Statement of faith

2 Timothy 3:16-17 "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." (NIV)

"The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to make us like the Son of God. To become like Jesus, we must fill our lives with his Word.
- Warren


Monday, January 10, 2011

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                                                                                              pmcrawford1@gmail.com
Week of: Jan. 10, 2011
Sharing by: Pam Crawford

                                                 2 Corinthians 10:5

“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.”

RIGHT BRAIN, LEFT BRAIN

Overcoming negative thoughts has always been a real struggle of mine. I would have to say that it is probably one of the most identifiable strongholds for this gal. Years ago I attended a Bible study by Beth Moore titled Breaking Free where I learned that a stronghold is:  

“Anything that exalts itself in our minds, “pretending” to be bigger or more powerful than our God. It steals much of our focus and causes us to feel overpowered. Controlled. Mastered. Whether the stronghold is an addiction, unforgiveness toward a person who has hurt us, or despair over a loss, it is something that consumes so much of our emotional and mental energy that abundant life is strangled – our callings remain largely unfulfilled and our believing lives are virtually ineffective."

It was in that study that God began to show me the importance of understanding what it means to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”  I learned that if I was ever to have God’s peace in my life, I would have to constantly work at discarding thoughts that are contrary to what He teaches. In order to do this I have to stay connected to God’s Word on a regular basis. We have to be able to identify when our “thinkin is stinkin” as Joyce Meyers of Enjoying Everyday Life likes to say. In her book
Battlefield of the Mind she teaches, “Worry, anger, insecurity, fear, depression, doubt, and condemnation are attacks on the mind.”

In John 10:10 we are told, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy.” We shouldn’t be all that surprised that Satan goes after the mind. If he can get us to believe his lies, then he wins. He uses many different tactics to deceive us. It might be that you’ve been told you’re not good enough, or you will never amount to anything. Maybe you have believed that you’re not pretty; you’re too fat, too skinny, too short, too tall, too awkward, and no one would ever want you. It might also be that your war rages from someone else’s selfishness or their betrayal. Maybe there have been expectations that have never played out for you. You’re single and wondering “what’s wrong with me?” It might also be that you were going to be married “till death do us part” and now you’re divorced and fighting thoughts of rejection.  When we allow this poison to take root it becomes toxic.  

I found the following article by Dr. Caroline Leaf, from her book titled Who Switched Off My Brain. I think this can help us to better understand why our toxic thoughts must be taken captive before they have the power to cause destruction. Not only do we experience emotional stress when our thinking is negative, but Dr. Leaf shows us that our physical bodies will suffer too.  Be blessed.

Controlling Toxic Thoughts and Emotions

By Dr. Caroline Leaf
How many times have you replayed a conversation in your head until it stirred emotional pain or stress in your life? Did you know that stress is the reaction your body has to your thoughts?

Researchers say that 87% of the illnesses that plague us today are a direct result of our thought life. What we think affects us physically and emotionally. We are in an epidemic of toxic emotions and that is why I teach people about the anatomy of thought in my book Who Switched off My Brain?

Your brain speaks to your body and your body speaks to your brain. The mind-body link is an ongoing symphony of chemicals playing through your body 24 hours a day. And the way in which we think will affect the functioning of that whole electrical-chemical cycle.

God has built an incredible mechanism into our brain that gives us the free will to accept or reject information. We have the option to reject negative information from our thoughts before it gets the support of damaging attitudes and emotions.

There are two groups of emotions that are polar opposites: positive, faith-based emotions and negative, fear-based emotions. Each has its own set of molecules and performs as spiritual forces with chemical and electrical representation in the body. Faith-based emotions are love, joy, peace, happiness, kindness, gentleness, self-control, forgiveness and patience. These produce good attitudes and thoughts.

Fear-based emotions include hate, anxiety, anger, hostility, resentment, frustration, impatience and irritation. These produce toxic attitudes and create a chemical reaction in the body that can alter behavior.

Fear is the root of stress. Scripture says, “God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and love and of a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7). Fear-based thinking blocks the flow of healthy chemicals and releases toxic chemicals that put you into stress.

When your thoughts move you into stress, your emotions attempt to rule. Emotional perceptions are designed to create alertness to guide but not rule, because they misinterpret truth. Stage one of stress is the protective alarm that guides and helps you deal with dangerous, threatening situations. It creates a sweaty palm, quickened heart rate, adrenaline rush and a fight-or-flight emotional and biological response.

Once the alert stressor is gone, your accelerated heart rate (through narrowing of the arteries and increased blood volume) begins to return to normal. However, if your body stays under the constant barrage of negative stimulation, toxic waste begins to build up. An uncontrolled thought life will create fear-based emotional and physical conditions for illness.

In the second stage you enter acute long-term stress. Your mind and body start feeling as if they belong to someone else. The chemicals pump at will and in sequence through your body, and the first area they attack is your cardiovascular system.

If the chaotic thoughts are not controlled at this point, your stress hormones and chemicals never stop reacting. They move to a cellular level where your body experiences tissue damage and system breakdown. Internalizing wounded emotions at this point will eventually create a volcanic buildup in your body allowing a seething mix of anger, hostility and resentment. Suppressed emotional pain can also cause lingering physical pain.

Hosea 4:6 demonstrates wisdom and insight about this toxic pathway. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” If you understand something, you can begin to control it instead of letting it control you. Knowledge and understanding give you the tools. With the Holy Spirit’s power to remind you of God’s truth, you can begin to consciously control your thought life and deal with harmful emotions.

According to the word of God, which is more accurate than medical science, controlling your thought life brings health to your body. You can live most of your life in a passive mental state or you can choose to battle for your mind. It seems like an unfair battle because you can’t see what’s happening; yet you can’t escape the battle. The frontline of the war is the toxic thought. It usually enters through the five senses and if it is unchecked, it can become a mental stronghold of the enemy. The finish line is the final battle cry of victory when you take captive and overturn your toxic thoughts.”


Additional Scripture Reading:  Philippians 4:8-9

Book Suggestions:  Overcoming Fear by Luci Swindoll
                                   Who Switched Off My Brain by Dr. Caroline Leaf
                                   Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer

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