The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Can mental illness hinder your relationship with God?

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

You are not the body that you see in the mirror. That’s just your earthsuit. You are the soul inside the suit. Your soul is going to live forever. Your earthsuit is just a temporary machine which has only been designed to last a short time. Your soul is not capable of getting out of its earthsuit. God is the one who put your soul inside your suit, and He is the only One who can take you out of it. But He will take you out of it one day, and that moment of separation is what we humans call death. It is only your soul that God will be transferring on to an eternal dimension—either Heaven or Hell. It is only your soul’s response to Him that God will be judging you by, and it is only your soul that God loves. Your earthsuit is expendable.

Now your earthsuit is an incredibly complex machine. God is a genius, and everything He creates is truly marvelous to behold. He created your earthsuit specifically for your benefit while you are living in this physical dimension which we call earth. Just as we could talk about the engine, cab, and exterior of a car, your earthsuit has many components as well. Your earthsuit has physical, emotional, and mental components. Your brain is the highly complex computer which runs the suit.

Now your earthsuit is amazing, but it is also fragile, and many things can go wrong with it. When we talk about illnesses, we are talking about earthsuit malfunctions. Illness can be localized to one compartment of your earthsuit—physical, mental, or emotional. But because all of these components work together, when one is having trouble, the others are affected as well.

The pursuit of God is a soul thing. Prayer, worship, the submission that leads to salvation—all of these things are strictly soul activities. Your earthsuit doesn’t have bumpkus to do with your relationship with God. Earthsuit problems cannot block your soul from loving God any more than an astronaut’s malfunctioning spacesuit can prevent him from loving his wife and kids. When you don’t understand how separate your soul is from your earthsuit, you end up falling for all kinds of very distressing lies about how your mental illness is affecting your relationship with God. Once someone slaps the “crazy” label on you, or you find yourself hearing scary voices or experiencing frightening swings of mood, it’s easy to believe that you can’t possibly get in a right place with God. But this is an absolute lie. Certainly a malfunctioning earthsuit can be very stressful to your soul, just as the human driver of a car would become very distressed if his car started lurching and swerving all over the road. But your earthsuit cannot control your soul and this is a vital thing to realize.

In this world, the machines we create have far more impact on us than your earthsuit has on your soul. For example, if an astronaut gets a tear in his spacesuit, he will end up in a life-threatening situation. If a man’s car spins out of control and rams into a stone wall, the man could die. Because we are used to having our machines massively impact us, we naturally assume that a malfunctioning earthsuit can have devastating effects on our soul. In this world, it seems as if physical machines have the power to kill us, so why can’t a malfunctioning mind have the power to inflict some kind of spiritual death on us? If we can’t form a coherent thought, doesn’t that mean we can’t pray? If we are depressed to the point of being suicidal, doesn’t that mean our faith is nonexistent? Not at all. Your earthsuit is not your soul, and your soul is not controlled by your suit. Nothing can prevent your soul from talking to God. It’s like your soul and God are hanging out together in an invincible fortress with no doors or windows. There can be wars and storms raging all around the fortress, but no one can break it down or break inside. Your soul and God are sitting inside the fortress having a personal, private conversation which no human, demon, or earthsuit can possibly interfere with.

Your brain is not your soul—your brain is simply the engine that runs your earthsuit. When your brain malfunctions, it can certainly be very frightening because you feel very dependent on your brain in life. A malfunctioning brain can cause your soul to feel like it no longer has control over its suit—your emotions, body, and mind might start doing things that you don’t want to do and you find yourself unable to stop them. Mental illnesses can make us feel like a man who is trapped in a car that is spinning out of control. We feel alone and afraid and vulnerable because we think we are dependent on our suits to keep us safe in life. But it is actually God who you are dependent on and God never leaves you.

Whether you know Him or not, God is always with you and He is always taking care of you. God is always in absolute control of your earthsuit. When your earthsuit has problems, God is the One ultimately responsible for causing those problems. God does not give your earthsuit problems just to torment you, but to draw you closer to Him. Having a mental illness—any mental illness—does not mean you are less loved or less wanted by God. While other people will become very uncomfortable around you when you act in ways that they don’t understand, God is never uncomfortable around you. God doesn’t think you’re weird. God totally understands you and He has great compassion on you. He knows how scary mental illnesses can be, but He can also help you become less afraid by teaching you truths about what your illness does and doesn’t mean. Once you understand that nothing can block your soul from having a positive relationship with God, your mental illness becomes less threatening. After all, pleasing God is all that matters in life, and God makes pleasing Him and succeeding with Him very easy for all souls to do. It doesn’t matter what kind of diagnosis you’ve been given by a psychiatrist. It doesn’t matter how many drugs you have to take just to keep your earthsuit tacked together. Your earthsuit does not define you. You are the soul inside the suit and it is your soul that God dearly loves.

If the person you love most in the world drove up to see you in a shiny new sports car or in a lurching, ugly heap, would it matter? You’re not in love with the car, you’re in love with the human inside. In the same way, God’s desire for you is never diminished by what your earthsuit is doing. Maybe right now you’re stuck in a suit that is a real mess. Maybe you convulse or drool or say things you don’t mean to say. Maybe you can’t walk straight or you can’t sit still or you can’t stop crying. Maybe you’re filled with fear or you’re hearing voices, or you can’t form a clear thought. None of this stops God. God loves you and He wants you, and no one can keep your soul from embracing Him.

FURTHER READING:
Mind Wars: Defending Against Demonic Voices in Your Head
Demons Cannot Control Your Prayers
Spiritual Bondage: Exposing the Scam
Deliverance Ministries: Scamming You in the Name of Jesus
Faith Development: Basic Mechanics

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