December 12, 2018
God: The Perfect Neurosurgeon/Psychiatrist
I was at a luncheon the other day and spoke casually with three strangers. Even though they were separate encounters, a common thread ran through all three conversations. Sadly, they all appeared to be living the “old” life. I tried to point out their present strategy wasn’t achieving their goals as the unhappiness and hopelessness of their present life strongly flavored their responses. I then offered a different strategy based on something bigger and stronger than themselves where hope and healing and peace are readily available. One was interested, the other two, said it was a different way to look at their life, but not ready to make a move yet.
When I speak at retreats or workshops, I make a comment that resonates deeply with most people: “When you become a Christian, you are a new creation with a new eternal destination, new potential on this earth, and have new assets to live life differently, but you don’t get a brain transplant!” People’s jaws usually drop as they understand the ripples and implications of this pretty concrete, easy to understand, but stark reality that clearly and profoundly explains why we stumble.
You see, we still have our old brain with all its memories, skills, deficits, misinformation, and baggage. That is why we still sin, even though re new assets are not only the Mind of Christ, but also the perfect and powerful Holy Spirit influencing and residing in us. If we were perfect and complete at the moment of salvation, God wouldn’t call us, through Paul, to progress from milk to solid food. We would already be at the solid food level of psychological and spiritual maturity.
But sadly, we aren’t mature believers when we are saved, hence the term “Born Again,” which implies babes just starting out with a long road ahead towards achieving maturity. Isn’t this the struggle for all of us? Unless we are diligent and strategic with our thoughts and focus, we will stay immature. I know that when I became a Christian, I didn’t get a brain transplant. Old wiring, connections, thought patterns, Satan’s strongholds, memories, hurts, wounds, misinterpretations and experiences were still locked in my mind, distorting my view of everything and corrupting many of my decisions. But hope and, most importantly, a whole new set of assets, spiritual and psychological assets were now available for my journey forward.
If you, too, are living the old life, remember God offers you new life—the life of Christ. The resurrection affirms the promise Christ made. He offered His life to give us a new life. Choosing Christ as your Savior is the first step. We are free to be the man or woman He meant us to be when He created us. But you need a strategy to continue the journey and utilize your new powerful portfolio of assets, as well as the call to renew your mind to develop the Mind of Christ.
Today, when you are stressed or feel down about yourself or your circumstances, stop and ask, “Am I looking at this through the me-centered lens of the old life or the God-centered lens of my new life?” Adjusting your perspective by yielding to the Holy Spirit and the Holy Bible will stimulate a brain transplant by actually re-wiring your brain chemistry. Paul and Peter call it renewing your mind. Don’t you want a brain transplant—or at least an upgrade? Whether you let God be your ultimate psychiatrist and neurosurgeon or you continue to wing it and engage in the dangerous and painful process of self-surgery is your decision, so choose well.
Dear Father God, I thank You for the offer and the guarantee of new life. I know what it’s like living with a heart of stone—going through the motions and living in a state of fear and worry. Thank You for turning my heart of stone into a heart that’s alive and able to hope. Thanks for Your work in my life to purge the old self, and renew my mind. Even though I sometimes give up, thanks for not giving up on Your goal of finishing the work You started in me. Help me rely on You to rewire my brain according to Your design. It only makes sense since You are the designer of my brain and when I use Your instruction manual, my brain works better. I pray this in the name of the reason for my new life, Christ Jesus. And all God’s children say AMEN!
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26
“Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:11
“To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:22-24