I remember when I had our children and how I felt compelled to remind anyone holding them as infants “to support their head!” It didn’t matter if it was a grandparent or another parent holding them – the reminder just automatically rolled off of my lips. Why? To protect their brains! The human brain is incredibly complex, serving as our CPU for movement, speech, thinking, emotions, and more.
As the boys began toddling around, there were many days when I thought I should slap a helmet on their heads to continue protecting them. So, I can totally get on board when Scripture tells us we need a helmet. However, the helmet the Lord provides is more important than one which simply protects us from physical bumps to the noggin. It is the helmet of salvation. This helmet is provided to us through Jesus Christ when He chose to lay down His life for our sins and then we choose Him as our Savior and Lord. Choices are really so very important, aren’t they?
As I mentioned in the previous blog which focused on the “shield of faith”, our understanding of the nature of God and His purposes are increased when we study His Word (using our brains!) and pursue an intimate relationship with Him. Our defense and offense are amped up when our thoughts, actions, and emotions are grounded in the truth and authority of Scripture. When I daily put on my helmet of salvation, I commit my thinking, actions and emotions into the Lord’s capable hands.
I appreciate Dr. Caroline Leaf, an Australian and Christian communication pathologist and cognitive neuroscientist – a brain researcher. Her book, “Who Switched Off My Brain?”, uses Scripture, reflection, and journaling to guide you in the process of eliminating toxic thinking and emotions. This is helpful in “taking captive every thought in obedience to Christ” as we are directed to do in 2 Corinthians 10:5 and in “being transformed by the renewing of our minds” as we are instructed in Romans 12:2. As clients have used this process, Dr. Leaf has used brain imaging to literally watch as unhealthy dendrites in the brain break down and new, healthy dendrites form in what is known as the “God center” of the brain. Amazing! Other scientists have done something similar to watch what happens to the brain as people are praying to God Almighty.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NIV) “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension [lie] that sets itself up against the knowledge of God. And we take captive every thought in obedience to Christ.”
Romans 12:1-2 (NIV) “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind...”
Scripture also tells us that when we are saved by grace through Christ that we have the “mind of Christ”. So, when I am putting on that helmet of salvation, I also choose to use the mind of Christ in me as I am renewing my soulish / natural mind and transforming my soulish / natural thinking.
1 Corinthians 2:10-16 (NLT) “But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us. When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths. But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them… But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.”
This past Sunday, I was asked to offer the closing prayer at my church. I knew the sermon was focused on Romans 12, so on Saturday I read that chapter and asked the Holy Spirit to instruct me on how to pray the following day. He gave me the prayer to pray, and I wrote it down and took it to church the next day. Amazingly [though no surprise to the Lord!], the songs we sang as well as the words spoken by the pastor were reflected in my prayer – written the day before! It was a testimony to the body of Christ gathered that day of the way God wants to instruct us through the Holy Spirit when we are willing to ask, listen, and obey. Praise Him! It is a wondrous thing to experience thinking transformed to align with the mind of Christ through the Holy Spirit.
Donning the helmet of salvation is another way we “put on Christ” when we, as warriors of Christ, strap on our armor. What is your choice, warrior? Will you arm yourself daily with the helmet of salvation?
Ephesians 6:13-16 (NLT) “Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor [breastplate] of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”