Put on the Garment of PRAISE for the Spirit of Heaviness
June 12th, 2007
Priscilla Van Sutphin goinupstream@gmail.com

Isa 61:3 KJV  To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness ; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

When I first came to the Lord, I was filled with depression and it was a constant battle. When I wasn't a christian I would put on Bob Dylan records and listen when I was sad. There were a number of reasons for my depression, most having to do with an abusive past, and not feeling ever good enough, feeling worthless and never measuring up.  Then there was the occult background of my mother, and the family freemasonry on her side, and once having given in to her before I was saved and going to one of her new age practitioners as a suggestion where the woman prayed some “white light” over me. I didn’t believe in any of her practices but did it to appease my mother, please her.  Something you should NEVER DO.

I had a friend early on as a neuvo-christian who had done this with her mother, going to some crystal ball lady on Coney Island once, just appeasing her mom and ended up with 20 years of depression. She however was a born-again Christian at the time.  When God says, TOUCH NOT that which is unholy, HE MEANS IT.  It is not just for the old testament. There is no new dispensation for witchcraft.  It is not to be toyed with or dabbled in, in it’s many forms, whether astrology & horrible-scopes, or oujia boards, séances, talking to the dead is quite popular on TV now…that is called NECROMANCY and must be REPENTED OF.
There is just NOTHING about witchcraft that is harmless.  And familiar spirits don’t just go away cause I pray once for them to. Maybe that happens with seasoned veterans with more authority, but it does NOT always happen when doors are not fully closed in our own lives to CONTROL issues.  Control is witchcraft and under-girded by fear and pride.

For more on familiar spirits

It is popular these days to say that all depression is “chemical imbalance”.  Yes it is that, and can be because of faulty nutrition, but what caused the chemical imbalance? Bad nutrition is one cause, demons are another.  Demons are ENERGIES per Greek, and can cause numerous complaints, physically and mentally.  This many “Christians” would prefer to disbelieve as it takes BELIEF and FAITH to deal with demons, or to admit I might have to face painful issues in my life to get healed, when I don’t want any more discomfort in my life.  Often depression is from anger at self, turning anger inward, or not being able to be who you want to be. But you cannot get healed by just “putting it behind you all the time.”  It takes confronting false beliefs, vows, pronouncements you may have made and REPENTANCE for holding unforgiveness towards yourself and others, healing of memories, and that often must be SPECIFIC; not just oh God forgive me for all my unforgiveness.  That is nice, but it’s not what they were told to do in Nehemiah.

Neh 9:1-3 AMP  1   NOW ON the twenty-fourth day of this month, the Israelites were assembled with fasting and in sackcloth and with earth upon their heads.  2 And the Israelites separated themselves from all foreigners and stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers.  3 And they stood in their place and read from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for a fourth of the day, and for another fourth of it they confessed and worshiped the Lord their God.

I want to make the argument that it takes TIME, sanctification & not just a fast prayer to be healed.  Now in an apostolic age, that may change very quickly and I do believe those times are coming.  But at present I haven’t seen that much yet except in the Toronto revival.  The bible clearly tells us that the truth will set you free. But it is only the TRUTH YOU KNOW that will set you free.
Most of us can’t possibly know GOD overnight and how He thinks, how HE works, and His ways overnight.  It is process. Each day we are coming into more and more truth that sets us free. Even if we read the bible through in a year, each time we pick it up, Holy Spirit will show us things in a new way, each time we read it again.  He knows how to take a life and heal it step by step.  He knows the truth we are READY TO HEAR, which is also an important thing, because often we just want someone to change, but they are not broken enough.

God knows how to break our pride and all hindrances in our lives to healing and deliverance and HE knows every tidbit of our life history and our thought life.  HE, if we allow Him to, orchestrates the whole process. One KEY is to ALLOW HIM to touch us and do as HE leads.  Many of us RUN away from that intimate time.  We have fears of intimacy that can hinder the healing process, or fear of punishment, false teachings, and beliefs and unbelief to overcome. There are MANY variables and not each person has the same personality. God knows this, and HE knows the one who has sat under false teaching and what it takes to awaken his heart to the truth as well.  In Jeremiah, God admonishes the priesthood and others about healing the wounds of His people superficially, so this problem has been there in religious circles a long time.

Jer 6:13-14 NKJV  "Because from the least of them even to the greatest of them, Everyone is given to covetousness; And from the prophet even to the priest, Everyone deals falsely. 14 They have also healed the hurt of My people slightly, Saying, 'Peace, peace!' When there is no peace.

Let’s get back to the spirit of heaviness which is depression.  In Ezra it says:

Ezra 9:5 KJV  And at the evening sacrifice I arose up from my heaviness ; and having rent my garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands unto the LORD my God.

Out of pain and heaviness, Ezra says he fell on his knees, and spread out his hands unto the LORD, for the LORD is our only hope in such things. His presence, which Ezra knew, was the only answer to this heaviness.

In Job it says:
Job 9:27-28 KJV  If I say, I will forget my complaint, I will leave off my heaviness , and comfort myself:  28 I am afraid of all my sorrows, I know that thou wilt not hold me innocent.

Job says, I will forget myself, my depression, my complaints and comfort myself.  If I’m afraid, then I know YOU will not hold me innocent.  I know in other words, I cannot live in a place of complaining.  What did Job first do when he found out about his children and losses ?  It says that he said, the Lord lives, and the Lord takes away, BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD !  He responded with PRAISE.  He never slighted the Lord for what happened.

David says in Psalm 69:
Ps 69:20 KJV  Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness : and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.
and in Ps 119
Ps 119:28-31 KJV  My soul melteth for heaviness : strengthen thou me according unto thy word.  29 Remove from me the way of lying: and grant me thy law graciously. 30 I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid before me.  31 I have stuck unto thy testimonies: O LORD, put me not to shame.

In both instances, he cries out to the Lord because there was no human comfort, in fact often even if there is, it is of no enduring value compared to that of the LORD’s comfort, or though kind, not received well in such a time.  He cries out to the LORD for help.  He didn’t say, go get my doctor, I need Xanax or Prozac, though those things have their place in some circumstances, the reason they are overused today is that people do not look to GOD and are unbelieving so they do not have the keys to overcoming such things.  DAVID LOOKS TO THE LORD.  HE PRAISES THE LORD.

There was a day in my early Christian life, when I started to feel depressed and because I had heard a teaching on praise for the spirit of heaviness, I went in the living room and sat down next to the stereo, and put on a favorite song and started singing.  There was a tape jacket sitting on one of the speakers, no where near me to bump it.  And as I started singing with all my heart to the Lord, that tape jacket FLEW off the speaker ! I knew at that moment the Lord was confirming that it was a spirit and I laughed and continued to sing.  The enemy REALLY hates your worship of HIM, and will do ANYTHING to stop it.

James says: 4:8a  KJV  Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.
Indeed the way into the secret place is through PRAISE and worship. It has also always been my way into intercession.

There are a lot of things that bring depression, and not all are unavoidable, but the cure is the same.  Here Peter talks about temptations the enemy puts us through causing heaviness and many of us know this one of late as God has been purging us.

1 Peter 1:6-7 KJV Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:  7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

There are numerous reasons for the cause of depression, including periods of grief and temptation, trying times, hardships, difficulty in relationships, etc. WE are all subject to such times.  But in all things related to depression, it is putting on the garment of praise that brings us out of depression.
We also have to get free of our self hatred and self rejection by learning how much God loves us. This comes through the Word of God, getting His truths into us, but also dwelling in the secret place which is in worship and quietness, waiting on Him, and His PRESENCE will bring the love that casts down all fear, and every other thing that assaults us.  I went through years of inner healing and still needed to listen over and over to some lectures on the Song of Solomon by Mike Bickle that helped immensely in establishing inside of me His love for me.  Also His dealings with my mistakes, my sins, has also shown me that Nothing can separate us from him like it says in Romans 8.
There are prayers to overcome rejection that relate to love here.
If you want to hear the lectures on Song of Solomon click on this.

In the book of Ezekiel there is a passage that so blessed me when I searched it out so want to also share that at this time, because praise and worship are VITAL KEYS to overcoming not only depression but all things.  The key passage is verse 10 but I wanted to include the whole thing as they are very encouraging scriptures.

Ezekial 47
Here Ezekiel’s passage is about refreshing/revival.  Peter said in Acts. REPENT that times of REFRESHING may come upon you…

1)Then he brought me back to the door of the temple; (house) (Joel 3:18) and there was  water, flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east, (symbol of sunrise, God's light and glory, the Sun-rising, Cherubim) for the front of the  temple faced east; the water was flowing from under the right side of the temple, south of the altar.
2) He brought me out by way of the north gate, and led me around on the outside to the outer gateway that faces east and there was water running out on the right side. (south side)   (south symbolic of the place of refreshment)  3) Then, when the man went out to the east with the line in his hand, he measured one thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the water came up to my ankles.  4)  Again he measured one thousand and he brought me through the waters; the water came up to my knees. Again he measured one thousand and brought me through; the water came up to my  waist.   5) Again he measured one thousand, and it was a river that I could not cross; for the water was too deep (water in which one must swim), a river that could not be crossed.

We can't just walk and get our feet wet in the river of life, we must swim in it- get soaked!  It doesn't work to be part pure/part-washed (like Peter when Jesus washed his feet, he said, then wash all of me Lord) we must be whole-hearted in our desire for God to be with Him, to obey Him, to be like Him; to be empty of self, and filled with the Holy Spirit.  (like Gideon and his 300 men, the pitchers dropped to the ground representing our broken flesh, leaving only the torch; the fire of the Holy Spirit)

6) He said to me, Son of man, have you seen this?  Then He Brought me and returned me to the bank of the river. 7) When I returned there, along the bank of the river, were very many trees (symbol of nations, individuals, the church & Christ Jesus) on one side and the other.
(Rev. 22:2-4)   "And he showed me a pure river of water of life clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.  In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. (fruitfulness)  And the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the  nations.
(leaf=symbolic of life amidst prosperity or adversity)
God often in scriptures refers to men as trees.
…And there shall be NO  MORE CURSE, but the throne of God and the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.  They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. (ref. Matt 5:8, Rev. 14:1, etc)
Matt. 5:8 NKJ Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.

Revelation 14:1 "Then I looked and behold a Lamb standing on Mt. Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His father's name written on their foreheads." (12=number of Divine Government, Apostolic fullness – 12 tribes of Israel, 12 apostles etc.)

8) Then he said to me: "This water flows toward the eastern region, goes down into the  valley and enters the sea. (sea is symbolic of the restless masses of people, the wicked nations)  When it reaches the sea, its waters are healed. (purifies, heals; salvation and healing to souls and bodies)

9) "And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers (lit. 2 rivers coming from the throne of God ) go, will live.
(Whosoever follows the Lord in this move of the Spirit-place of Lord's presence-shall              live) There will be a very great multitude of fish ( Ingathering spoken of by Joel  "multitudes, multitudes in the Valley of Decision) because these waters go there; for they will be healed, (all who bathe in the river) and everything will live (prosperity of spirit, soul & body) wherever the river goes." 

{ Thought:  Life breathes more life, light overcomes darkness. Also in Ruth there is a passage where Boaz puts 6 measures of barley in her apron, and Ruth representing the bride of Christ in that scripture, is given the fullness of man symbolically in harvest.}

10) "It shall be that fishermen (Evangelists, disciples) will stand by it from En Gedi to En Eglaim; they will be places for spreading their nets.  Their fish will be of the same  kinds as the fish of the Great Sea, exceedingly many.
( A great variety of peoples all  over the world will be saved from desert and wilderness places- places of death, and there will be great victory over sin through ministry of praise and thanksgiving to the Lord .)

I thought, why would the Lord use these places on the map ?  Why wouldn't He say from here to all around the world or something ?  There were places known much broader than this at the time, so I looked up the words and here is what I found...

EN GEDI:   En Gedi means "spring of the kid" goat being a symbol of sinners or sin.  En Gedi is on the west side of the Dead Sea.  It's the name of a spring and associate  streams which issue from beneath limestone cliffs on the west side of the Dead Sea.  (due east of Hebron)  I believe it represents people covered with death, desert places are representative of the absence of God.
Also, 2 Chron. 20:2 calls En Gedi, Hazazon-tamar which suggests the presence of palm trees which are symbolic of VICTORY. The wilderness of En Gedi is one of the bleakest parts of the wilderness of Judah. (Judah also means praise)  We come to victory with death to self as well.

EN EGLAIM:   En Eglaim means "spring of a calf or heifer" calf is symbolic of PRAISE, & THANKSGIVING.  The exact site is not known, but probably several miles south of Khirbet Qumran (site where dead sea scrolls were found).

What the Lord showed me out of this  was VICTORY comes through  PRAISE and thanksgiving. That is why He used these places to describe it.

11)"But it's seas, swamps and marshes will not be healed; ( where it is not allowed to flow through stagnant water) they will be given over to salt. (place of death, spiritually- Reminds me of Lot's wife who  was turned to salt-for whom this  world's  goods held too great a place in her heart)"

12)   "Along the banks of the river, on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees   (symbolic of us- Is. 61-trees of righteousness), used for food; (Daniel 12:3, those used  to teach, disciple, nurture) their leaves  will not wither, (their source of life will not diminish) and their fruit  will not fail. (symb. Of increase or multiplication & fruitfulness)  They will  bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the sanctuary.
(They're fed and watered by God Himself). Their fruit (fruitfulness) will be for food, and their leaves for medicine.

This last verse shows symbolically where God is taking us to a place of death to self so we can be filled with His glory that will produce this kind of fruitfulness in us ; a continual flowing of the waters of life; His life flowing through us that we would be poured out like Paul to the lost, bringing healing and deliverance to the nations.

One more note:
There is a suffering and affliction that comes with heavy calls on people’s lives.  David Brainerd suffered from boughts of depression which may have been intercession for the Native Americans he reached out to. He would pray for hours in his tent, and sweat drops like blood, like Jesus did in prayer, as the FIRE of GOD came upon him in prayer for them.
We have to be careful of making judgments about those who suffer for the sake of the lost and of the church as Paul also speaks of in Colossians 1:24. Even Epaphroditas suffered with sickness almost unto death for the sake of the church it says.  So be sure to stay away from presumption and judging and seek the Lord when praying for people suffering from depression or any other affliction.
But in the end, the cure again is the same. WORSHIP AND PRAISE brings down the witchcraft that is coming against us now through Hindu, Islamic and Pagan curses spoken against His beloveds.  I believe THAT is why God said that He would again establish the Tabernacle of David in our times, as He KNEW that witchcraft would increase and to break it we need to have 24/7 prayer and WORSHIP.
Depression is one of the first signs you are under witchcraft attack, whether jezebelic, or other sources.  So lift up your voice to the LORD of GLORY, and if you can’t sing, make a JOYFUL noise or SHOUT, or DANCE, or play and instrument and bring heaven down to earth !

see articles on Overcoming witchcraft
and Worship & Social Justice