Earlier this week, the men's group at our church was presented with a message that came really close to the feelings in my heart and the thoughts in my head. We were reminded that our thought process can be flowing smoothly with ideas of God's kingdom and then in an instant of fear, anxiousness, worry or anger, it can be turned to something negative. That negative feeling can be directly connected to our body in chemicals that cause us to get nervous or sweat. We may get so hyped-up that we shake. We see it in a rush of adrenaline. We see it in our blood flow as pressure rises under stress. If it is not balanced quickly, that moment can extend to hours, days, weeks, and years of feeling defeated, frustrated, angry or beaten.
My own life has been this way often. A strong moment of faith or an inspiring word will be resounding in my heart then something negative or someone with a negative word interrupts my flow of blessings and then "SHABANG!!" That moment of fellowship with God is gone. The strength that I held onto so proudly is tainted by Satan's fiery darts. The circumstance may be so severe that it dwells with me for days, weeks or months. It could be a sudden family illness, a financial burden, a failure on my part to be obedient or even just a disappointing action by one of my children. Maybe it is that person in the Christian community who judges our actions without love and encouragement. Anything that gets between the focus of walking with God and remembering his goodness can become that dreariness that leads into depression.
Believe me, I have seen this firsthand because my family has experienced it for decades. Now it scares the crap out of me. Why? Because depression can lead to dementia. That is a problem that sounds almost self inflicted if we consider it by the scriptural points. Don't get all worked up. I realize there are many forms of dementia and we don't know enough about them to identify what exactly causes them. At the same time, there is evidence and testimony that shows certain levels of depression can lead into dementia. I know this as a fact from my own family's testimony but I can also see where it does not have to end this way. We have been given the means to control these emotions and the ability put these thoughts under restraint. It is a part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit called self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
The speaker provided a list of "cans" that we should pray about with the intent of maintaining our focus on what God has made available to us. We do not have to live in that sullen and defeated mentality.
Here is this list. His suggestion was to pray over these 20 "Cans" over the next twenty-one days. That is three weeks of doing exactly what Jesus did when Satan tempted Him in the wilderness. Jesus just replied with God's word every time Satan tried to push one of his buttons. We have that same ability. Pray all of 20 of these points for 21 days just to see how Jesus will start to change the way you think.
Crystal and I have started reading this today. Will you join us?
PS> Special thanks to Larry Mims who provided the leadership and personal testimony last night for the men. This list was provided by Larry to help all of us reclaim our right relationship with God through scripture.