Insight and revelation is not for personal entertainment but for the edification of the body. Today I received a rhema word from the Lord and although it is of a personal nature, I feel obliged to share it with you anyway in hopes that you may be blessed. It was a timely message for the tumultuous times I have been going through for the last couple of weeks. The enemy was working overtime in my life and as a result, I was experiencing some symptoms of, and finally, depression.
Consequently I’ve struggled in these last couple of weeks in a depressive state and my emotions straight-lined. I had begun to question whether I was hearing from the Lord, or was I hearing from the enemy. News flash! When we cannot distinguish between the two voices, it is time for some serious reflection into our focus and our thought pattern(s). It’s time to get alone with God.
Because of the overwhelming attacks of the enemy, I felt condemned and totally beat up. Normally, I’d know the origin of condemnation and depression, but because of the number of attacks, there was literally no time for warfare. Seriously!
I’ve learned to recognize the symptoms because it cost me my marriage. It looked like I was in for the ride again. It seemed that the enemy was throwing everything at me all at once. Because of my condition, I finally shut down. (It is not a fun place to be.) You want to do what’s right or even do something, period, but you just can’t. The enemy had stolen my joy, which is my strength.
[Nehemiah 8:10b,c] . . .This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength [NIV].
Like I said earlier, depression cost me my marriage and everything dear to me. Because of that, I know the symptoms and I know how to pull myself up by my boot-straps. If you go through depression just once, you become a quick study. I was doing my best to work my way out of this condition. However, that was my problem. I was relying on my self-sufficiency. Real joy is a benefit of living in the presence of God  and He reminded me of just that fact today when He gave me a special and personal rhema word to help me through this time. Thank you my Jesus. Here is how it went down.
I was tired and I didn’t feel like going to church this morning but the unction in me said to get out of bed and come to my house for a visit. (I am glad that I went.) I forced myself up and into the bathroom to shower, get dressed, and head out. I made it just in time for the worship to start and I was lucky enough to get a seat toward the front. . .where I like to sit. (Again, thank you Jesus.)
The worship team broke out in song and so did I. . .and so did everybody else around me. It felt great to be worshipping God in song. I felt the overwhelming joy beginning to come back into my psyche as I lifted my voice to Him (and I am sure, a voice with which only He could appreciate). My frown began its upward slant and into a huge smile. As I stood singing in the pew, there were no more problems, no more worries, and no more depression. Hallelujah, I’m ba-a-a-ck. Praise the Lord God. When the pastor told us to turn and greet someone, a brother even told me that I looked very happy. I told him that I was, because I was in the Lord.
If that were all that the Lord had done for me today, my heart would be overflowing with thankfulness. It would have been OK. However, the Lord was not done yet. My next blessing was yet to come. After church, the Lord began His personal time with me in my car. The Lord spoke, not audibly but in my spirit. I knew in my knower that it was God. I distinguished His unction immediately. I felt my strength coming back. He said, “Understand this, ‘I am with you always , and I will never leave or forsake you .’” Then the Lord dropped a Scripture into my spirit, “The joy of the Lord is (my) strength. . .”
These last couple of weeks I had a couple of solutions to the same specific problem. This is where the confusion came in for me as to who was telling me what, and to whom I was hearing, because both solutions were positive and plausible. One was from God and the other one wasn’t, but which one was which?
Then the Lord continued:
“You are cumbered with many out of focus thoughts and you have drifted away from me. I am grieved when you drift away. I miss you. I miss us. I am easy to find in your thoughts. Sift through what you are hearing and find me calling out to you alone, to return to me Jim. When your joy returns, and our hearts are beating as one once again, then let us work on the other solutions together. Do not listen to any other thoughts. Forget them and seek my face.
God was saying that I was a priority to Him. God went on.
“I love you Jim and I have a purpose and a destiny for you. You know the mandate that I gave you. Focus on me first and I’ll add all those other things to you . Point others to me, not only with your tongue, but with your written word.”
This is what I sensed the Lord speaking to me. I told Satan, “Enough is enough! I was tired of felling like this.” I know that there are those who are praying for me and that the Lord wanted me back with Him. That was the take away for me. . .focus on Christ FIRST. Although some of the other thoughts that vied for my attention were important, there is nothing more important that my (our) relationship with Christ.
I had lost sight of who I was in Christ and who Christ was in me. I felt that the enemy had stolen my joy and had taken my joy, my strength. Worse yet, my relationship with God had waned and I had drifted away from Him. My destiny was also in jeopardy if I didn’t come around.
All of this should have been a flag for me but I was so overwhelmed with garbage and attacks and warfare that I couldn’t function. The enemy had me on the ropes and I was only one more attack away from taking the count. However, greater is He who is in me than he that is in the world . Christ will always answer that prayer, “Help me.” Satan is an idiot; the more he persecutes us, the closer we get to God (eventually).
I came to the conclusion readers that the enemy did not steal my joy. In fact, it was I who had abrogated my own joy, all by my lonesome. Therefore, I exhort you brothers and sisters to refuse to listen or entertain anything that distracts you from your destiny, your relationship with God, or your calling and/or gifting in your life, especially in this hour. Maintain your focus or you could end up living my story and being on the ropes.
 1 Chronicles 16:27
 Matthew 28:20
 Hebrews 13:5
 Matthew 6:33
 1 John 4:4