Phyllis Beveridge Nissila
THE NORMALCY BIAS IS SLIPPING
I just did an Internet search using the words “Americans stress over elections” and exactly “10,300,000” results popped up. Our collective, and apparently now quite fragile, mental health is literally making headlines (particularly in the past several days) as the normalcy bias in the nation is slipping.
But this is really no surprise.
Is there anybody left, I sometimes wonder, even among controlled-media devotees, who still thinks our representatives in Washington D.C. are advocating for us, the Constitution, and the (good and enduring parts of) the American way of life?
I then did a search using the words, “how stress damages the mind” (it is well know that it damages the body) and a whopping 8,690,000 results appeared.
So, either we are at some kind of stress tipping point or another psychological operation has been foisted on us by ginning up an attitude of “Well, then, what’s the use of trying to fight it, anymore?” thus stopping resistance before it starts.
Or I am just being way too cynical.
Of course, cynicism does provide a bit of needed comic relief amid tragedy, but it also stops critical thinking.
So what’s a citizen to do?
What’s a believer to do?
What is the spiritual “defense readiness condition (DEFCON)” we are to assume in the current state of war which, at the core, is not perpetrated by “flesh and blood,” but rather, “principalities and powers,” i.e., the destructive spirits behind the destructive people?
Most Christians, of course, understand that the real power behind hate, control, and annihilation is the original Hater, Controller, and (would-be) Annihilator, but what we see, hear, and feel in the physical realm still has a great deal of power to feed both physical and mental stress that weakens both the immune system and the cognitive strength to be able to effectively take a stand.
So how to overcome what comes?
Lately, the Holy Spirit has been “reminding” me of 2 Timothy, 1:7:
For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.
“Power” as in dunamis: (miraculous) power, might, strength.
“Love” as in agapé: love, goodwill.
“Discipline” as in sóphronismos: self-control (sound reasoning, sound mindedness).
He has also been reminding me of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, as referenced most famously, here.
So how does the ordinary, garden-variety believer access all this supernatural ordnance? I mean, doesn’t it take some kind of spiritual super man or woman to operate in this high-power realm?
Truth be told, it’s there for whomever believes. Consider these words of Jesus:
Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto the Father. 13And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14If ye shall ask anything in my name, that will I do. (John 14:12-14, NASB).
“Greater” as in “those who surpass others–either in nature or power, as God.”
This question becomes even more important these days when so many churches neglect teachings on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, on putting on the “armor of God,” and on other doctrines that speak to the power available to believers to effectively resist evil and to heal, deliver, prophecy, and exercise other “gifts of the Holy Spirit“.
Consider one more key word search of another phenomenon surfacing now: “scientific proof of the power of speaking in tongues” (3,790,000 search results). Speaking and praying in tongues is just one of the manifestations of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. See what you think of the following.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0925492706001211 (this is an abstract of a scientific study)
There are many more such sites.
In short, we are not powerless as believers.
And these days, particularly with increasing assaults on not only the body but also the mind and the spirit as well, we need every gift, ministry–and power–Jesus provided for us by His shed blood on the cross.
If you have not yet experienced the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, may I encourage you to ask Jesus for this today.