I agree with psychologists White and Blue [sic], that Depression is never purely psychological and never purely spiritual but always a combination of both.
In Part 3, I would like to look at another aspect of the spiritual side of depression. It concerns the issue of spiritual beings that are against us because of the image of God in us.
According to the Bible, malevolent spiritual beings are able to influence our:
• Health (woman bowed down for 18 years with what looked like osteo phirrosis)
• Moods (King Saul would have terrible mood swings)
• Thoughts (Judas, Ananias & Saphira all had their thought life demonically influenced to turn away from God)
• Mental Health (Many evil spirits in the man in the Gedarenes)
• Speech Defects (Deaf and Mute man)
• Epileptic type seizures. (Young man)
• Influence to sin against God (1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— Ephesians 2:1-2 (ESV)
What can we do about the spiritual dimension to our depression?
Firstly we need to be Spiritually Strong ourselves. For a Christian this means:
• Regularly Reading the Bible and meditating on what we read and applying it to life.
Watchman Nee, in his book “The Prayer Ministry of the Church” writes that the prayer life of the church is the pipe through which God has limited Himself to get His purposes and resources to the earth. If a church is weak in prayer then the diameter of the pipe is very small, and though God’s resources may, in Nee’s words, be as vast at the Yangtze River, they can only get through at a very slow trickle. The same applies to the individual.
• Fasting (There are some excellent books on this - Arthur Wallace, Derek Prince, Richard Foster have all written good books on this subject. Get yourself clued up on this powerful spiritual weapon)
• Fellowship with other believers.
Then, in prayer, we need to take authority against the spirits that are trying to influence our particular areas of weakness e.g. fear of failure, fear of rejection, unnatural need to be in control, obsession with our weight etc. etc. I don't believe that these things are purely psychological. Evil spirits are like flies (one of Satan's names means "lord of the flies"), and they will gather around any wound in our being and try to worsen it and infect it even more. (Good books: Waking the Dead by John Eldridge; Christian Set Yourself Free: Proven Guidelines to Deliverance from Demonic Oppression by Graham and Shirley Powell)