Loved, loved, loved Toy Story. All three of them. And one of my favorite characters was Buzz Light Year. “To infinity and beyond!” So much gusto that Buzz had, but what really got me was the fact that Buzz believed he was real as seen in this exchange between Buzz and Woody:
Buzz: Right now, poised at the edge of the galaxy, Emperor Zurg has been secretly building a weapon with the destructive capacity to annihilate an entire planet! I alone have information that reveals his weapon's only weakness. And you, my friend, are responsible for delaying my rendezvous with Star Command!!!
Woody: You...are...a...toy-y-y! You are an action figure! You are a child's play thing!!
Buzz: You are a sad, strange little man, and you have my pity. Farewell.
Ok, not a huge fan of animated movies? Well what about the TV show, The Greatest American Hero? (Yes I’m dating myself and yes I’ll pause while you click play and listen to the greatest theme song ever - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yb4C7vSByMM) The lyrics to the theme song alone are enough to grab your attention. But what struck me about the show was how Ralph Hinkley, an ordinary school teacher, believed that when he put on his “special power” red suit, given to him by aliens, he could do anything. Despite the fact that he lost the instructional manual, he still believed that when in the red suit, he could extinguish fires, fight the bad guys, and yes he even believed that he could fly.
I began this blog post with Buzz Light Year and Ralph Hinkley because they’re great examples of one of the strongest motivators ever – the power of belief. The Bible says in Proverbs 23:7, “As a man thinks in his heart, so shall he be”. Wow. I need to say that again. As we THINK, so shall we be!
So I have to ask, what’s the current soundtrack of your heart and soul? Are you thinking, speaking, believing words of victory ---
“I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.”
“I am more than a conqueror.”
“I will mount on the wings of eagles. I will run and not get weary. I will walk and not faint”
Or does it sound more like that of one who’s defeated before even getting started ---
“I’m no good. Nothing ever works out for me.”
“I’ll never amount to anything because that’s what momma/daddy/teacher told me.”
“I’m weary/broken/empty. What’s the use in trying?”
If your soundtrack is one of negativity, then I gotta tell you, you’re hurting your brain. Don’t believe me? Ask science. According to a blog post on Psychology Today, pondering on the negative can damage the neural structures of your brain that regulate emotions, memory, and feelings. Negative thinking also releases cortisol, a stress hormone, which then breaks down the part of the brain that helps form new memories. Essentially our brains are shaped by our thoughts and experiences. According to Hanson, “the brain takes its shape from what the mind rests upon.”
I’m fascinated that science has finally caught up with what the Bible’s been telling us along. Negative thinking, distorted truth, and feelings of guilt, shame and defeat are nothing more than tried and true, age-old ploys of the enemy. It is his design and intent to sever our understanding of just how mighty, powerful, and able our God is. It is his goal to cause separation between us and God by heightening our sense of self-reliance, self-esteem, and self-dependence as opposed to God-dependence. He has us so confused we no longer believe that if God has called us to something or has blessed our desires our passion and our dreams, then despite our ability or our feelings, He can and will equip us. The enemy has us so despondent and in a state of despair and doom that we no longer believe that we can fly.
The mantras that play over and over in our heads make the difference between victory or defeat, faith or fear, joy or misery, abundant living or lackluster existence. The Bible, in Romans 12:2, tells us, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our minds.” Transforming our minds requires action. Just like a computer, what is programmed or what is put in, determines the output. And sometimes, when there is a malfunction in the computer or the computer freezes up or the output isn’t what was intended, the computer needs to be rebooted. Our minds are the same way. Sometimes we need to reboot. We need to change our way of thinking. If we want a strong faith, an abundant life and a victorious outcome, we may just need to mental, emotional and spiritual reboot.
So what’s it going to be? What will you choose to believe, to think and to speak over your life this day? I pray that you’ll join me in transforming your minds ensuring that our thoughts are patterned after the Word of God, so that we can experience the more abundant life (John 10:10).
From My Heart to Yours,
Reflective Bible Verse:
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
- Philippians 4:8 provides the perfect guidance for changing our minds – think on things which are noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and/or praiseworthy. Get rid of all the negative “clutter” that fills our lives and this could include the news, television, negative people, negative relationships or environments, etc. Declutter and then Reboot with things that speak truth and life.
- Go on a “Negative Fast.” Commit for the next 10 days to think positive thoughts, speak positively to others and/or surround yourself with that which is positive. Choose one and journal the experience. You may be surprised just how much “negative toxins” are polluting your mind.
- Cast All Your Cares upon Him (I Peter 5:7). When you have a negative or irrational or fearful thought, acknowledge it, write it down, then:
- Change the negative thought to a Positive One (Change “I’m no good” to “I am more than a conqueror - Romans 8:37”),
- Speak Scripture Over the Negative (Meet “Will I ever get over my fear of swimming?” With “God has not given me a spirit of fear but of love, power and a sound mind - II Timothy 1:7.”),
- Turn the Negative Thought into a Prayer (Meet “I’ll never get that promotion” With “I am claiming Your promise that whatever I ask in Your name that is in accordance to Your will, you will grant so I claim the promotion or career opportunity that You have in store for me and I will await Your perfect timing.”) and,
- Turn Your Pity into Praise (Turn “I don’t have enough money to meet my needs” Into “Thank you God for the food/shelter/transportation you’ve provided me with thus far.”