“Spiritual Depression” By Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Summaries to Encourage, Edify, and Bless
Chapter 3 Men as Trees, Walking
Mark 8:22, 26
Continuing to address spiritual depression, we move beyond the recognition that many are miserable in life because they don’t understand their justification (last chapter). Jesus and the disciples come upon a blind man whom Jesus then heals in a rare two step interaction. Many Christians may live in this state of uncertainty, being neither hot nor cold. On one hand they understand much about the Christian life, yet there are three things they don’t see clearly.
They don’t see how Jesus is “their” Savior. Their heart is “not fully engaged” and they don’t realize it. Their will is “divided” in regards to applying it to themselves. Some but not all Christians go through these stages. Being in these stages may be the evangelist’s fault or their own.
Sometimes they prefer a vague religion over the definiteness of Christianity. They don’t like clear cut definitions. Sometimes they just never reach the point where they “fully accept the teaching and the authority of the Scriptures”. They continually modify Scripture to fit modern sensibilities. Sometimes they do not like doctrine. It should not be surprising that those who reject doctrine do not see clearly. Doctrine had a purpose to combat heresies and errors which arose.
These Christians are tempted to claim sight, when only partial sight can be misleading. They live between two dangers. They may be tempted to become hopeless by denying what sight they do have. With this, they give up. These who give up must be cured as was the blind man before Jesus who answered God truthfully about his sight before submitting to Jesus’ continued work. Or they can claim sight which they do not have. Again, the blind man answered honestly.
God never leaves anything incomplete, but we must plead with Him to complete the work.
Being a Christian means choosing sides. We cannot serve two masters. Thankfully we have a patient God who works in us in spite of us and through us to choose His side. He is a patient God that matures us and calls us out of such partial blindness. Implicit in this chapter is that whoever tries to avoid the choice will be torn in two. Serving two masters will lead to depressed people, but confessing our condition like the blind man leads to God’s finishing work in our lives. Then He will deal with us as children, giving us fuller sight. In submission to Him, we will find peace.
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