God, He is the face plate, the mantle of authority, crowning our being and enthroning courage in our lives lifting it up over our fears.
Sometimes we lack encouragement to run in courage because we need to first feel the flames in order to bring about change. The house is on fire and everyone is uncomfortable because we find we still care! Thank heavens we can feel the flames and we are not still in our recliner sipping on something of our choice watching TV mad at the commercials (such an inconvenience to us, sigh)....while all around us the flames are burning and we have no clue. Sight, what alone is our sight set upon? Ear, what are we listening to? Mind, what is going through the cyclical patterns in our God given brains, of which we only use 10%.
Or do we?
According to an online article from Scientific America published on Feb 7th 2008, by Robynne Boyd titled; "Do People Only Use 10 Percent of Their Brains", the human brain is incredibly complex and controls a variety of daily functions. Besides housing memories, experiences and behaviors, it controls movement, activities of daily living and necessary organ functions. She goes on to explain that Barry Gordon from John's Hopkins School of Medicine says the myth of using only 10% of our brains may have held true for so long due to our perceptions of our own shortcomings, however, we do use virtually every part of our brain- most of the time. The truth is if we are resting or thinking we may only use 10% of one area of the brain but over the course of a day we use 100% of the entire areas of the brain. The article teaches that there are clusters of neurons in selected parts of the brain that "team up" to carry out certain functions such as vision, hearing, movement and memory. As amazing as these "team units" are, there is no one single area that can be found to be responsible for our consciousness, which must mean all areas of the brain work together to form consciousness. Scientists do not yet understand this vital step in our awareness. Rather than only using 10% of our brains, we truly only understand how 10% of our brains work!
So if we only understand such a limited percentage of our brain function and interknitting, this our source for reasoning, thought patterns, understanding, insight....how dare we trust our own carnal fears. How dare we submit to the very caverns of such unknown territory. Although fear is logical, I am trying to show you that faith is so much more dependable although it stands unseen, it is the answer to life's depths and plummets. Fear on the other hand is empty producing nothing but empty baggage. We normally trust our instincts, our brains response, but in reality we understand so little of this life. What about the Creator, the King, the Divine Helper wouldn't you rather have that wisdom and influence in your life?
Let's take a minute to look at the fight or flight response that fear triggers:
Step one: It starts with a threat or a harm coming our way
Step two: The brain processes the signals and sends a message with next responses
Step three: Cortisol and adrenaline is released
Step four:A number of results are made evident in the body due to these chemicals (see step five)
Step five: Heart rate increases, bladder relaxes, tunnel vision, shaking, dilated pupils, flushed face, dry mouth, slowed digestion and hearing loss may occur
Isn't it interesting that the vastly misunderstood brain sets off a chain reaction in our bodies, these temporary effects are only that however, unless we are subjected and held hostage by fear and stress more long term then many more severe health impacts can result; such as mental health complications including depression and anxiety, digestive issues, cardiac issues and weight concerns just to name a few. Pay close attention to the vision, hearing and mind domino effects, the most vital areas attacked- if one wants to work opposite to fear.... out of faith. We need a sound mind, an ear to hear what may be spoken in gentle quietness and vision to see the minute movements of the unseen...through faith. Oh how the smallest of things can remind us of life's past dirty garbage and cause a "loop" effect of fear playing over and over...whether we want it to or not.
What comes to mind next is the song by Darrell Evans "I'm Trading My Sorrows". If you have never heard it the words state: I'm trading my sorrows, I'm trading my shame, I'm laying them down for the joy of the Lord...I am blessed beyond the curse for His promise will endure and His joy's gonna be my strength.
The opposite of fear, which leads to sorrow and shame as well as all manners of discouragement is joy and faith, peace and courage. These fruits cannot be conjured up easily, they cannot be read about in a self-help book and applied by formula. They also cannot be a byproduct of a tumultuous heart and mind engulfed in fear. It starts with a quieting of our autopilot response to stir up in these emotions and act out in them in vain and instead sacrificially turn it all over Christ. Think of the Psalms they all are an outpouring of emotion to God, yet they all end in freedom. David the main author in Psalms was credited as a man after God's own heart, He sought God and didn't let his brain steer him off course. Have you ever felt tossed and turned by the winds and waters, frightened and at bay to the breakers and the mighty waves? The secret is simple and there isn't much poetry to it or fancy gimmicks but it is simply and purely to surrender to Christ in love. In times of great fear isn't it nice to know there is nothing fantastically complicated, super complex or hyped about finding a way out? When we get there the result in our lives is beyond poetry, beyond the most memorable quote or stirring wisdom because it is written as change on our hearts as a song in freedom from our chains, as a burst of shout when we throw the empty baggage into the ocean never to carry it again.
What fights the fear that fires up and consumes us, steals our victory, our hope, what we love, our thoughts and even what we believe on the core of who we are...it shakes us up so that our definition of who we thought we are is all but ashes. Fear. If the unexplainable, the impossible can take place with fear...if the brain is uncharted territory that all gets used but is so mysterious that means there is one above us, a Greater Creator that has the map, that has the understanding, that possesses all answers.
A reasonable person says there is also always a therapy, always a pill, always a way to talk through troubles and find relief. But I have experienced a time of deep fear, have you? I am sure you have....what carried you through, any of the above in a lasting way? In the most fear I have felt ever...I had a refuge a place to run where I had joy...this is impossible, this is unexplainable...in a reasoning brain housing past experience, knowing the full difficulties and pain of life, yet to find a refuge with nothing SEEN changing? What then is the answer. There is One Greater that through our faith being activated, rewrites a story on our mind and hearts...He takes us to an oasis in the desert with twelve springs and 70 palms. Take a break and see Exodus 15 vs. 22-27 after the Israelites crossed the Red Sea and Moses led them through the desert of Shur they were thirsty and without water and hope. Most certainly in times of deep sorrow, weakness and fatigue we can find strength.
The Israelites were led this way by God through the wilderness purposefully because the word says He did not want them to face a battle and get discouraged (See Exodus 13 vs.17-18)....what did that say, eh? Didn't want them to face a battle. But what about the internal battle, the complaining, the moaning, the getting ready to stone Moses, the questions to God about life and death....them questioning God. So they were kept from a literal hand to hand battle but God knew that they could fight the battle internally, through their weapon of faith. Moses was unsure of speaking and being a leader at first but God was his voice. God was his source and that is what made him an amazing leader in the desert when confronted with great uncertainty, he always asked the right source "God what should I do with these people?" -Exodus 17:4. God always answers and amazingly God led them as He always leads us when we are willing, for them with pillar by day and cloud by night, but still the same God was and is always there. Yes, the people struggled, fear was their battle, fear of dying from thirst or without food, fear of coming out of slavery or going back to slavery, fear of God letting them die in the desert, fear of change. God never gives up on us no matter how it may look in the physical, He is routing us. God never leaves us alone. He will allow us a battle of wills so we can choose this day whom we will serve, but He won't ever pair us up to a losing battle. Our God is a God of victory over every fear.
Keep your brain activated this week by focusing on what God has done through you in the past and by meditating on the historical proof of our faith through scripture, handed down to us as we grandly receive it as our inheritance. Pray with me for greater revelation on the power of faith over our logic, pray for the foolishness of fear to be revealed and the grand nature of God's gift of the unseen possibilities to rule over our minds and hearts. Below are some scriptures to set your mind on, as you read them pretend the names below are your great, great grandparents imagine them sitting you on their laps as a child and telling you of what God did firsthand in their lives, believe it like it happened so recently the evidence is still visible on their faces while they are sharing with you, whatever it takes to make it "seen".
Hebrews 11 New International Version (NIV)
Faith in Action
11 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for.3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
4 By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.
5 By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.”[a] For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
7 By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.
8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11 And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she[b] considered him faithful who had made the promise. 12 And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.
13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
17 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18 even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.”[c] 19 Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.
20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future.
21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.
22 By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions concerning the burial of his bones.
23 By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.
24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the application of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.
29 By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.
30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the army had marched around them for seven days.
31 By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.[d]
32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. 35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were put to death by stoning;[e] they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.
39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.