Blaze new trails. Mark Batterson, The Lion Chaser’s Manifesto, Chase the Lion
Why do you blaze new trails?
So you can go where you have not been before; by wearing out a path; by repeatedly following a trail that gets you where you need to go, yes?
There was this “watershed moment” in my life, when I suddenly realized how I might experience victory over depression in my life. And since I was desperate, “What did I have to lose?”
Everything pivoted for me when I was reading 2 Chronicles 20 one day, and realized that it might be that truth, that would set me free.
Clarity as “Two Truths” merge
The first truth I realized was this: Pray first!
Word reached Jehoshaphat that “a vast army is marching against you from beyond the Dead Sea from Syria. It is already at Hazazon-tamar” (also called Engedi). Jehoshaphat was badly shaken by this news and determined to beg for help from the Lord; so he announced that all the people of Judah should go without food for a time, in penitence and intercession before God. [2 Chron. 20: 1-3 TLB]
Up until that point? I was having little victory over my habitual bouts of depression–instead I was thinking depression was just my lot in life.
It was these words of Jesus that finally brought me some clarity:
…“The simple truth is that if you had a mere kernel of faith, a poppy seed, say, you would tell this mountain, ‘Move!’ and it would move. There is nothing you wouldn’t be able to tackle.” [Matthew 17:20 The Message]
A second moment of clarity…
This one came one day when I was reading in Psalm 22…
My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why are you so far away when I groan for help? Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer. Every night I lift my voice, but I find no relief. Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. Our ancestors trusted in you, and you rescued them. They cried out to you and were saved. They trusted in you and were never disgraced. [Psalm 22: 1-5 NLT]
I began to wonder, “Is it possible that I need God’s “presence and power” to manifest in my depression, not only in my prayers, but through my singing songs to praise Him?”
I knew my unbelief had kept me from “asking” because I had been believing that victory over my depression was not possible. And, trust me, when you are depressed the very last thing you “feel” like doing–is singing.
(But, “What if?”)
What if I could “rise” from my bouts of depression on the wings of prayer and praise?
The “wings” of a warrior
Isn’t this what Jehoshaphat discovered?
- This battle is not mine but God’s?
- I only need to have a poppy seed of faith?
- And, humbly ask for God’s Divine intervention?
- God will manifest His present-power through my prayers and songs!
I am like that blind man that Jesus healed.
Do I know if this will work for all depression? No, but this much I do know. I was once getting stomped in my battles with depression. And now, I’m experiencing victory.
Do the battles still come?
Sure they do! I have an enemy who does not want me fulfilling my purpose. But we have a saying in my family, “It is a good sign when the enemy shows up–you must be doing something so right!”
Blaze new trails!
So I’ve blazed a trail to 2 Chronicles 20:
- Set yourself to pray and praise.
- Stand still. (Don’t panic!) This battle is God’s.
- See the salvation of the LORD!
I continually speak about the essential need for prayer.
I try not to write any post without the living, breathing, powerful Word of God. And, I try to end each post with a song of praise to the LORD, because I know His presence, will manifest in my praise!
Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song. Sing his praises in the assembly of the faithful. O Israel, rejoice in your Maker. O people of Jerusalem, exult in your King. Praise his name with dancing, accompanied by tambourine and harp. For the Lord delights in his people; he crowns the humble with victory. Let the faithful rejoice that he honors them. Let them sing for joy as they lie on their beds. Let the praises of God be in their mouths, and a sharp sword in their hands—to execute vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples, to bind their kings with shackles and their leaders with iron chains, to execute the judgment written against them. This is the glorious privilege of his faithful ones. Praise the Lord! Psalm 149 NLT