Keeping Your Brain Secure

submarineBrain and mind studies interest me. We are told now that our brains can be “hacked” by computer algorithms (persuasiveness) and we need an anti-virus for our brain. As soon as I heard this, I thought: and God provided it! It’s truly wonderful that God has already precluded our problem by giving us the protection for our brain long BEFORE technology arrived. I find that amazing; yet, few people apply God’s protective measures.

I am often thinking about how powerful God’s Word is. “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 (NASB). Our Father gave us instructions about renewing our minds daily so that we would have a habit of protection, providing us security from the world; He knew how desperately we need it. In the day we are living in, many still do not realize how much our brains have been affected by technology.

The mind is immaterial, unlike the brain which is organic/material. The reason there isfruitful heart so much controversy in the world over mind and brain studies is that opinion differs depending on your world view. God has told us so much about the minds He gave us and how to have a healthy one. If we adhere to the understanding which God our Creator provides, we can know His purpose and design for highly functional, pure, and fruitful minds.

Scripture tells us that our minds are seated in our hearts.

Jeremiah 17:10 ESV “I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.

1 Chronicles 28:9 [ David’s Charge to Solomon ] “And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought.”

Matthew 22:37 ESV And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

Romans 12:2 ESV “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

heart brainPhilippians 4:7 ESV “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Hebrews 10:16 ESV “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,”

1 Peter 5:8 ESV “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

Romans 8:5-6 ESV “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.”

We see this all around us as our culture continues to accept as normal, very destructive, and harmful influences. Some professing believers seem to have fallen into a trap themselves of believing the Kingdom of this World’s thinking over the actual Word of God. This can be seen in our lives, churches, small groups, everywhere. Our thinking has been greatly influenced by the culture we live in. This is not new, but with powerful persuasive technology that we willing give ourselves to, we are sucked into a vortex that perhaps we don’t realize has gotten us.

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The wise solution for any generation is dousing your mind in God’s Word; this is our only safety-net from hidden invaders. While technology is very persuasive, we can choose what we set our minds upon and respond well to attacks. Remember: “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” Galatians 6:7-8 (ESV)

When I listen to techy millennials like Tristan Harris talk about technology and what it is doing today to people’s minds, I cannot help but realize once again how smart God is! He’s given us the brain security we need — the question is: Will you apply it?

Tristan Harris on TEDx     (17 minutes)

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Are You Persuadable?

THINK: How much of your attention is given to technology related relationships? What Braindo you give your time and attention to? Are you under the influence? Drugged… Addicted?  If you’re interested in some insider info, take 17 minutes and listen to Tristan Harris (Founder of Time Well Spent) giving a Ted X Talk on the subject.

Next, put that into perspective with Scripture:

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. Romans 8:5-6 ESV

We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 2 Corinthians 10:5 ESV

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 ESV

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. Colossians 3:2 ESV

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3 ESV

Freedom from Habitual Sin

Addiction is rampant in our society. In biblical terms, we would describe this as bondage to an idol in the heart.  Something that has been given a place and taken hold in the person’s life to where they feel helpless to become free.  Some thing or person has been chosen over God to fill the void or remove some hidden pain in their soul. The good news is that through Jesus Christ there is freedom from destructive habits. It involves work and dedication to the process, but freedom is guaranteed to the ones who will humble themselves, repent with godly sorrow, and hate the sin that binds them. This involves loving the Savior who died to set us free from the bondage of sin, in whatever form it takes.

Sexual Idolatry is a major problem today. Unlike drug or alcohol addiction, this habitual sin can be masked for a period of time while secretly doing it’s work of changing one’s brain. Usually, by the time it is discovered, great harm has come to the individual, marriage, and family. The destructive consequences will follow, but there is hope.

With the growth of the internet, the porn epidemic has become a tsunami ravaging our world.  Pornography + Masturbation = Tragedy. Sexual abuse, pedophilia, sodomy, bestiality, human trafficking, and all sexual lust brings Satan delight in his mission to steal, kill and destroy God’s creation (John 10:10). Because of our Father’s great love toward us, He desires to redeem each one. His desire involves abundant life that comes from a right relationship with Him through repentance and correction steps to restore wholeness within.

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II Cor. 7:11 indicators of Godly Sorrow:

  1. Eagerness and earnest care to explain what you did, even though you may not understand why.
  2. To clear yourself of the wrongdoing and follow-up with proper actions.
  3. To hate the sin that you were involved in.
  4. To have alarm and fear about the seriousness of sin.
  5. yearning and desire to live for God instead of your own pleasure.
  6. Zeal to make things right. To correct all injustice.
  7. readiness to embrace the consequences and make corrections.

Understanding the physiological changes that result from habitual porn hits to the brain is cricial in gaining freedom. This will give hope and practical help to those who’ve struggled for years to be released from the bondage of porn use. Please see my Resources page for insights and wisdom.

LINKS to help (or go to RESOURCES Tab for additional links)

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Our Real Enemy

ALL Christians face spiritual warfare. Some may not be aware of who actually is opposing them, and they end up taking offense and despising the people they ought to love. If we are not wise and equipped with minds renewed daily upon God’s Word we are easy prey to our enemy’s schemes and will believe that people are our enemy. In reality, all of humankind is under the sway of this masterful deceiver[1] in some way. Satan’s purpose is ONLY to steal, kill and destroy you[2].

What are your first thoughts when you wake up in the morning and there’s darkness present? Perhaps a bad dream resulting from the past. Where do you think these dark feelings come from? Certainly not from your loving Father who said He would cast our forgiven sins far from us and not bring them before us again. Of course, it would be from the oppressor, the enemy, who would like to rob you of the abundant life that Jesus promises to His own.

eyes-730750__480Be sure that when you are encountering these dark moments of fear, discouragement, shame or confusion, all of this is rooted in the strategy of Satan to cause you to doubt God and live in unbelief. Recognizing this and then going to God’s Word to renew your mind, and strengthen your soul, is the proper response. What did Paul tell us we should do daily in order to equip ourselves for these attacks? Ephesians 6:11-12Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places”. Go on to read and study verses 14-17 to learn what the amour of God is.

When I consider how much training goes into equipping the military for earthy battles, let us consider the daily onslaught from hell that we face — it is very real. We need to be equipped and ready to recognize the battle we are in. We need to be careful not to involve ourselves in unnecessary skirmishes to the neglect of the real spiritual battle we’re in. We can be sidetracked fighting temporal situations and people, instead of the one God has declared to be our real enemy.

I Peter 5:8-9 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

Prayer is the needful, consistent, daily exchange between us and our Father. He desires to guide us and glorify Himself through us. To be useful in His Kingdom and overcome our enemy, we must communicate and hear from God, our Chief and Commander. A good soldier heeds what He says and does it. We must equip ourselves with spiritual armor (Eph. 6:10-18) against this enemy; remember he is a subtle deceiver, not easy to recognize. Our victory against Satan is firmly planted in Christ’s victory over death, hell and the grave at Calvary; Christ earned this position for us and He is greater than our foe.

A song written by Martin Luther, almost 500 years ago, A Mighty Fortress is Our God, describes this battle. Here is verse one of this hymn. We live in a day where many people do not know these powerful songs and are missing out on the theology that has kept believers strong in faith and action. May we recognize the enemy’s craft and respond in the power of the Holy Spirit.

  1. A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
    our helper he amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing.
    For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
    his craft and power are great, and armed with cruel hate,
    on earth is not his equal.

[1] 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

[2] John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

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