

If you regard the Christian life as a dreary task you are insulting God…The Christian life alone is worthy of the name life.  This alone is righteous and holy and pure and good.  It is the kind of life the Son of God Himself lived.  It is to be like God Himself in His own Holiness.  That is why I should live it. pp. 199-200

 

 

How have I got into this life – this life that I am grumbling and complaining about, and finding hard and difficult?    There is only one answer…We have come from that to this, because the only begotten son of God left heaven and came down to earth for our salvation, He divested Himself of all the insignia of His eternal glory and humbled Himself to be born as a babe and to be placed in a manger, He endured the life of this world for thirty-three years; He was spat upon and reviled.  He had thorns thrust into His head and was nailed to a cross, to bear the punishment of my sin.  That is how I have come from that to this, and if I ever, even for a fraction of a second, question the greatness and the glory and the wonder and the nobility of this walk in which I am engaged, well then I am spitting on Him. …if you think of your Christian life in any shape or form with this sense of grudge, or as a wearisome task or duty, I tell you to go back to the beginning of your life, retrace your steps to the wicket gate through which you passed.  Look at the world in its evil and sin, look at the hell to which it was leading you, and then look forward and realize that you are set in the midst of the most glorious campaign into which a man could ever enter, and that you are on the noblest road that the world has ever known.  p. 200

 

Go back and look at your life and put it into the context of eternity…This life is but the ante-chamber of eternity and all we do in this world is but anticipatory of that.  Our greatest joys are but the first fruits and the foretaste of the eternal joy that is coming…We are too immersed in our problems.  We need to look ahead, to anticipate, to look forward to the eternal glories gleaming afar. p. 201

 

What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him” I Corinthians 2:9

 

What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him” I Corinthians 15:58

 

And above all let us consider the master for Whom we work. Let us remember how He endured and how patient He was….But He went steadfastly on and did not complain.  How did He do it?  “For the joy that was set before Him He endured even the cross, despising the shame”…and you and I have the privilege of being like Him.  “If any man would be My disciple, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow Me.

 

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