Cornerstone

“The trajectory of our thoughts have an effect not just on our mood, but on our physical brain and immaterial soul.”

By Jennifer Ko

Here I am again, cleaning up termite poop for the umpteenth time in 7 months. My thoughts race in anger and frustration. Somehow I am simultaneously thinking ill of our landlords while prophesying our roof collapsing from the excessive termite damage. What shall we say to the landlords this time? How will I get my family to safety if the roof caves in? Should we call Terminix ourselves and ask the landlords to reimburse us? Will the roof collapse in our room or our baby girl’s? Endless rage and fear fueled thoughts race in my mind. None of it helpful. None of it glorifying God.

I have been learning a lot about termites, where they live, what they eat, and that their poop is called frass. Did you know that termites can live in your walls for months or years without your knowledge? They tunnel with the grain of the wood not against it. By tracing the tunneling marks on my ceiling I can also confirm that tunnels frequently traveled are bigger, and smaller tunnels can connect with one another. 

Why am I educating you on termites? You see, thoughts (specifically negative and/or non-God glorifying thoughts) are a lot like termites. Aside from being equally gross; they start somewhere grounded, a real circumstance, or conversation, and branch out from there - slowly destroying strong foundations. The trajectory of our thoughts have an effect, not just on our mood, but on our physical brain and immaterial soul. 

A passing thought activates a neuron. If that thought is then indulged and dwelt upon, it will activate the next neuron and the next and the next creating a tunnel for that negative thought. Just as termites tunnel with the grain of wood, the enemy offers thoughts that will tunnel with your natural thought tendencies. Are you a worrier? You will be handed things to worry about. Are you self-righteous? You will have lots of people to belittle in your mind. The more a thought “tunnels” through your neural network, the easier the passage for that thought becomes, thus growing it from a passing thought into a meditation, or worse - obsession or addiction. Our thoughts create a physical footprint on our brain.

The soul level effect is more devastating. The more we dwell on fears and anger, the more we declare - to ourselves, to those around us, and to God Himself - that God is not God. Either you or your fears become sovereign over your life as if God is not on His throne. Insecurity and anxiety increase while faith, strength and grace are slowly eaten away, becoming little pebbles of frass. Little by little your witness is hurting as you drift. We have neglected a great salvation.

A beautiful difference between termites and our thoughts is that we can make Holy Spirit-empowered decisions with these thoughts. We can take them captive with the Truth of Christ, categorize them, choose the perfect weapon, and destroy them. This is battle talk brothers and sisters, and we are the warriors. 

Are you ready for more good news? The Creator designed neural pathways to work the same with positive, God glorifying thoughts as well. The more we dwell on the things of God, the more accepted they’ll be to our brain and the easier godly thoughts will come to us. It’s a practice. Training for battle and seeing supernatural results.

God has also left us with more than Terminix for our minds. He has supplied us with means of grace to do battle. Not only has He given us the armor of God (Eph. 6:10-18), He has given us the Word, prayer, meditation, worship, and fellowship with other believers! These are weapons that have divine power for demolishing strongholds!

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ...
- 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

The Greek word ‘power’ in this passage is one of my favorites. Dynatos means “able, mighty, strong in soul to bear calamities and trial with fortitude and patience”. Dynatos is also where we get the English word dynamite. So you can imagine the weapons God has given us as able to blow up any stronghold you are struggling with. And it gets better.

Note the word in front of ‘power’: divine. The Greek word for ‘divine’ is theos, which refers to the Godhead- God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. God has given us weapons equipped with the power of the Godhead! Let that sink in. The same power that created everything. The same power that breathed life. The same power that raised Christ from the dead. The same power that defeated sin, Satan, death, hell and absorbed the full wrath of God. The same power that makes us heirs with Christ. 

We have been handed the most powerful weapons the world has ever known. These weapons not only demolish strongholds, but are just as powerful in times of suffering as well as bringing our holy thoughts deeper still. What a gift! Sadly, for a lot of us, these gifts are sitting on the shelf collecting dust as our foundations are slowly being eaten away. This is not what God had intended for us. These gifts are not inherent to us as we walk in the flesh. But we can take hold of them and become better equipped through training in righteousness.

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