Dealing with Disease from a Medical Perspective by Dr Michelle K Strydom
How to Detox Your Brain and Renew Your Mind Effectively
All the passages below are taken from Dr Michelle K Strydom book, “Healing begins with the Sanctification of the Heart---No Disease is Incurable.” The fourth edition is published in 2013 and it can be downloaded free in the link below:
I would like to share some principles with you that come from the latest medical research that are important not only in recovering from any disease, but also to prevent disease and to live in divine health. It is amazing to see how these principles from medical research tie in with what the Bible said about disease thousands of years ago. These principles that I am going to share with you are based on how the brain works and they will help you to detox your brain and break down those toxic thorn trees that are making you sick. With the help of the Holy Spirit you can renew your mind and break the chains that have been limiting your development into the victorious over-comer that God created you to be.
1. Control Your Thought Life!
This is the most important principle. If you don’t control your thought life then nothing else I share with you is going to work for you. According to the latest medical research, controlling your thought life is the most effective way to treat disease and heal your brain and body. According to the Word of God, which is more accurate than medical science, the quality of your health is brought about by the quality of your thinking. To the extent that your soul (your mind, will and emotions) prospers, your health prospers.
3 John 2: “Beloved I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers.” KJV.
You cannot change yourself in your own strength and ability. You will only end up frustrated, defeated and disappointed. Controlling your thought life is only possible by God’s grace and the help of the Holy Spirit. God’s grace is His power and ability that He gives you to change and to do what He has called you to do. His grace will help you overcome sinful thinking.
1. How To Control Your Thought Life
1. UNDERSTAND HOW A THOUGHT FORMS.
I explained how a thought forms in the chapter “Essential Background Information of Disease from a Medical Perspective”. I recommend that you read through pages 14 to 20 again to refresh your memory. Understanding how thoughts form will greatly help you in controlling your thought life. When you have a clear knowledge of how the brain works and can visualize it, you can capture those thoughts so much more effectively.
2. USE YOUR FREE WILL TO ACCEPT THE GOOD THOUGHTS AND REJECT THE NEGATIVE TOXIC THOUGHTS.
Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” KJV
Philippians 4:8 tells us to think on whatever is true, worthy, honorable, lovely or praiseworthy. Therefore if the thought in your mind fits that description, purposefully meditate on it and you will build good memory in your brain that is healthy for you. If it is a negative toxic thought, reject it and it will literally become hot air. If you allow that toxic thought to get into your brain through meditating on it, it will grow a toxic thorn tree which will adversely affect your health and who you are. You are then going to work that much harder at the process of renewing your mind to get rid of that toxic thorn tree and build a new memory.
Even though you can’t always control your circumstances, you can change the way that you react to those circumstances. You can choose to reject toxic thoughts before they make their way into your brain and eventually dominate who you are. Check every thought that comes to your mind and say to yourself, “Do I want this to be a part of me or not?” This is where “bringing every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5) becomes important.
3. LISTEN TO YOUR HEART.
When you are making a conscious decision with your free will to accept or reject a thought, listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit advising you from your heart.
4. DEAL WITH THAT TOXIC THORN TREE AND BUILD A NEW HEALTHY MEMORY OVER IT.
In the chapter “Essential Background Knowledge of Disease from a Medical Perspective” I explained that you can change the whole neuro-chemical structure of your brain through your thought life. You can choose to deal with those toxic thorn trees and build new healthy memories over them. In science this process is called “re-transcribing those memories neuroplastically.” The Bible calls this “renewing the mind”.
Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].”
Ephesians 4:23, “And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude]…”
God has designed our brain in such a way that we have an amazing ability to renew our minds. When you choose to confront your old toxic thinking patterns and recognize how they affect your life, those toxic thoughts are pushed from the non-conscious into your conscious mind. At this point they enter a labile state which means that they become unstable and can be altered.10 This means that while that thought is in your conscious mind, you can do something with it: it can be redesigned and changed or kept the same and reinforced. In other words that memory (whether it is healthy or toxic) will either be changed or strengthened. No thought stays neutral.10 When it enters your conscious mind it becomes unstable and is altered in either a positive or negative direction but it never stays the same. Even if you don’t change the content of the thought, new proteins are made (protein synthesis) which strengthen that thought. The toxic thought can get worse or the good thought can get better. It is all under your control.
You can remove those toxic thorn trees and literally detoxify your brain through changing your thinking. The word used for “changing your thinking” in the Bible is “repentance”. Biblically repentance is the condition for healing. As you change your thinking (repent), some branches on the nerves are removed (the thorns are removed from the thorn tree), new branches form and the strength of the connections change. Your brain can be reshaped and reformed. It has an incredible capacity to change, rewire and grow. In the chapter “Essential Background Knowledge of Disease from a Medical Perspective” I also explained that your thoughts not only remodel the memories in your brain but your genes as well. You can change the whole neuro-chemical structure of your brain and health of your body through thinking right down to the level of the DNA in your genes. That is truly amazing. It quite brilliantly shows the truth in the scripture, “As a man thinks in his heart so is he” (Proverbs 23:7)
When you have a disease that is traced back to a toxic thinking pattern, you have a thorn tree in your brain that needs to be dealt with. You also need to build a new memory over it by renewing your mind with the Word of God in that area. This means purposefully setting aside time (which I call a “thinking time”) where you sit and meditate on the right thoughts until you have victory in that area.
For example, let’s say that you are suffering from depression because of a toxic thinking pattern of a low self-esteem and guilt. These thoughts keep coming back in your mind and that is dominating – it is a huge thorn tree in your brain. When that thought comes into your mind, you need to consciously capture it. Then you remember how a thought forms and you say to yourself, “OK, I recognize that this is a toxic thought coming from a toxic thorn tree in my brain but I don’t want to think that way any more.” Then you visualize that dark toxic thorn tree in your brain. Then you say, “Alright, I am going to remove those thorns by using my free will to reject those toxic thoughts from now on. I am also going to build a new memory by spending about 15 minutes every day meditating on what the Word of God says about me. I am experiencing the symptoms of depression because of a toxic thought pattern of a low self-esteem and guilt. Now I am going to change my thinking so that I see myself the way that God sees me. I am going to build a healthy self-esteem based on who I am in Christ.” You then sit down every day in a quiet place, close your eyes and purposefully and actively start thinking about, meditating on and speaking the Word of God to yourself. For example, “I have great value and worth because of who I am in Christ. God loves me and He sent His son to die for me (1 John 4:19; John 3:16). God accepts and approves of me (Jeremiah 1:5), therefore I accept and approve of myself. I am wearing Jesus’ robes of righteousness (Isaiah 61:10) and His crown of glory and honor on my head (Psalm 8:5). I am a mighty man or woman of valor who possesses dignity and honor (Judges 6:12). There is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). As Jesus is, so am I in this world (1 John 4:17) and the immeasurable, unlimited and surpassing power of God is on the inside of me (Ephesians 1:19-20). I am more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37). . .and so forth.”
In the chapter on page 647, I have gone on an in depth journey through the Bible to show you who you are in Christ. There are more than 58 scriptures there about what the Word says concerning your value and worth and who you are as a child of God. You need to take some of those scriptures and actively meditate on them in a “thinking time” every day until you have renewed your mind and developed a new mindset where you have a healthy self-esteem based on who you are in Christ.
As you are consciously thinking on the Word concerning who you are in Christ, chemicals are being released in response to those thoughts that are remodeling the memories in your brain. The thorns are being removed from the toxic thorn trees (pre-existing memories) so those toxic thorn trees will no longer release toxic chemicals that make you sick. You are also building a new memory (a healthy lush tree) over the old one. Renewing your mind is a physical process as much as it is a mental and spiritual process. Those new memories which are healthy lush trees that were made from meditating on the Word will release chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine, endorphins and enkephalins. These chemicals are very good for you. They bring healing and health to your body. In the case of depression, when the serotonin is released, the serotonin levels are increased and the symptoms of depression disappear (Depression is caused by a deficiency of serotonin which as I mentioned is caused by thoughts relating to a low self-esteem and guilt).
Let’s use another example: let’s say you have recurrent infections because of a thought life dominated by fear and anxiety. You have a toxic thorn tree of fear in your brain, which via the hypothalamus has caused a cascade of chemical and hormonal reactions leading to excessive quantities of the stress hormone cortisol in your blood (this is explained in more detail in the chapter on page 178). When cortisol is present in high quantities for a long time, it destroys the cells of the immune system. Your weakened immune system left you with no defense against bacteria, parasites and fungus which were then able to infect your body. You now recognize how your toxic thinking habit of fear and anxiety has affected your body and you say, “These fear-filled thoughts have come from a toxic thorn tree in my brain but with the help of the Holy Spirit I am not going to think that way any more. I am going to remove those thorns by using my free will to reject those toxic thoughts of fear and anxiety from now on. I am also going to build a new memory by spending about 15 minutes every day meditating on scriptures from the Word of God in this area.” (On page 672 I have written a chapter which has several scriptures that are relevant to dealing with fear, anxiety and stress).
As you consciously meditate on the Word of God and you replace those thoughts of fear and anxiety with a new thinking habit of casting your cares (1 Peter 5:7), trusting in the Lord (Proverbs 3:5) and receiving the perfect love of the Father (1 John 4:18), you are remodeling the memories in your brain. The thorns are being removed from the toxic thorn trees of fear and you are building a new memory (a healthy lush tree) over the old one. The lush trees will secrete chemicals that cause the hypothalamus to respond by producing the correct formula of hormones and the excessive production of cortisol by the adrenal glands will stop. The cortisol levels normalize and the cells of the immune system are able to re-multiply and come back to full strength. The immune system is now able to kill the bacteria, parasites and fungus so the infection resolves and your body heals.
When you take every thought captive during the day and spend some thinking time meditating on the Word of God in the area where you have problems, the toxic thorn tree (picture on the left) will be broken down and you will build a new positive memory (picture on the right) over it that will secrete chemicals that make you healthy.
It starts with your thought life! Just as your thought life caused the disease in the first place, you can use your thought life to bring about your healing. One of the biggest fallacies in the Church today is that we are asking God to do it all. Healing is not a one way street where you sit back and expect God to do everything. Yes, God does have a part to play and you cannot do it without Him. Only His supernatural healing power can restore those areas of your body that were irreversibly damaged by the disease. However you also have a part to play and that is to renew your mind. God has given you a phenomenal brain and a very powerful mind and you need to purposefully use it to help your body heal. Changing your thinking is not a passive process. You have to be actively involved in pulling down those negative mindsets and toxic strongholds in your brain. Just as you should have quiet times every day where you fellowship with God through prayer and worship, you also need to set aside a “thinking time” to sit and meditate on the Word, especially when you have a mental stronghold to overcome (i.e. a disease as a result of a toxic thinking pattern).
You cannot randomly do this once in a while, you need to literally make this an event or an exercise. You actually need to sit down somewhere and actively meditate on positive thoughts (ideally from the Word of God) and consciously build a new memory over the old one. Furthermore you must understand that you can’t do this exercise of thinking right thoughts once and expect everything to be fine. According to research conducted by Dr. Caroline Leaf it takes 4 days of thinking correctly to remove those thorns from a toxic memory and 21 days to build a new memory over it. Repetition at frequently spaced intervals is necessary to consolidate and stabilize those new healthy memories so that they become permanently a part of you. Research shows that approximately seven deep thinking exercises a day over a period of 21 days will help create long lasting change.10 Change will happen in your brain as soon as you start the process. Within 4 days you will feel the effects of changed thinking; within 21 days you will have built a whole new memory and thought pattern in your brain. The first 4 days will be the most difficult. The 5th to 21st days will become easier as you progress. By the 21st day you will feel a significant change. Even though you will feel a significant change after 21 days, you will still need to continue practicing your new thought pattern.
Joshua 1:8, “This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous and then you will deal wisely and have good success.”
Now when I talk about 4 days and 21 days, I’m speaking from a medical point of view in terms of the science of how the brain works, but with God in the equation it is not that predictable. For example, to my surprise some people have been instantly healed as soon as they repented for the sin or toxic mindset behind their disease. That is a miracle because even through changing your thinking, on a physical level the human body doesn’t recover that fast. I saw two ladies get completely healed immediately after dealing with their broken heart and releasing and forgiving the person who had hurt them. God intervened and the person was healed instantly. Others, including myself have taken longer than 21 days – we gradually recovered as we had to persevere through the process of renewing our minds. God heals every person in a unique and individual way according to the work He wants to do in that person’s heart.
In that 15 minutes of thinking time, journalize your thoughts if you think that will help you. Journaling works incredibly well. The research done by Dr. Caroline Leaf has found that journaling or writing your thoughts down or even drawing pictures of your thoughts is an excellent way of renewing your mind and building new memories. The point is that you need to get very, very interactive and personally involved with the process. You can’t be passive. You need to take responsibility and control of your health and thought life.
As well as spending 10 or 15 minutes every day purposefully thinking on the Word concerning the area you are having big issues with, you also need to be careful to bring every thought captive during the rest of the day. It’s no good meditating on the Word for 15 minutes in the morning, and then spending the rest of the day with fear, anxiety and stress going wild in your thought life. Furthermore, don’t waste your free thinking time during the rest of the day: when you are driving in the traffic, taking a bath, waiting in a queue in a shop and so on. . .don’t let your mind be blank or think whatever rubbish thought pops into your head. . . take advantage of the opportunity to renew your mind in the area that you are having problems with! Purposefully think on the Word!
You have to constantly choose to use this process of rejecting the wrong thoughts and deciding to think the right thoughts. Constantly check your thought life. Never let any thought go roaming through your brain unchecked. There are many thoughts constantly coming to you from the external world and much of the time it is the devil putting nonsense in your head. There are also many thoughts coming up internally that you need to capture which are coming from your own toxic memories in your brain. So if the Holy Spirit convicts you and you find yourself thinking “For goodness sake why am I thinking like that?” capture that thought immediately. Say, “Great, thank you Lord!” Then you repent and get rid of that thought before it becomes a toxic thorn tree in your brain. In other words what I am emphasizing to you is be aware of what is going on inside your mind on a constant basis.
If a thought comes from the inside it could really be the Holy Spirit revealing thought patterns that you need to get rid of to bring down those strongholds. If the thought is coming from the outside, for example from the media – do you want that in your head? Get rid of it because once it’s in your head you have got to work so much harder to get it out of your brain. It is much easier to reject bad thoughts immediately than to go through the whole process of having to remove those thorns on that toxic stronghold through 15 minutes of thinking time every day. So it’s a constant process of being aware of what thoughts are going through your mind as well as taking big issues in your life and sitting down and actually consciously working through those toxic strongholds. Changing your thinking and renewing your mind is a constant interactive process. The best way is to do it with someone else. If you’ve got a lot of issues (and we all have), one of the best ways of dealing with this is to partner with someone such as your spouse or friend. Teach your whole family. Work through this process with people that you trust and that can help you to actually talk yourself and walk yourself through this process. It takes a lot of discipline to be aware of your thought life. As you start this process, you’ll be amazed at how lazy you’ve actually been when it comes to your thought life. We’re incredibly lazy, we just let whatever toxic thought pops up roam through our head and then we wonder why we feel sick. Meanwhile if we control it we are so much healthier and we feel so much better.
Getting rid of toxic thoughts not only causes you to become physically healthy, but you become more intelligent! That is a large part of the research that Dr. Caroline Leaf did which proved that your intelligence increases with a positive thought life. Now I don’t know about you but increasing your intelligence is a very appealing thing because the more intelligent you become, the more you use your mind, the more wisdom you have, the healthier you become, the more enjoyable life becomes and the easier it is to help others.
So we’ve come to the end of the first principle that you need to apply to pull down those toxic thorn trees and that is to control your thought life. You need to start capturing your thoughts and changing your brain through the renewing of your mind with the Word of God. You can do it with the help of the Holy Spirit and by God’s grace. You can change those thoughts. Your mind is fully under your control.
2. Use Your Words to Shape Your World
Our discussion on controlling your thought life and the impact that your thoughts have on your health would not be complete without talking about the words that arise from your thoughts.
Matthew 12:34 “Out of the fullness (the overflow, the superabundance) of the heart, the mouth speaks.”
What you are saying is coming from somewhere - check your thought life. If you permit toxic thoughts to fill your mind, you will ultimately speak them with negative results in your life and health.
Proverbs 18:21, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life].”
Be careful what you say about yourself because you are today what you said about yourself yesterday. Your words are electromagnetic life forces that shape your world because they have creative ability. What you confess over yourself is what you will become. What you confess over your life is what your life will become. You must never underestimate the power of your words. Your thoughts and ultimately your words are seeds - they are containers of power. They will produce a harvest of either blessing and health or sickness and destruction – you choose.
Watch what you say because you get what you say!
You need to be as consciously aware of what you are saying as you need to be consciously aware of what you are thinking. We all tend to speak without thinking. As we consciously control what we think, we need to learn to think things through with our free will and pre-frontal cortex (rational decision maker) before we just blurt things out. I had a professor at medical school who always used to say, “Engage brain before acceleration with tongue!” Before you say something, think to yourself, “When I sow these words by speaking them, will it produce a harvest that I want to reap in my life? Or will I regret my words?” Remember one day we are going to have to give an account for every idle word that we have spoken (Matthew 12:36). Your words not only affect you but also those who hear you. This is both a Biblical and scientific principle.19 We need to have an increased awareness of the input we have in other people’s lives. Make sure that the impact you have on them with your words is one to be proud of. You may be in a place where you have been hurt and you may think that you will feel better if you get those angry negative words off your chest by giving that person “a piece of your mind”. However the truth is you won’t feel better. It is shown very clearly in both science and the Word of God that nothing good comes out of negative words. Negative words can be more dangerous to you than to the person you are saying them to. Remember if you speak those toxic words, a toxic thought is first formed in your mind and as you meditate on it you grow a toxic thorn tree in your brain. Furthermore when you speak, you hear the words that you say. That information goes back into your brain through your ears and through that whole thinking process again, so you are re-enforcing that toxic thorn tree in your brain and making it stronger by growing more branches and more thorns. As you make negative statements, toxic chemicals are released from those thorn trees which put your body into a toxic state of stress. If the stress chemicals flow in your brain for longer than 30 seconds, your thinking, intelligence and most of the organ systems in your body are affected in a harmful way.1
When you make positive statements, you build lush trees (healthy memories) in your brain which release positive chemicals that are healthy for you. Choose your words with care because they either kill or give life. It is all up to you. You can turn around a situation which would be negative for you and for those who hear your toxic words into a positive situation by re-examining your motives, attitudes and choice of words.
There are computer imaging techniques that have been able to measure and picture the sound waves of the words we speak. They have shown that when you speak negative words, it has a very sharp kind of wave form that tends to go out and attract negative. This is not a weird new age philosophy, this is reality. It is a solid scientific and Biblical principle (Proverbs 18:21). It is like unto like. What you think and speak is what you get. Your thoughts and your words work hand in hand to influence the world around you and what you become.
Proverbs 23:7, “As a man thinks in his heart, so does he become”
When you speak love and faith, they have shown that these words have a different type of wave form which attracts love and faith. We all know that it is unpleasant being around people that are always negative, grumbling and complaining. It is nice to be around people that are happy, fun and who have positive things to say about life. They draw you to them. It is not just because they are nice, there is actually a physical electrochemical reaction occurring that is drawing you to them.
Do you speak about “My arthritis, my heart problem, my depression”? If you do this, you have taken ownership of something - you’ve taken it into your spirit and you’ve made it part of you. That is not good. If you happen to have something wrong with you, it’s not yours! It is a problem that is there that you need to deal with. So you can say “I’m suffering from the symptoms of arthritis” but it’s not “My arthritis”. The minute you “my” it, you are taking ownership of it and you literally change the neuro-chemical structure of the way in which your body functions. Let me give you a stronger example of this: When you are married and you are having a physical relationship with your husband or wife, you have a neuro-chemical bonding that takes place. In other words you imprint on each other’s brains. There is a neuro-chemical bond or a neuro-chemical glue that takes place so that when separation occurs between a husband and wife, for example a divorce or a death there is a physical pain because that bond is still there and it takes time to dissolve. In other words neuro-chemical reactions and bonding in bodies are actually real.2 In the same way that you take your husband or your wife or your children or your friends into your heart and brain neuro-chemically, you do the same thing with an illness. This especially applies to people who have had an illness for a long time – they are so used to it that it has become a part of them and they don’t know life without it. If you take ownership of that illness, you take it in and it forms a chemical bond that changes the neuro-circuitry of your brain. If you say “My disease” you are going to “imprint it” into your body, so that it is very hard to break with it. You almost want to keep it so you have to be very careful of taking ownership of negative things.
Watch what you say about your children and your spouse. If you say “Ah you never listen to me” or “You are always late” or “You are so naughty” you are actually imprinting that into their mind and shaping their world. You are saying “That’s who you are”. Especially be careful with children, remember they are small, their brain is immature, it’s developing, it’s vulnerable and it’s sensitive. What you pack in is going to set the stage for adulthood. I‘d like to give you some parenting advice: I have not been a parent myself yet but I am speaking from experience of my own childhood. I had a Greek grandfather called Stavros Georgiou. He believed that you put two “rings” on your children’s fingers that nobody can ever take off: the ring of confidence and the ring of education. When I was a young child between the ages of 2 and 9 years old, at every possible opportunity he praised me. He constantly told me how clever I was and how everything I put my hand to would be a success. He so drummed that into my head that by the age of 6 years old, I really did believe that I was extremely clever and that I was the cleverest child in my school. . . and that is exactly what I became. I excelled at school. I came top of my class academically and was captain of almost every sports team. Now I am not explaining this to blow my own trumpet, I’m just illustrating the importance of what you speak into your children’s lives.
What you speak into your children’s lives in childhood sets the stage for who they are going to be in adulthood.
As parents we make mistakes all the time so please do not allow yourself to feel condemned. My intention is simply to make you aware of where you are going wrong because it is not too late to fix your mistakes. The beauty with a child’s brain is that “sorry” is the most incredible thing. When you’ve made a mess all you have to do is say “sorry” to your children: “I’m sorry, I really was wrong, I didn’t mean to snap at you, I didn’t mean to do this, can you forgive me?” When you give them a love and a hug, you have wiped out that negative memory and you have taken those thorns off the thorn tree. There is now a beautiful memory over it which says, “Mum loves me, dad loves me and they’ve forgiven me.” A child’s brain is more vulnerable but it also heals quicker. We can undo a lot of our mistakes with our children through love and simply saying sorry. Apologizing is a humbling experience but it is good for our character.
Are you saying one thing but thinking another thing in your heart? For example you can be acting polite and saying something complimentary to a person, while in your heart you are thinking insulting thoughts towards them. Did you know that thinking one thing whilst saying another thing is toxic to your body? Your words have to be backed up with honesty – in science they call this integrity. What you do and say on the outside must reflect what you think on the inside. A lack of integrity between what you are thinking and what you are saying upsets the whole chemical balance and feedback systems in your body and it affects the way that information is processed and memories are built. It causes blockages in the flow of chemicals that will actually put your body into a toxic state of illness. It is not enough to just say the right thing, you have to also think the right thing. Otherwise you are lying. Lying makes you sick. . . believe it or not.
When you are born again you confess with your mouth and you believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord. If you just confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, you are not born again – you have also got to believe it in your heart. It is the same with what you speak every day. Your body has been designed electrochemically with feedback mechanisms that will only flow properly when there is integrity between what you think and say. In other words your mouth and mind must line up so that your body can function smoothly and be in good health. When they don’t line up because you are speaking one thing whilst thinking another, your functioning is going to be impaired and you will eventually get sick. If your mouth, your mind and your heart are working together, your heart will secrete the peace chemical called ANF and you will make good decisions. You’ll find yourself calming down, thinking clearly and functioning rationally.
How to Shape Your World with Your Words
You can purposefully use your words to your advantage to shape your world in a positive way. The “name it and claim it” teaching of many modern churches today is not scriptural and it tends towards materialism. I hope not to increase that image. However I do believe in speaking the Word of God over your life to help you gain victory over an area where your mind needs to be renewed. The Bible says that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17). The first principle in breaking down the toxic thorn trees in your brain was to control your thought life and to renew your mind by meditating on the Word of God in what I called a “thinking time”. However, based on how the brain works, I can tell you that if you also speak out the Word of God during that thinking time, you will renew your mind three times quicker. When you speak out the Word of God, you hear what you say and that information goes back into your brain though your ears and through the whole thinking process again. This reinforces the new healthy memories that you are building in your brain by growing more branches and making the connections of the branches stronger.
One practical suggestion on how to shape your world with your words during your “thinking time” is a “faith confession”. For example, on page 658 I have included a “faith confession” which contains several scriptures about who you are in Christ for people who are suffering from a disease that is a result of a low self-esteem, self-hatred, self-rejection, condemnation and guilt. Similarly, for people with the diseases coming from fear, anxiety and stress, I also wrote out a faith confession on page 686 that has relevant scriptures about “Dealing with Fear, Anxiety and Stress”. Speaking those scriptures out loud to yourself on a daily basis is a very effective way to help you overcome those mental strongholds, renew your mind and build new healthy lush tree in your brain. This is how you can purposefully use your words to bring life and help your body heal.
One of your most powerful weapons to defeat the enemy is to speak out the Word of God. Joyce Meyer says, “You cannot defeat Goliath with your mouth shut.”
Let me tell you something about spiritual warfare: you can’t hear and speak at the same time. So when the enemy comes to attack you in your mind with unbelief, doubt, shame, guilt, fear, anxiety etc, start talking so that he can’t get a word in edge ways because you can’t speak and hear his lies inside at the same time. Furthermore he’s not going to hang around when you speak out the Word of God.
Hebrews 4:12 says that “the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing and effective]; it is sharper than any two edged sword…”
The Word of God is a powerful two edged sword that we can use in spiritual warfare to defeat the enemy in our life. However just as a sword left in its sheath is not effective in battle until you take it out and use it, the Bible on the shelf is not going to do anything for you. Its power is only released when you speak it in faith. I have applied this to my personal life for years and I have always reaped the benefits of it. Every morning I speak out a faith confession concerning areas in my life that I am having a problem with and need to overcome as well as what I am believing God for. For example there was a period in my life where I had a low self-esteem so I daily spoke out the faith confession on page 658 until I overcame that toxic thinking habit. At the moment I am studying for my American Medical Licensing exams – this involves re-studying the whole 6 years of my medical training at university all over again in 1 and a half years. For me this is potentially a very psychologically daunting task. Every morning this is what I speak over myself:
“Father I am who You say I am and I can do what You say I can do: I am a victorious over-comer (1 John 5:4; Revelations 2:11), I am more than a conqueror.(Romans 8:35) I am a mighty woman of valor, a champion overcoming warrior who possesses dignity and honor. (Judge 4:12) All circumstances are under my feet. (Psalm 8:6) Everything I put my hand to prospers. As Jesus is, so am I in this world (1 John 4:17) and the immeasurable, unlimited and surpassing power of God is on the inside of me. (Eph 1:9) Through my union with God, I am strong in the Lord and the power of His might. (Ephesians 6:10) I have strength for all things in Christ who empowers me. I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency. (Philippians 4:13) God has given me wisdom (James 1:5) and I have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16): thus today my studying will be efficient and effective. I will have 100% accurate supernatural recall of the work I study in my exams (as Daniel asked God for supernatural recall of the scriptures in the Old Testament). Father, I give You thanks and praise for in all things You lead me to triumph in Christ (2 Corinthians 2:14): therefore on the authority of Your Word Lord and in the Name of Jesus I claim and declare surpassing victory (Rom 8:37) in my studying and exams.”
I encourage you to do the same: purposefully use your words to shape your world. If you are sick you need to speak over your life, “I thank You Lord for my healing. By the stripes of Jesus I am healed (Isaiah 53:5), Thank You Lord that you forgive all my iniquities and heal all (every single one) of my diseases. (Psalm 103:3) I will not die but live and declare the works of the Lord (Psalm 119:17) because I dwell in the secret place of the most High, with long life will God satisfy me and show me His salvation. (Psalm 91:1 and 16) I prosper and enjoy good health, even as my soul prospers. (3 John 2) Every cell in my body is healed and healthy!”
Proverbs 15:4, “A gentle tongue [with its healing power] is a tree of life…”
Proverbs 16:24, “Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the mind and healing to the body.”
Remember, as a believer you have been given authority to speak things into being in the Name of Jesus:
Matthew 21:21, “And Jesus said to them, Truly I say to you, if you have faith (a firm relying trust) and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, Be taken up and be cast into the sea, it will be done.”
Speak healing to your body in the Name of Jesus. If there are organs or nerve tissue that does not regenerate, speak a creative miracle to those tissues in the Name of Jesus (as I explained on page 122).
The first principle was about controlling your thought life. The second principle is shaping your world with your words. I have linked the spoken word to the thought life. What you are speaking will reflect what is in your thought life. The first two principles work closely together.
Proverbs 18:21, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life].” Use your thoughts and your words to your advantage – indulge in your tongue by speaking the Word over you so that you will eat the fruit of life!
3. Express Those Emotions
God created us as emotional beings. Emotions are wonderful because they make us human. Our emotions physically exist in the form of chemicals that are housed within an area of our brain called the deep limbic system. These chemicals that carry emotion are released through our thought life. Emotions and thoughts are intertwined and inseparable. Everything that goes on in our thought life is translated into a physical reaction by the hypothalamus which is in the very centre of the deep limbic system. The hypothalamus releases the chemicals of emotion in response to your thoughts and they move throughout your entire body. It is interesting to know that these chemicals carrying emotion also carry a copy or imprint of the memory that was built in your brain when you were thinking. Thus they are called “information – emotion molecules”. As these chemicals of emotion flow through your body, they connect to the receptors on cells of your body and that is why you physically feel that emotional reaction. We feel our emotions through our entire body because of that flow of chemicals. It is all very fast.
These chemicals of emotion are living and dynamic. Emotions have to be dealt with, we cannot suppress our emotions. We are becoming a world where we are “automatized” which is a concept where we don’t want to face issues and we tend to suppress that emotion instead of expressing it. Men are taught that if they cry it is a sign of weakness and a lack of manliness. What doesn’t come out in tears goes down in anger and your body is put into a toxic state of illness. The shortest scripture in the Bible is John 11:35 which says, “Jesus wept”. Don’t become an expert at not feeling what you feel. Emotions are real, living, pulsating chemicals – you can’t bury something that is alive! When you bury an emotion, at some stage it is going to become a volcanic eruption. You are going to explode and it is usually at the most inappropriate time. If it doesn’t come out in a physical illness like a heart attack, it can come out in a behavioral problem or an argument for example. It will come out somewhere. Some signs of repressed emotions are:
· Feeling irritable
· Short tempered, over reacting or over sensitive
· Self doubt
· A desire for control.
When emotions are not dealt with and are suppressed or denied, they disrupt and destabilize the whole electrochemical balance in your body. It blocks a whole network of chemical pathways and the flow of vital, feel-good chemicals called neuropeptides. This leads to a whole multitude of illnesses. Depression, Bipolar disorder and general anxiety disorder are examples. People who develop cancer often deny strong needs and repress a lot of feelings. What has often been found in people who develop cancer is they shut down. They do not want to be hurt any more so they end up in a denial state, suppressing all their emotions. People who get aneurysms, haemorrhoids and varicose veins often internalize their anger, rage and resentment.
We have to deal with our emotions. Women are good at that because they have a larger emotional area. They are more linguistic and are more able to express it. Men are not as linguistically fluent in expressing their emotions but they have as much a need to express their emotions as women do. Expressing your emotions is an important part of detoxing your brain and pulling down those toxic thorn trees. Allow that dam wall to break and let the tears flow. It is an important part of healing.
As much as you must feel your emotions, you have got to work through them. You cannot allow them to dominate or control you. Dr. Caroline leaf says, “Admit it, quit it, beat it!” It is not a situation where now you can sit and wallow like a hippo in mud. You have to admit to yourself that you have the emotion, deal with it and move on. The tendency is to feel sorry for oneself and to indulge in that emotion. That is not healthy either because then it becomes toxic. Acknowledge those emotions, face them and deal with them in a positive way as soon as you can.
4. Think Forgiveness
Forgiveness is essential for your healing regardless of what disease you have. This is both a Biblical and scientific principle. I have discussed forgiveness in detail in the chapter on page 630. However the bottom line is this: The promise of healing and divine health is yours as a child of God. But with every promise God has a condition. You can’t claim His promises without being prepared to meet His conditions. The condition for healing is repentance. Repentance involves asking God to forgive you for the sin that caused your disease. The Bible is very clear about the fact that if you don’t forgive others, God will not forgive you. If you are not forgiven you cannot be healed. Your healing hinges on your forgiveness.
Matthew 6:14-15: “For if you forgive people their trespasses [their wreckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment], your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their trespasses [their wreckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment], neither will your Heavenly Father forgive your trespasses.”
Besides the unmistakable importance of forgiveness in scripture, if you put the whole Biblical and spiritual aspect aside, they have actually proven in the laboratory that unforgiveness makes you sick. Unforgiveness, bitterness, hate, anger, rage, resentment or unforgiveness towards yourself which leads to guilt, shame and regret are all toxic thoughts that put your body into a toxic state of stage 2 and 3 of stress. This adversely affects almost every organ system in your body such as your heart, immune system, digestive system and brain (the stages of stress and how it affects your body is further explained in the chapter on page 178). Researchers using MRI scans found that different parts of the brain are activated positively when people think about choosing to forgive rather than getting revenge. As we choose to forgive the whole stress reaction is calmed down and the toxic memories that initially caused the unforgiveness are changed.20
In the laboratory they have proven that you cannot build a new memory over the old one until you have dealt with that thorn tree.2 You cannot build a new memory over a thorn tree just like you can’t grow a rose in amongst thorns. Jesus explained it this way: you can’t put new wine into old wine skins. When you have bitterness and un-forgiveness you have a memory in your brain that looks like a thorn tree. You cannot grow healthy new memories over unhealthy toxic thorn trees. This is why you cannot recover from any disease when you have unforgiveness. When you choose to release that bitterness by truly forgiving the person from your heart, those thorns are literally physically removed from the trees. The memory will still be there so you will still remember what the person did to you, but it will no longer affect you. You are no longer carrying those thoughts of hate and bitterness. That high-octane ping will be gone and it will not cause sickness in your body.
There are more than one hundred scientific studies showing the healing power of forgiveness.20 There is increasing evidence in medical research that forgiveness makes us healthy. Even in the secular world when psychologists do cognitive behavioral therapy, they get the patient to forgive and release people because they have realized that patients don’t recover when they harbor bitterness and unforgiveness.
Forgiveness is not a feeling, it is a choice and act of your free-will. It enables you to release those toxic thoughts of anger, rage, resentment, bitterness, hate, guilt, shame, regret and grief. As long as those toxic thoughts dominate your thought life, you will not be able to grow new healthy memories. You have a medical need to forgive others and you may also need to forgive yourself. You can’t change the past but God’s Word and science show that by changing the way that you think about past hurt will reduce the likelihood of stress-related illness. You will pull down those toxic thorn trees in your brain through repentance and forgiveness.
Forgiveness is not a flaw but a sign of great strength and great courage. When you forgive others, you are not letting them off the hook, but you are giving them to God, still wriggling on the hook. You are now off the hook. If you don’t forgive, your prayers are not going to be answered, including your prayer for healing. Biblically, un-forgiveness is a major block to healing regardless of what disease you have. You can know what the spiritual sin and wrong thinking patterns that caused your disease and repent and renew your mind in that area, but you will not be healed until you have forgiven every single person you know of every single wrong thing that has been done to you. If you want to hold on to that un-forgiveness, you must also be prepared to hold on to your sickness. If you want to be healed. . .release and forgive. You choose! The benefits of forgiveness are worthwhile: God forgives you, the stress reaction is broken which in itself closes the door to over 100 incurable illnesses, healing comes and relationships are restored.
Remember, God’s perfect will is not healing, it is prevention of disease. If you want to enjoy the abundant life of divine health that Jesus died to give you, you have got to continually practice a habit of forgiveness. It is often said that forgiveness leads to the ability to love. You cannot love if you have not really forgiven and released those who have wronged you. Scientific research proves that love is good for your health – that is our next principle:
5. Tune Into Your Heart and Walk In Love
On page 59 in the chapter “Essential Background Knowledge of Disease from a Biblical Perspective” I explained the importance of your love walk. I explained that if you are operating in love i.e. if your are loving God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, if you love yourself because you know your great value and worth because of who you are in Christ and if you love others, it is absolutely impossible for disease to develop in your body. Now I am going to share more about this with you from a medical standpoint. When you feel love or make the decision to experience love, chemicals called serotonin, endorphins, enkephalins and ANF are released and flow throughout your body and brain. These chemicals are wonderful because they uplift you, make you feel good, make you healthy and make you intelligent. I’ve explained previously that the healthier you become the more intelligent you become! Love activates what is called the pleasure reward system in the brain and causes the release of dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical that gives you a high and makes your thinking sharp and clear, and helps with focus, attention and healthy thought growth. In other words it will help you renew your mind more effectively. You can even see when people are in love because they look different. When children are happy or somebody says something nice to you, you look different because physical and chemical changes have occurred in your body.
Love is an essential part of healing from both a Biblical and medical standpoint!
Walking around in anger, hate, un-forgiveness, bitterness and resentment is not going to help you, it is going to make you die young and sick because your body is put into a toxic state of stress.21 We are physically wired for love, it is as fundamental as hunger and thirst. When our thinking becomes toxic and we have a lack of love, we can go looking for that love in the wrong places and that could be a chemical. In the chapter on page 345 I explain that addictions are rooted in the need to be loved.22 When you have an addiction, for example cigarettes, alcohol or drugs, it is causing the release of dopamine. This is a substitute for the dopamine release that you should have gotten from a love relationship with God, yourself and others. You need to operate in love because love conquers all. . .including sickness. When you are walking in love, the chemicals that are released in your body are going to add years to your life. If you operate in love, you are going to become healthy, happy and people are going to be so drawn to you. Medical studies have shown that there are clear changes in the patterns of activity of the autonomic nervous system, immune system, hormonal system, brain and heart when you experience emotions such as love, care and compassion. There is a direct link between positive emotions, improved health and increased longevity.
On page 21 in the chapter “Essential Background Knowledge of Disease from a Medical Perspective” I spoke about the heart brain. The heart is directly linked to your free will in your brain. Your heart advises your free will on whether to accept or reject a thought. The message to the brain from the heart is that still small voice, it’s that gentle nudge, a voice of warning. . .the voice of the Holy Spirit. Love flows from our heart! The heart has the ability to pull every other system of the body into its own rhythm. When the heart is at peace or filled with love, the entire body under the direction of the brain (which analyzes the love) feels peace and love. When our heart is not at peace because our free will is not listening to our heart and we have toxic thorn trees of un-forgiveness, bitterness and hate squirting out toxic chemicals – the voice of the heart is drowned out, the whole electrochemical balance of our body is disrupted and we are in a toxic state that leads to illness. So listen to your heart and walk in love.
6. Monkey Hug Therapy
Touch is part of love. There is a hunger inside of us more powerful than our hunger for food - we are wired by a loving God for loving touch. Latest medical research has described touch as a powerful healing force. It is very good for the brain. The skin is the largest organ in the body and is rich in nerve supply. When you touch a person or give them a hug, the nerves in the skin send signals to the brain which then cause the release of endorphins and encephalins. These are the feel good hormones. Enkephalins kill pain in your body and make you feel happy. They also cause the release of other love chemicals. All of these chemicals released through appropriate touch and hugs are a powerful healing force that helps break down those thorn trees in your brain that are making you sick. The importance of touch is only a recent scientific discovery but 2000 years ago Jesus touched those He healed everywhere He went. He held, loved and comforted through touch.
Appropriate touch is wonderful for children because it is an essential part of their health and development. Lack of touch or what the medical field calls “cutaneous deprivation” causes emotional problems, has an adverse impact on our intellect and physical growth and weakens the immune system. Research even shows that touch deprivation causes negative change in the brain laying the patterns for aggression and violence.1 The brain will go into a toxic state and re-wire negatively in several important areas when our skin doesn’t receive appropriate affectionate touch and therefore isn’t able to send those signals to our brain.23
In the 1940’s a doctor called Rene Spitz began a desperate search to find out why babies were dying despite having adequate food, medicine and a good environment. What he discovered is that the babies were dying from touch deprivation. This then prompted a research project that was done on monkeys in the 1950’s and 1960’s by a psychologist called Harry Harlow at Wisconsin University. In his experiment small monkeys were put in a cage with a bottle without their mother. The monkeys were fed but not touched or held. Within days these small monkeys were sick. They had high levels of stress hormones in their blood, they were depressed, sad and unhappy. Eventually they became so ill that they were dying. Then they took those monkeys and put them with a surrogate mother who loved them, hugged them, held them, kissed them and fed them. Guess what happened? Those monkeys that were initially on the brink of death completely healed. Touch had broken the negative reaction chains that feelings of emotional deprivation had caused in the monkey’s brains.24 The monkey hug is a term used in medical science today for a touch or hug.
According to Dr. Caroline Leaf you should hug your children and your spouse at least 7 times a day. Lavish appropriate, loving touch on your children and you will set their stage for a better adulthood. Many animal and human studies show the benefits of touch and alleviating the physical symptoms of depression and other illnesses. Go for a massage! Studies have shown that after a month of regular massages, people had reduced levels of stress hormones and increased levels of the healthy hormone dopamine.
If you are having a bad day where you are struggling to get your thought life right, give your spouse or friend a hug or loving touch. This will cause the release of all those endorphins and enkephalins plus a whole lot of other chemicals that will start flowing to help bring healing to your brain and body. These chemicals will help unblock a toxic cycle in your brain, break down those strongholds and make it easier for you to go back and control your thought life. These techniques all work hand in hand and are all important for normal brain functioning. Affectionate touch plays an important role in helping you renew your mind and it also has a positive impact on the health of others.
7. Play, Laugh and Put On the Garment of Praise!
Disease flourishes in an atmosphere of sadness. Play and laughter reduce stress, aggression, fear and grief. Laughter improves thinking skills and the flexibility of thought. You increase your intelligence with a good old laugh! Want to become clever? Laugh! We each have our own inner natural pharmacy that produces all the chemicals and drugs we ever need for the health of our brain and body in precisely the way it was designed to run. These principles that I am sharing with you such as practicing forgiveness, walking in love, appropriate touch, play and laughter release the body’s natural chemicals that bring about healing and optimize your physical health. Having fun is contagious – try not to laugh when those around you are in convulsions of hysterical laughter. Try to keep having a bad day when you have just had a good laugh! Laughter and fun is a wonderful resource that God built into your brain to bring perspective into your life, help you over come problems, add sizzle to your relationships and to uplift you.
Proverbs 17:22, “A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.” This scripture is not authenticating medications because the word medicine in the original Hebrew means cure. Thus we could say a happy heart does good like a cure. This scripture has an unbelievable amount of medical truth in it as many scientific studies show why laughter deserves to be known as the best medicine. Laughing literally is good medicine that works healing and cures diseases because it rejuvenates the neuro-chemicals in your brain and it boosts your immune system.25 Your immune system protects you from infections, allergies and cancer. The cells of your immune system are made in your bones (the bone marrow). When you have a broken spirit or a broken heart, you have high levels of stress hormones in your blood such as cortisol and adrenalin. Cortisol kills off the cells of the immune system. In other words cortisol released as a result of a broken spirit literally dries the bones which is your immune system. When your immune system is damaged, you are susceptible to cancer, allergies and any infection. Interestingly most cancer patients do not laugh and have difficulty with humor. We have to start laughing and enjoying life! We need to develop a playful point of view. Let’s get rid of what Caroline Leaf calls “toxic seriousness” by learning to laugh at ourselves. Having fun will detox your thought life, improve your health and make you intelligent. It is one of the most powerful antidotes to stress that you will ever find and it is free!
Playing music, laughing and singing have been proven to destress your brain and body. A good belly laugh reduces the stress hormones cortisol by 39% and adrenalin by 70%. Laughing also increases endorphins which are the feel good hormones by 29% and makes growth hormones sky rocket by 87%!1 Unhappy children who have for example grown up in foster homes or orphanages and have had very little love are generally short and small. This is because they don’t grow because they don’t have that touch, love, laughter and play. I’m not just giving you good principles for health and healing here, these are also good principles for parenting. We need to give our children all these things because they need them. With love, appropriate touch, hugs, laughter and play we can equip our children for a better adulthood.
Norman Cousins is famous for calling laughing “internal jogging” because it literally lets the blood and good healthy chemicals flow through your body. It goes up into your brain and starts breaking down all those toxic thorn trees. If you’re having a hard time controlling your thought life read jokes, watch a funny movie, play a game with your family or friends or play with a pet. Break that tension with play and laughter and then you will find that your ability to control your thoughts and renew your mind is so much easier. Fun protects your heart because when you laugh and enjoy yourself, your body releases chemicals that improve the function of the blood vessels and increase blood flow, thus protecting against heart attacks. Fun and laughter will also increase your energy levels. Laughing reduces the levels of the stress chemicals quickly, which if they hang around in the body in high quantities for too long can cause over 100 incurable diseases.25 So can you afford not to laugh? Having fun, laughter and play is one of the cheapest, easiest and most effective ways to pull down those toxic thorn trees in your brain.
Isaiah 61:3, “Put on the garment of praise instead of a heavy, burdened and failing spirit…”
Playing or listening to music, laughing and singing may be the last thing that you feel like doing, but it causes the release of all the healthy chemicals such as endorphins, encephalins, serotonin and dopamine. Sometimes you have to begin in the flesh to laugh and sing whether you feel like it or not. It is like priming an old fashioned water pump by repeatedly moving the handle up and down until the pump kicks in and the water begins to flow. If you have ever used an old fashioned pump you will know that when you initially begin to move the handle up and down, it feels as though it will never kick in and begin to supply water. It actually feels like it is connected to nothing and is just pumping air. As you continue it becomes more difficult to move the handle up and down which is a sign that the water is about to flow. It is the same way with joy. One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is joy (Galatians 5:22) and He is on the inside of you. Therefore you have a well of joy on the inside of you. The pump handle to bring it to physical manifestation is smiling, laughing and singing. Initially these physical expressions may not seem to be doing much. After a while it gets even harder, but if you keep it up you will soon get a “river of joy” flowing forth from the inside of you. You can’t always feel joy until you activate it by purposefully operating in it. Often the decision comes first, then the feelings follow. Paul said in Ephesians 5:19-20: “Speak out to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, offering praise with voices [and instruments] and making melody with all your heart to the Lord, at all times and for everything giving thanks in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.”
Acts 16:25-26, “About midnight, as Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God. . .Suddenly there was an earthquake, so that the very foundations of the prison were shaken; and at once all the doors were opened and everyone’s shackles were unfastened.”
Paul and Silas were is a miserable position. They had just been severely beaten and were sitting in shackles in a cold and dark prison. However they choose to praise God in the midst of this situation, even though I’m sure they probably didn’t feel like it. There is great power to break any bondage in simply smiling, laughing and praise. The same power that broke the walls of the jail and shackles around Paul, Silas and the others in prison with them, is available today to break the bondage of people who are imprisoned and shackled with disease. The devil and his demons cannot stand God’s joy, so when you begin to purposely operate in it and start praising God, they will not stick around!
Part of praise is thanksgiving. You need to maintain an attitude of gratitude. In the laboratory they have proven that giving praise and thanks causes the release of those healthy chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine, endorphins, enkephalins and ANF which flow throughout your body and brain. These chemicals are wonderful because they uplift you, make you feel good and make you healthy. You can get those healthy chemicals in your body flowing by being grateful for everything around you. Thank people. Every time you want to whine, groan and complain, think of your blessings. Even if it means thanking God for a new day and that fact that you are breathing. Thank Him for His Son and the privilege of being able to have a relationship with God. That is awesome and a lot to be thankful for!
Psalm 103:1-5, “Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul; and all that is [deepest] within me, bless His holy name! Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul, and forget not [one of] all His benefits. Who forgives [every one of] all your iniquities, Who heals [each one of] all your diseases. Who redeems your life from the pit and corruption, Who beautifies, dignifies and crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercy; Who satisfies your mouth [your personal necessity and desire at your personal age and situation] with good so that your youth, renewed, is like the eagle’s [strong, overcoming, soaring]!”
Furthermore, when you are healed, don’t forget to thank God for setting you free. When Jesus healed ten people with leprosy in Luke 17:11-19, only one came back to say thank you.
8. Look After Your Temple
To be able to renew your mind effectively, you need to eat healthily, exercise and get enough rest and sleep. I discuss these principles in depth in part 2 of this book:
· How your sleeping habits affect your ability to renew your mind – page 211
· How your eating habits affect your ability to renew your mind – page 265
· How exercise affects your ability to renew your mind – page 305
9. Dream On!
We all dream! Even if you are not aware of dreaming, we all dream. When you sleep, there are “vacuum cleaner cells” (called glial cells) that go through the nerves in your brain and they sort out all the information in your memories on the branches of your nerves in the trees of your mind. Physiologically your dream state allows the psychosomatic network of nerves in your brain to retune itself and get ready for your waking life, so that you can be prepared to process the next batch of information. There’s a communication occurring in your dream - your brain is talking to your body. There is an exchange of information going on between different parts of your mind and body. Information about this enters consciousness in the form of a dream. The content of your dreams reaches your awareness as a story.
As the bio-chemicals involved in cleaning up your brain are sorting out the information in your memories, you get this weird dream because it’s a bit of this memory and a bit of that memory and they get all mixed up. The bio-chemicals that clean up your brain are also carrying emotion which will also bubble up into consciousness as a dream. That is why your dreams also have feelings29, they have color and sometimes it’s so wonderful that when you wake up you want to go back to sleep to finish the dream.
It is also a good thing to journalize your dreams. You may never understand them but the process of just writing them down is very often in itself healing to the brain because when you write them down you are expressing your emotion and unblocking those chemical pathways. Capturing your dreams can enlighten you to what is going on in your thought life. The more chaotic your dreams are, the more chaotic your thought life is. So your dreams are a very good indication of how much clean up you need to do with your thought life. Dreams reflect the condition of your mind and body and can be an early warning sign that something is going on! Sometimes when you journalize your dreams, a few months later you’ll get an answer or a warning. God speaks to us through visions and dreams as well.
10. Maintain Your Victory
Joyce Meyer has a saying, “Once you have gained victory in an area, you must maintain it.” The knowledge that I have given you about how to get free is that same knowledge that will keep you free. In other words, when you apply these principles that I am sharing with you and God heals you, you need to keep applying those principles even after you are healed. For example if you had depression because of a low self-esteem, and then you changed your thinking by renewing your mind with the Word concerning who you are in Christ and God healed you, you need to continue to think of yourself according to who you are in Christ. If you slip back into your old bad mindsets of a low self-esteem – guess what? The depression is going to come back and most probably worse than ever before.
Mathew 12:43-45, “But when the unclean spirit has gone out of a man, it roams through dry [arid] places in search of rest, but it does not find any. Then it says, I will go back to my house from which I came. And when it arrives it finds the place unoccupied, swept, put in order, and decorated. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and make their home there. And the last condition of that man becomes worse than the first.”
You see, when the enemy has been removed, he will come back to see if you are for real. The enemy knows what it took to gain access to your life and he will try it again, but I have now given you the knowledge and tools to keep you free. When Jesus healed one man in the temple He said to him, “Go and sin no more or a worse thing may come upon you.” (John 5:14). If you fall back into the same roots of sin, then your chances of keeping your healing are not good. You have got to maintain your victory.
Part of maintaining your victory involves removing things from your life that lead you into temptation and back into your old ways. You cannot continue to hang around things that will lead you into servitude to sin. For example, if you are renewing your mind and working through an alcohol addiction, you cannot continue to go to the bar or hang out with your other friends who drink. If you were addicted to pornography, you cannot keep your old play boy magazines etc in your house. If you were a gossiper, you cannot continue to hang around people who are gossipers and so on.
In summary these are the important principles that you need to apply to break those toxic strongholds in your brain that are making you sick:
1. Control your thought life – remember healing begins with repentance which means changing your thinking. You need to get rid of the toxic, sinful mindsets or patterns of thinking behind your disease.
2. Use your words to shape your world – purposefully use your words to your advantage to help your body heal. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17). When you speak out the Word of God, you renew your mind 3 times quicker.
3. Express those emotions and then deal with them – what doesn’t come out in tears goes down in anger and makes you sick.
4. Think Forgiveness – if you want to hold onto your unforgiveness and bitterness, you must also be prepared to hold onto your sickness. If you want to get healed, release and forgive. There is just no way around it.
5. Tune into your heart and walk in love.
6. Monkey hug therapy.
7. Play, laugh and put on the garment of praise!
8. Look after your temple through healthy eating, exercise and adequate time to rest, relax and switch off.
9. Dream on.
10. Maintain your victory
None of these principles that I’ve taught you will cost you one cent. Therapy and medication is very expensive and most of the time it is not really effective. It is just disease management which is another form of bondage. These principles may seem ridiculously simple but medical science has proven that they are phenomenally powerful. These principles I can guarantee work because you are taking control and you’ve got the Holy Spirit to help you.
Finally, When You Have Recovered Yourself – Go Strengthen the Brethren
In the introduction I said that with this knowledge and insight that I am giving you in this book, please realize that there comes the responsibility of sharing it.
Psalm 67:2, “That Your way may be known upon earth, Your saving health among all nations.” KJV
When you have gained your victory and you have your healing, I am giving you the mandate to go and help others. As Jesus said in Matthew 10:6-8, “But rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as you go, preach, saying, the kingdom of heaven is at hand! Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give!”
Jesus also said to Peter in Luke 22:32, “When you have recovered yourself, strengthen and establish the brethren.” The world lives for “me and now” but we should be living “for others and eternity”. There is a phrase in a song that impacted my life forever, it says:
“When it has all been said and done, there is only one thing that will matter – only what has been done for love’s reward will stand the test of time.”
Healing is a blessing from your Heavenly Father. God blesses you so that you can be a blessing to others. The dead sea is dead because although a lot of rivers flow into it, nothing flows out. Therefore the salt that has collected in the water has made it impossible for anything to grow or live there. The River Nile is teeming with life because water flows in and it flows out, supplying many other areas. Go and be the salt that this earth needs:
Matthew 5:13-16, “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste (its strength, its quality), how can its saltiness be restored?. . .You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a peck measure, but on a lamp stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble and good deeds and recognize and honor and praise and glorify your Father Who is in heaven.”
Your primary purpose for living before anything else is to enjoy an intimate love relationship with God the Father. The second is to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ everywhere you go, that the broken hearts and lives of others may be healed. . and they also may come to know the Father personally and intimately.
Isaiah 61:1-3 “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed and qualified me to preach the Gospel of good news to the meek, the poor and the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up and to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the [physical and spiritual] captives and the opening of the prison and of the eyes of those who are bound. To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord [the year of His favor]. . . To grant [consolation and joy] to those who mourn, to give them an ornament (a garland or diadem) of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment [expressive] of praise instead of a heavy, burdened and failing spirit – that they may be called oaks of righteousness [lofty, strong, and magnificent, distinguished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God], the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
REFERENCE: The information and references in this chapter was taken with permission from the teaching of Dr. Caroline Leaf in a seminar she conducted called “Your Body, His Temple” and her book “Who Switched Off My Brain”. For more information you can see Caroline Leaf’s website at: www.drleaf.net [659-714]