We discussed in a previous Word for the Week how discernment may operate through impressions, which is where we start to feel in ourselves what someone else is dealing with. One reason many prophetic people suffer depression is that they pick up on so much spiritually around them that they think it is their problem and fail to distinguish this as the gift working. Just because we feel depression does not mean that we have depression, but we may be feeling what someone close to us is dealing with. If we inquire of the Lord about these feelings, He will lead us to the truth about them. As we mature, we will learn to distinguish what we are picking up from others, or other situations, and what is actually in our own hearts.
That being said, many prophetic people are of the melancholy temperament that can be prone to depression. This is something no child of God should be subject to, and we can be free of it. There are reasons for depression that we do not have to be subject to. All who know and serve the Lord should resolve to not be subject to depression. Of course, depression may be the result of chemical imbalances, but if this is the case, let’s get it right. We cannot see the world or people as they are if we are looking through the eyes of depression. This is a serious hindrance to prophetic revelation that we must overcome.
When I first read in Isaiah 6:3 where the cherubim were saying day and night, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory!” I could not help but wonder how they could say this with all of the wars, hunger, child abuse, disease, and suffering everywhere. I asked the Lord about it, and He answered that these cherubim could say this because they dwelt in His presence. When we are in His presence, we will not see anything but glory. That is when I resolved that above all things I will seek to abide in His presence.
Now this does not mean that when we are in His presence we do not see all of the evil that is taking place in the world, but rather we see God as so much bigger and that He will ultimately bring all things to a victorious and glorious conclusion. Life is stronger than death. Truth is stronger than any lie. Life and truth will prevail.
An ultimate demonstration of the prophetic calling is in Ezekiel 37 where Ezekiel had to see in dry bones an exceedingly great army, and he had to prophesy to those bones until they became what they were called to be. When we only see what’s wrong, or even the condition that people are in, and do not see the prophetic solution, then we are being pathetic, not prophetic. Our purpose is to see people, places, and sometimes events as they are called to be and to prophesy life to them until they become what they are called to be.
We are told in Romans 14:17 that the kingdom of God is “righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” If we do what is right in the sight of the Lord, we will have peace and joy regardless of the conditions around us. This does not mean that we are not sensitive to other people’s sufferings, but we know the Solution to every human problem. Who cannot rejoice when they know Him? This is not delusion—it is the ultimate reality, the ultimate truth that we must walk in.
If we start to feel fear, worry, or depression, it is almost always the result of looking at ourselves or the conditions rather than looking to Him—it is the result of taking our eyes off of Jesus. It is like when Peter walked on the water—as long as he kept his eyes on the Lord, he walked on the water, but when he started looking at the waves, he began to sink. Don’t sink. Keep your eyes on Jesus.
If we abide in Him and live in the peace and joy that is the kingdom, and then we go into a place and begin to feel depression or fear, we need to discern who is suffering from this. Remember that Jesus did not do anything that He did not see the Father doing, and we need to do the same. When we see something, we have been given authority over it. We will study this in more depth later, but this is true. Even when Jesus saw the five husbands of the woman at the well, you can be sure that when He left she was healed of what had been causing her to not be able to have a godly marriage. We are not given knowledge of other people’s conditions or problems just to impress people with our prophetic gifts, but to get them healed.