Looking Forward…

windshield[1]

Depression. It is an illness brought about for many different reasons. It is also something that affects many Christians as well as non-believers. One of the most serious causes for depression is addiction… while seeking ultimate freedom or self satisfaction in some substance, food, internet or whatever… the addict will often find nothing but guilt, shame, and loneliness. 

Addiction truly is a disease… not one we are necessarily born with, but one that we will acquire and destroy us… if we are not careful… that is because Satan, that old devil… as we are told by Jesus in John 10:10… only comes to kill, steal and destroy… that’s what he does… but Jesus goes onto say… that in Him… there is life and that more abundantly… so there is a cure… what I call the one-step program… Jesus.

But addiction… it begins in our brains… we know this scientifically now…

Because… in the back of our brains- what is called the brain-stem… which is that part of our brain… built to survive… it is primitive… it is our drive to survive…

And it produces dopamine- a neurotransmitter… and sends a signal to our brain reward center… when we view or intake something addictive…
Dopamine… builds new roads in our brain… called neuroplasticity… addiction literally rewires our brains… with something like trenches in our brain

These roads that are built cut off the Frontal Lobe part of our brains… this is the part of our brain that is used for judgment and understanding… and addiction causes the frontal lope to shrink… these are physical changes to our brains

These changes in the brain can be repaired… but the trenches and rewiring caused by addiction leaves scarring… which makes relapses very possibly in a person’s life.

So, my firm and strong recommendation to everyone and especially the youth… please, please… do not head down a road that you know God doesn’t want you to take… because it will cause trouble and problems for you that you can’t possibly even begin to realize… for the rest of your lives… That is why God tells us to flee temptation… because it will kill.

Instead of searching for happiness at the bottom of a bottle or the internet…or whatever, I believe, and it has been demonstrated in my own life, because I have suffered- which is the right word, suffered from depression myself in the past, that true happiness can only be found in a relationship with our Creator.

And Paul told us how to we are to overcome things like depression and addiction… as well as to how generally to live our lives… and the purpose for our lives… he explains it in Philippians 3:13-14…  Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 

It is like the windshield in our cars… we have this big beautiful view of what is ahead… which in the Christian’s case is eternity with Jesus… that we need to keep our eyes focused on… and this very small rear view mirror… that is good to check periodically- to recall where we came from and what we were saved from… but we can’t focus on the rear-view or we will crash.

Depression and addiction would have us focusing on the rear-view and not looking ahead… don’t believe the lie… for the Christian… the best… the prize… the one thing of any real worth… lies just up ahead! 

How To Hear Old News…

Sound is transmitted by particles (atoms or molecules) in a solid, liquid or gas colliding with each other. It is a wave which is created by vibrating objects and propagated through a medium (solid, liquid or gas) from one location to another. A vibrating source can be sound coming from a drum, speaker of a radio, the mouth of a person (vocal cord), a car engine, a plane above the sky and so on. Although sound is commonly associated in air… sound will readily travel through many materials that are solid, liquid and gas.

It takes time for sound to travel through space… and it takes time for our minds to receive and process those sounds… Thus, no matter how close you are to someone… when they speak, there is always something of a delay… whatever is said, is old news by the time it is received.

Your ears only hear old news… the Sunday sermon you listened to was old news by the time it got to your ears… unless….

You don’t only listen with your ears… but you also listen with your heart… the one way that we can always have fresh insight and perspective in what we are receiving, is to hear what God is saying via our heart… that’s why if you just listen to messages with your ears… you never hear the voice of God in your life.

Proverbs 2:2 states: Make your ear attentive to wisdom, Incline your heart to understanding… 

If you haven’t heard from God in a while… perhaps your just getting old news… and you don’t have the correct receiver turned on.