New Brain, New Body, New Life!
Good Morning! As I'm working through the last portion of Armor of God and preparing for the series on Jonah that I will do with On Fire Fit both virtually and at our church, I've been so struck by how the Bible applies to so much of life. The Armor of God study has some very powerful lessons that are very obvious to help get "fit" in mind, body and soul. But even the story of Jonah has so much to apply. It is a story of life interrupted. The story of how our plans take us only so far and that when we ultimately want what God wants, then we are willing to take a different path we didn't even consider. For me, years of eating in a way that I thought was "healthy" but having daily chronic pain made me think that this was just the way I am. Then, when I fully opened my heart and head to the path God chose, even though it went against everything I "thought" I should do, or wanted to do, I became free from that pain! Who knew I'd probably been in that whale's belly for 25 years?! The part of Armor of God that I studied this morning has so much power in it, that I just see how it can help in any area of life. Some of you will remember last summer the series of devotions I did on Toxic Thinking. Priscilla Shirer talks about that in Armor of God. A friend of hers, Dr. Caroline Leaf, studies neuroplasticity (the brain's ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections). Thoughts are active; they grow and change....every time you have a thought, it is actively changing your brain and your body-for better or for worse. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 This is not a one-time event but a lifestyle! Does that sound familiar? How many times have you heard that eating healthy should not be a diet but a lifestyle? Here is the same exact process. To truly be successful, we must apply REAL POWER daily to every area in life. Real Power comes from the Sword of the Spirit--the Word of God. It can't be hit or miss. It can't be without a plan or as we feel like it. If we want to change our minds and our bodies, we have to pour more of the positive, more of what God says and not what WE think, into our minds to change us and to bring true life into us! When we control our thought life, new neural connections and pathways are visibly and measurably formed in the brain--which affects the health and wellness of our physical bodies, according to Dr Leaf. Let's put that in a practical example. If I say, "I have no control over my eating habits. I always fall off the plan and am defeated. Why do I bother?" Do you see how the neural pathways are set for destruction? How will someone succeed that way? But, if I say, "I have had trouble in the past with my eating habits, but by the power of God, I am making changes that will make me healthy." Each time I am at a crossroads about whether to cave into temptation, if I take a moment to say, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! " repeat repeat repeat! Or, if I do feel like I got off track, if I quickly say "I will not be defeated by this choice. I am resetting my mind and body back on what God has promised!" In these situations, I am building new neural pathways and rewiring my mind! This is the way for those new habits and new ways to actually stick! But, it is a lifestyle! Remember that! Our old pathways are still there, eager for us to take them and use them again and you better believe Satan is there to remind us of them! So, it will be daily renewing and resetting of the mind, but the power of God to change us is endless and He is the only one who truly can! It is so exciting to be on the right path and to recognize quickly when the old, worn-out negative path rears it's ugly head again and to be able to quickly run from it or get back on the right path quicker each time! Pretty soon, the positive neural pathway will be more worn and embedded in our minds that we will be able to stay on it easier and for longer stretches of time! Thank God for His power to transform our minds, our bodies, our souls! Love to you jennie