In chapter V of Spiritual Depression, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones presses forward with The Light of the Gospel and its practical implications for liberating the depressed believer who finds himself in a perpetual state of self loathing over the remembrance of some past sin.
(It is this readers opinion that the anointing of God continues to attend the work of Lloyd-Jones and use what was rendered by him in service to God and His people. I find it impossible to read This work in Spiritual Depression and think of it only as it applied to “The people of Lloyd-Jones day” . No , there is always that sense of Lloyd -Jones being a minister grabbing my lapels and bringing me mind to mind with biblical doctrine as though he is saying. “This my friend, is a doctrinal medicine for you, take it and you will soon experience it’s healing effects upon your soul” and I do.)
Lloyd-Jones does take into consideration the interplay of Satan with regard to the bringing of such accusing thoughts to the child of God but spends little time on that particular aspect of things. Instead, he delivers sound doctrine to his primary subject, ( the child of God). It is a fully fleshed out doctrine in this chapter and I will not seek to cover the entire fleshing out in one Post.
A very perceptive Lloyd-Jones, essentially calls such a spiritually depressed person to a new kind of “wakefulness” ,to a , “standing at attention position”, and to an “at the ready” active participation in taking hold of the doctrine of “Salvation”. Here Lloyd-Jones seeks to bring death to any “spiritualized passivity”.
He heartily states:
Let me put this plainly and bluntly in order that I may emphasis it even at the risk of being misunderstood. There is a sense in which the one thing that these people who are in this condition must not do is to pray to be delivered from it! That is what they always do, and that is what hey have invariably been doing when they come seeking help- indeed, it is what they are generally told they must do….but this is one of those points at which the Christian must stop praying for a moment and begin to think!
At this point I think it is important to think. To think about what is being said here. If I understand this correctly and take a look at Christian experience I can certainly see a very important truth here. Lloyd -Jones is rightly stating that fully actively engaging our minds is as spiritual an act as prayer. That though prayer is a wonderful privilege and a mighty tool, it is the wrong tool in this case. That the right tool, the most spiritually appropriate tool, in this case is, the mind fully engaged with the doctrinal truth of the gospel of Salvation.
I think that this is plenty to chew on for a start.