Master Joe Schaefer, founder and owner of the Austin Shaolin-Do Kung Fu school, was expressing to me and another student, the power of the mind over the body and used the following illustration to demonstrate his thesis. He said, if I ask you to carry a 50 pound sandbag to the hospital that is about a mile away, you are mostly likely not going to be able to do it, but if I was to ask you to carry your son who needs medical attention to the hospital that is a mile away, you will do it. Medically, the power of the mind over the body has been demonstrated using placebo experiments such as inert tablets and sham surgeries. Commonly known as the placebo effect, believing that a medicine or procedure is therapeutic when in fact it is not, has been proven to show considerable improvement of the health in patients. So it is no surprise, that the mind has a major role to play in the well being of a person or the will of a person to accomplish an objective. We can apply the same principle in our Christian life/walk.
Jesus said, you shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul and MIND (Matthew 22:37; Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27). It is interesting that when the people found the man from whom the legion of evil spirits had been exorcised by Jesus, sitting at the feet of Jesus, they found him clothed and with a right mind (Mark 5:15). When we believe in Jesus Christ, we are given a sound/right mind (2 Timothy 1:7), but the body (flesh) wars against the mind and when the mind wants to accomplish the objectives of God, the body often seeks otherwise. There is a constant battle between the mind and the body and apostle Paul succinctly expressed this warfare when he described that the things he did not want to do (that his mind told him not to), those things he did (because the body/flesh made him do so) and that which he wanted to do, he did not (Romans 7:15-25). I can empathize and relate with apostle Paul and I recognize that we must put on the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5), who humbled himself and subjected his body to be broken as a sacrifice, once and for all (Hebrews 10:10). There is a need for placebo Christians; those who believe in the power of God and exercise the power of the mind (that God has created) over the body (that is to be offered as a living sacrifice to God). And to train our mind to have control over the body, we need to first wear the helmet of salvation (Ephesians 6:17) and renew our mind with the things that are true, honest, just, pure, and of good report, virtue and praise (Philippians 4:8) so that we are transformed and not conformed to the patterns of this world (Romans 12:2), which is in enmity with God (James 4:4).
Point(s) to ponder:
1. Are you/I a placebo Christian?
2. Philippians 4:8 states “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” What are you/I thinking about, in other words what is our mind dwelling on?
Romans 8:5-7 (KJV)
5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
Romans 12:1-2 (KJV)
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.