We have all read these directives. We have believed and practiced these truths as best we can, but often do not find a change in our circumstances.
“Just as you have believed, let it be done to you.”
What do you do when your efforts fail; when your faith isn’t producing? Have you gone the route of trying to move God’s hand through prayer or fasting or some other discipline, because your faith alone isn’t working? Have you believed, “if it’s to be, it’s up to me?” Have you prayed like an unnamed man, “Lord I believe, help my unbelief”?
Unbelief, doubt, faithless thoughts haunt many as we struggle to live this life in Christ. It doesn’t make sense that it should be this hard.
For some of us, reading the words does not appear to be enough to change our beliefs, thoughts and behaviors.
Are we doomed to feeling like inadequate failures never experiencing the change we desire? We learn that Christ is in us and we are in Him, but life isn’t working.
What if there were information that came from a non-Biblical source that can help increase our faith. Would you be interested? Or would you say, “heresy”, or “you can’t add to faith from non-biblical sources.”
Have you considered that the Bible contains truth, but it does not contain all truth. It doesn’t tell us how to build a bridge, bake a cake or drive a car. It does present truth’s that can impact the way we do these things, but not the specifics of which nail, which ingredients or which gear.
Stay with me, please.
Sometimes we need help unpacking a truth so we can access it and apply it in our lives.
If I am chased by a bear, my first thought is “oh, no!” Adrenalin is released which stimulates the fight-flight-freeze response. I hope “flight” is activated and I can outrun the bear. A real event causes thoughts that trigger a biochemical response in my body.
What if I’m watching a scary movie and the music is building, building, building and then the monster appears…I jump and scream. An identical neurotransmitter response occurs as with the bear. My body releases adrenalin (and other neurotransmitters) and the fight-flight-freeze response is activated.
Did you catch that? My body responds whether the circumstance is real or not. The mere thought of fear or terror causes an identical same response. It doesn’t matter if it is a bear or a picture on the big screen. Similarly, when I’m in engaged with a friend in an uplifting conversation, walking in the mountains, or watching a Hallmark movie, oxytocin, dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin (the happy hormones) are released.
This truth raised me to a new level of belief and increased my faith…It did not come from the faith community, but no coloring was outside the lines. My understand and appreciation for the truths were enlarged.
“Thinking is a physical process. This has been shown by experiment and our experience agrees with experiment. MRI (magnetic resonsance imaging) experiments have shown how different parts of the brain have chemical and electrical activity which corresponds to thought. Different kinds of thought processes light up different parts of the brain. Anger finds itself in one place, rational analysis another, and fear still another place in the brain. When we are thinking, brain wave patterns corresponding to those thoughts happen and neurons fire in somewhat predictable ways as that thought is happening. Besides, our common experience tells us that thinking is physical. When we think hard and long we get headaches and we get physically tired. Thinking can be exhausting, which proves that thinking is a physical thing.(Oakes, 2016)
"I Am" Two of the Most Powerful Words, for what you put after them shapes your reality." (Hensel, 2016)
“A sizable body of research exploring the nature of consciousness, carried on for more than thirty years in prestigious scientific institutions around the world….suggests that human thoughts and intentions are an actual physical "something" with astonishing power to change our world. Every thought we have is tangible energy with the power to transform. A thought is not only a thing; a thought is a thing that influences other things.” (McTaggart, 2007)
Thoughts are real. Thoughts are “things”.
When I think happy thoughts, I feel warm and accepted. When I think negative thoughts, I feel anxious and afraid.
It’s wonderful when we trust God’s word, but it’s acceptable for us to doubt and question. Thomas doubted and Jesus visited him personally to address his doubts. I believe God prefers we question and wrestle than pretend we get it and see no change in our lives.
As I think…so I am.
Science confirms truths of Scripture. Because my background is science, it is sometimes easier for me to believe reproduceable, scientific experiments that answer the “why” and “how” questions than to have to work up blind faith when the experience of the truth evades me.
Yup, it’s a struggle for me too.
Science has served to advance my faith. Science confirms Biblical truth. It proves to me that my thoughts do impact how I experience my life and encourages me to “think on these things…whatever is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, praiseworthy…meditate on these things.”
I hope this encourages you. You can trust and wait on Him. He will open an avenue for you to step naturally into experiencing His great faith within you. Count on it. Think on it.