Updated: Apr 28
"As a man thinks in his heart, so he is."
I understand that I am a spirit who has a soul and lives in a physical body. So then, what is my "heart?"
I've realized that my heart is the essence of who I am. It's where my spirit and soul join together. My spirit and soul are so closely united that it's often too hard for me to tell which is which! That's why I need God's Word: “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
The Bible talks a lot about the heart of man. My heart can be good or evil based on what I allow into my mind. As a Christian it is my responsibility to renew my mind because it affects my heart. So how in the world do I renew my mind?
I have shared my initial "thinking journey" with you, and you have heard me refer to my mind as a battlefield.
I have known for a long time that I have an enemy. God's Word has told me that my Adversary is like a roaring lion, seeking who he may devour. He is a lier and the father of lies. He comes to steal, kill, and destroy. He is unseen. I knew I was not fighting against flesh and blood but against principalities, powers, unseen wickedness in high place. I also knew that the battle is taking place in my mind. But I really had not taken any time to think about how that worked.
More and more I heard people talking about the "Mind/Body Connection." I understood that science was teaching us more and more about it. I had learned a lot, but in my heart I knew I was missing something.
Last year I participated a retreat with Be In Health Ministries, and my time with them was life-changing. God opened up my eyes to the mind/body connection from a biblical perspective. He confirmed much of what I already believed, and gave me more information to unlock some truth that I had never realized.
Keep in mind that my spirit and soul are very closely linked (and my HEART is where they actually come together, and the essence of who I am.) For the sake of illustration (which can never be perfect), I'd like to share with you some things I learned about the different functions of my spirit, soul, and body. Hang on, this can get a little complex but I've tried to simplify it.
I learned that my soul is a bridge between my spirit and my body.
I learned how we receive input every day:
When I had drawn my original stick man for my Thinking about Thinking coaching and workshops, I included external input through our five senses.
But I completely left out the input that happens internally. I knew that I had my own thoughts. I learned that my own thoughts and feelings are processed in my soul. I was also reminded that God's Holy Spirt communicates with me, Spirit to spirit. What I hadn't really stopped to consider is that the Enemy has access to communicate with me, spirit to spirit, as well. That is how temptation happens.
I learned that brainwaves create pathways of thought
Scientist tell us that input (thoughts) travel on brainwaves.
This is super-simplified, and I'll mention 3 main brainwaves
Beta brainwaves transport input from our bodies to our souls—Body to Soul / Soul to Body
Theta brainwaves transport input from the spirit world—Spirit to Soul / Soul to Spirit
Beta and Theta brainwaves are integrated in the soul through Alpha Brainwaves, and my own thoughts, feelings, and choices happen there.
Here's my simplified illustration of the pathways of thought:
I totally understood Beta brainwaves. I realized that input came in through my senses as I overheard my physical world.
Through Alpha brainwaves I take information from Beta and Theta and process it to make sense of it. I also have my own thoughts and feelings which I now associate with Alpha brainwaves.
Scientists tell us that Theta brainwaves carry "internal thoughts," but they do not tell us where those thoughts coe from. I had experienced hearing God whisper to my heart. I now realize that happens, spirit to spirit, through Theta brainwaves. The eye-opener for me was to become aware of the Enemy using the same Theta pathway —spirit to spirit-—to influence my thinking!
Learning about Alpha, Beta & Theta Brainwaves filled in some gaps in my knowledge of being transformed by the renewing of my mind.
I realized that many thoughts coming into my head were not my own! In fact, I learned that when the enemy whispers to us, he sometimes uses the first person, so it can sound like our own thoughts. ["I'm such an idiot!" "I should know better than that - I failed again so God is mad at me" "I'll make a fool of myself" and on and on] That was a HUGE revelation to me! I realized that much of what was bombarding my mind were not thoughts of my own. They were temptations of the enemy, enticing me to allow my thoughts to drift away from God's Truth. They were planted by the enemy, and only became a problem when I started believing them and taking them as my own.
As I became more alert to my thoughts, I began to to pay attention to where they were coming from. Then I could be intentional about which thoughts I would allow in my mind.
For information on additional coaching tools, Thinking About Thinking workshops, or coaching, contact me.
Join me to learn more about putting it into practice in my next post — Who Told You That?