Crouched on my dining room floor, terrified, I crept towards our only phone, on the kitchen counter. The year was 1960 something and I was home alone. The setting was our new house in the country, a sharp contrast to our city house in Philadelphia. Country sounds are very different from city noise.
I felt certain someone was breaking into our house. We now lived next door to my father’s childhood home, five miles from the largest prison in Michigan. When we lived out East, he shared tales of prison break outs that occurred during his childhood.
I managed to call my grandfather, next door, who appeared quickly, loaded shotgun in hand. He stalked around the outside of the house to confront intruders. We both enjoyed a hearty laugh when it turned out to be a tree branch tangled in a window screen. My imaginings messed me up yet again.
My natural mind tends towards a daydreaming, sporadic rhythm. The imagination that prompts me to create, design and write can also be a fertile field for what my grandmother used to call “vain imaginings.” When someone irked me, I used to engage in entire conversations in my head with them; words that couldn’t and shouldn’t be said. Tiny grains of fear in my mind used to explode within minutes to full on potential disaster scenarios for me or my family. I forgot things frequently.
Only in recent years did I come to recognize another one of Satan’s strategies, that of creating chaos. By my observation, it’s a strong tool he uses that everyone must contend with at some point, somewhere in their lives. Chaos is the opposite of peace and it never comes from God. 1 Corinthians 14:33 says,
“For God is not a God of disorder but of peace….” (NIV) Before God created the heavens and earth, what did exist was, “formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep…” (Genesis 1:2 NIV) In other words, no design, just a chaotic element mixture. When God moved he spoke beauty and order into everything on and around earth.
I believe Satan, consistently wars against beauty and order wherever it may be. He incites chaos in three key places, our minds, our homes, and our relationships.
I’ve met dozens of people like me. We fight our largest battles against chaos in our minds. Creative personalities seem more prone but I know people of all temperament types that engaged in this fight. Worry, fearfulness and forgetfulness can be signs that your mind is not at peace. Chronic depression and irritability are further symptoms. How can we allow God to transform a jumbled mind into a peaceful one? Here’s some ideas:
Consult a trusted doctor. Please don’t poo poo this. For most of my life I lived with some chemical imbalances that created a great deal of mental confusion. Simply taking some vitamin supplements, under my doctor’s guidance, completely changed that. Numerous physical problems can create problems. Your diet, particularly if you eat a lot of processed, sugary foods, can mess up your body chemistry. It takes medical expertise to unsquirrel what you may have done. (I used to eat Oreo cookies a bag at a time. Yikes.)
Recognize any weakness in this area. Satan will get his foot into the tiniest crack in a door or window of your mind. It takes a quiet, steady mind to pray and listen to God. A scattered mind struggles to sit peacefully reading and meditating on the word then carrying that with you through the day. This works out great for our enemy.
Take charge over imaginations that go against God’s Word and His ways. If you struggle with brain chaos, 2 Corinthians 10:5 is a crucial verse, but you can’t just read it, you must do it! “Casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” I know, “every thought,” sounds impossible but I will testify that it becomes easier. Nowadays, I recognize the seeds of mental chaos and usually eradicate them before they bloom.
Ask God for wisdom and healing. God knows every cell in your brain intimately. Ask Him what to do and do it. He might guide you to a doctor, like me, or, He will point out lifestyle choices that are not working for you. Media can be fun and useful, it can also overload and overstimulate your nervous system and brain. Nervous system and sleep disorders are at an all-time high due to our over-engagement with media. The question to ask yourself after any media experience is simple, do you feel better and more positive about life, or worse?
Exercise regularly. In a large study reported in the Harvard Health Blog, scientists concluded that your hippocampus actually grows with consistent aerobic exercise, something that makes your heart pump and your sweat glands work. Your hippocampus is the part of the brain involved with memory and learning.
It is also widely known that good exercise (not OVER- exercising) releases our endorphins, one of the natural peace chemicals God placed in our bodies.
If Satan can keep your mind in a chaotic state, you will not achieve your God ordained destiny. Don’t accept a chaotic state as normal. It is NOT God’s design for you. Start today to clean your brain house.