Click here to listen => RYWN Episode 6: Sister, Are You Minding Your Mind? 3 Strategies to Help Regulate Your Mind
“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 1:13
I had the opportunity to attend a leadership conference last week in Washington, DC. One segment of the conference addressed the state of mental health in America. As I listened, I felt the need to talk to my fellow sisters about mental health.
According to the latest statistics with the World Health Organization, one in four people in the world is affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. Around 450 million people currently suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.
As women, good mental health is essential to our overall well-being. More than 1 in 5 women in the United States experienced a mental health condition in the past year, such as depression or anxiety (1) Many mental health conditions, such as depression and bipolar disorder, affect more women than men or affect women in different ways from men (2,3). Mental health conditions can be treated naturally and spiritually so that you can get better and live the abundant life that Jesus wants you to live.
The myth that mental health should not be addressed within the church must be dismantled. This is not biblical. During Jesus’ ministry He cast out demons from those who were mentally oppressed. Matthew chapter 5 records that a demoniac man who was naked and cutting himself and living in a cave all alone had an encounter with Jesus. The bible says that this man cried night and day and no one could help him. He was emotionally and mentally bound by demons. Yes, demon spirits do exist and they are very real. Jesus spoke and commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man and because he was filled with so many demons, Jesus asked what the demons name was and he responded, Legion for we are many. Jesus commanded the Legion to come out and he was set free, clothed and sitting and in his right mind. Jesus told the man to return back home to his family to tell them how much the Lord had done and what mercy was shown.
In this dispensation, the Body of Christ does not even teach Believers how to cast out demons anymore even though that was one of Jesus last commandments to His disciples…
And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
A large percentage of mental illness today could be demonically influenced and readily remedied by casting out unclean spirits and Legions…however, emotionalism in the church has replaced casting out demons and people remain bound in darkness and oppression…casting out demons is not for this podcast, but will be taught at another time. Hallelujah.
This podcast is dear to me personally because, I know what it’s like to struggle with debilitating depression. Some of you may or may not know my story. While serving on Active Duty with the Air Force, I witnessed some of the Airmen assigned to my unit and that I was close to die in a horrific B-52 plane crash. Not only did I witness it, but I was on the Safety Investigation Accident team for the crash. It was an event that I didn’t talk about much, I harbored it for a very long time. It was painful and I never properly grieved this great loss.
Like many of my fellow veterans, I thought I could just continue on with my life without talking about it and it began taking a mental, emotional and physical toll on me. To the point where I couldn’t get out of bed, at times all I wanted to do is lock myself up in a room to do nothing, but eat and sleep. My primary care doctors prescribed one anti-depressant medication after the other. And honesty this only made me feel terribly worse. I went through this cycle for about seven years until I was tired of taking the medications, I was tired of feeling like I had been hit with a sledgehammer every morning, I was tired of feeling like a zombie. Not realizing that I was experiencing symptoms associated with PTS or Post Traumatic Stress.
Sometimes when we experience certain things in life we gain a greater level of empathy and insight for others facing similar struggles. As a woman and a veteran, this has certainly been my experience. In this podcast I want to share, how I overcame depression, as well as manage PTS using spiritual and natural tools. These tools will empower you to protect your mind. In order to understand mental health, we need to understand what the mind is from a spiritual perspective.
What is the Mind?
The Great Commandment in the Bible found in Matthew 22:37 and says, “Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul and with all thy mind.
Breaking Down the Great Commandment
The heart is the central focus from which all aspects of moral life flows. Moral life meaning, those things that are good, decent, right, honorable, ethical. For the Believer, the Word of God provides our moral foundation or compass. The bible directs the way that we live our lives out loud.
Proverbs 23:7 says, “As a man thinks in his heart so is he.” Whatever we think or mediate or allow into our minds, governs or controls what comes out of our expression.
The heart holds the power of feeling, or the affections. The word "heart" primarily refers to the ruling center of the whole person, the spring of all desires... According to the Bible, the heart is the center not only of spiritual activity, but of all the operations of human life.” There is a deep connection between the heart and the mind.
The soul is the part of who we are that holds the sense of feeling; this is the very seat of where the mind, will, emotions, imagination and intellect all exist. So it is actually within the soul that we love him with all of our mind.
The mind in this scripture is translated as meditation or reflective ability. Love the Lord God with all of your heart, soul and mind with meditation or reflection. How often do you think upon or reflect on the Lord? The love and the life of our Father surrounds us in every area of our lives. Our very existence, our children, family…humanity and in creation. We can think upon and reflect on His awesome wonders and from those thoughts are love grows deeper for Him, not for what He can do, but simply for who He is.
We are living in a world where our minds can become so very easily distracted by what’s going on around us. There is constant stimulation from the media, internet, television…experts estimate that the mind thinks between 60,000 – 80,000 thoughts a day. That's an average of 2500 – 3,300 thoughts per hour. That's incredible. Other experts estimate a smaller number, of 50,000 thoughts per day, which means about 2100 thoughts per hour (4).
There are physical and spiritual forces that are competing with our minds that distract and keep us from loving the Lord with all of our minds that leave little to no space to reflect or think about Him. This is a strategy of the enemy to get you so distracted by problems, distracted by issues, distracted by Social Media, distracted by Reality TV, mindless TV…which isn’t even reality. It is designed to get your mind off of your purpose in life and staying focused on the Lord.
As Believers, our perspective in life must be towards the Kingdom of God. Our stay here on earth is only temporary. Heaven is our eternal destination.
Loving God with all of our mind must be intentional. In our scripture focus, Peter wrote this verse and it is an extremely powerful and graphic picture that expresses something that you and I must apply to our daily lives. He wrote gird up the loins of your mind. In order to get through depression, not only did I need to pray, but I had to gird up the loins of my mind.
Gird Up the Loins of Your Mind
In Rick Renner’s, Sparkling Gems of the Greek, he shares, this phrase “gird up the loins” comes from the Greek word anadzonnumi, (pronounced: an-ad-zone'-noo-mee) This word was used to describe Orientals who wore long robes. Before taking a long journey or before running in a race, they would gather up their loose robes and tuck them up under their girdle (5, 6).
Most frequently this word would be used to depict a runner who was running a race. To run freely and without hindrance, he would reach down to gather the long, dangling ends of his garments and then tuck them up under his belt. With the loose ends out of the way, he could then run freely and without distraction.
But the runner would get in trouble if he ever allowed his garments to fall down and become entangled in his legs. Even though he may have been picking up his stride and running a good race up to that point, the encumbrance of dangling, loosely hanging clothes would hinder his steps. And allowing those loose ends to keep dangling would have been a sure way to lose the race. But notice that Peter is not talking about a garment made of material; he is referring to the loins of our minds. Peter is telling us that if we don’t:
- Deal with the loose ends that exist within our soul, soul wounds, emotional wounds
- All the power of the Holy Spirit to empower us to grab hold of all those dangling areas in our mind and put them out of the way; and remove them by the authority of the Word of God — then we are choosing to permit things to exist in our lives that will hinder our steps and slow us down in our race and in our ability to successfully walk with God.
Ladies, if we want to be successful in our spiritual lives and truly walk with God, then we must start by dealing with the “loins of our minds.” In other words, we must seek to deal with all the emotional loose ends that are keeping up bound, cutting ourselves, isolating ourselves and keeping us in a spiritual cave. Peter encourages us to tighten up those areas that the devil would try to grab hold of and use against us.
- Are there any loose ends that you need to deal with in your life right now? We all have loose ends.
- Do you have negative recurring thought patterns that are weighing you down?
- Do you feel overwhelmed by the mental distractions that are keeping you from loving the Lord with all of your mind?
Here’s where we take out the spiritual microscope to review our lives, become transparent and honest when it comes to minding our mind. I had to be honest with myself when I was facing PTS. Mentally, I was a wreck because I had experienced an emotional tragedy that impacted my soul, the place where my mind is. So in order to heal within in my soul, so that my mind could be healthy, I had to seek God for spiritual tools and natural tools. The Holy Spirit led me to begin with strengthening my Spirit, Soul and Body, in that order.
1. The Spirit – We are made up of a spirit, soul and a body. Out of these three components, the spirit is the most noble part of who we are because this is the part of our existence that communicates with God through worship, prayer, meditation, fasting, reading the bible, studying the holy scriptures. This is where God downloads His divine intelligence into our lives. It is where we have contact and connect with the spiritual world and how we engage in spiritual warfare, as well as hear from the Holy spirit. I had to strengthen my spirit first. Any form of health transformation, must address spiritual health first. I began making daily scripture affirmations. Even though this was almost 20 years ago, I will never forget the day that this changed for me. I was praying and walking in my living room and the Holy Spirit directed me to my bookshelf to get a certain book that I had never read, it was Pastor Creflo Dollar’s How to Trouble Your Trouble. And about mid-way through the book, there were scripture affirmations that I began to make daily. Shortly after this, my Pastor introduced me to a book by Charles Capps entitled, “God’s Creative Power Will Work for You.” The scripture affirmations within these books were identical. Within one month, I noticed a major shift in my spiritual strength and as a result, my thinking and my mind began to regain focus and clarity. If you have never made scripture affirmations, I encourage you to make them a part of your daily spiritual practice. With technology from You Tube, you can find Charles Capps, Creative Power Confessions and make them on a daily basis.
2. My Soul – the care of the soul is often the most neglected part of our physical makeup, yet it is the part of our lives that needs the most work. Paul said work out your own soul salvation with fear and trembling, Philippians 2:12. It is the place where emotional damage and injury takes place, it is the place that governs and controls our will, it’s the place where imagination and dreams exist. It is where the mind exists, remember I shared that the mind translated in our focus scripture means reflection or meditation. For me, my soul was emotionally damaged, because of what I saw and what I experienced from that plane crash, reflecting on and meditating on negative recurring images. I had to gird up the loins of my mind and begin redirecting my thoughts to reflect and mediate on the Lord and His love and goodness for me. I had to redirect my thoughts towards His countless blessings. I purposefully connected with positive people that were not toxic to my soul. I engaged in things that I enjoyed, being out in nature, serving others in my community, staying active in my church, listening to my favorite music. You may need help in this area because what you experienced was extremely painful. Personally, I sought out support from a licensed clinical therapist, as well as received spiritual support. Please know that there is support in the form of Godly counsel. If you need assistance in this area reach out to me via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, call me on the number on my web site, www.RockYourWorldNatually.com and I will pray with you concerning your situation and develop a plan or some strategies, to help you work through your soul work.
3. The Body – I had to change my eating habits by fueling my body with whole foods, drinking clean filtered water, getting out into the fresh air with exercise. I was basically practicing the 7 Divine Keys to Unlock Extraordinary health outlined in my book, Rock Your World Naturally, 7 Divine Keys to Unlock Extraordinary Health. I experienced more energy, more restful sleep, a regulated mind.
As I was consistent and followed through, my mental state changed drastically. What was happening, I was grabbing hold of those dangling ends, those loose ends that were unraveled that were keeping me from moving forward and advancing in my destiny as a Health Evangelist. I want to encourage you to stop to re-evaluate your life so that you can take hold of those areas of your mind that need to be addressed that you’ll be able to run the race set before you freely and with no entanglements or distractions.
My Prayer for You
Lord, I thank you for speaking into our lives about how important it is to be intentional about minding our mind. Our desire is to follow and keep Your greatest commandment which is to love your Lord with all of our heart, soul, mind. I ask you Lord to strengthen every woman that is listening in, help her, help us to tie up the loose ends within our minds. I say that our minds are subject to the power of Your Word. Your Word empowers us to think operate, demonstrate fully with the mind of Christ. We are renewed in the spirit of our minds this day. I come against every form of distraction that will try to take my sisters mind off of You. The Blood of Jesus covers every mind. I decree and declare divine alignment in spirit, soul and body. Not by power, not by might, but by your Spirit Lord. I speak to every hurt and every emotional trauma within the soul and say be healed in the name of Jesus. I command every unclean spirit, spirit of torment, spirit of rejection and spirit of fear to come out now in Jesus name. I release an abundance of peace, righteousness and joy in the Holy Spirit into my sisters lives in Jesus’ name. It is sealed in Your Blood and it is so. Amen.
1. Oct 4, 2018 - https://www.who.int. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2018). 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed Tables. Table 8.2B (PDF, 36.1 MB).
SAMHSA. (2015). Behavioral Health Barometer: United States, 2014. HHS Publication No. SMA 15-4895. Rockville, MD: SAMHSA.
Riecher-Rössler, A. (2017). Sex and gender differences in mental disorders (link is external). Lancet Psychiatry; 4(1): 8–9.
4. How Many Thoughts Your Mind Thinks in One Hour? https://www.successconsciousness.com/blog/inner-peace/how-many-thoughts-does-your-mind-think-in-one-hour/
Rick Renner’s, Gird Up the Loins of Your Mind https://renner.org/gird-up-the-loins-of-your-mind/
Gird Up the Loins of Your Mind in Greek https://biblehub.com/greek/328.htm