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But I Can't Walk on Water

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But I Can't Walk on Water

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I chose not to go scuba diving. My brain tells me that I do not belong 40 to 60 feet underwater carrying a heavy tank full of air and skirting danger from the bends. My conscious mind is in full agreement with my subconscious mind in this matter. My decision was confirmed when I saw the list of questions asked before anyone takes even the introductory course in which you “only” go down 40 feet. My wife has a different mind-set. She loves water! She is happiest “in, on or under” the water, as she puts it. She decided she wanted to go scuba diving! I went along to video the process up to the point of submersion. It was interesting to see the war that took place as my wife’s conscious mind said “I want to do this” and her subconscious mind began to say “you can’t…don’t take our body down there…it is not healthy.” I am sure there were a lot of good “what if” arguments. The intrepid instructor was reassuring and said the conscious mind often has to win over the subconscious. For a moment, the struggle was so great that she looked at me and said, “I don’t think I am going to like this” and “I’m not sure I really want to do it now.” The beauty of paying in advance is the added motivation that it brings. She did go! The conscious mind won the battle and in the end even the subconscious mind was smiling at this totally new experience. The instructor kept saying “SBTA,” which translates into stop, breathe, think and then act. It worked. Within 40 minutes Valerie came back overjoyed at the new experience and confident in what she could do. New learning experiences can be difficult, but rewarding. Controlling the Subconscious Faith and trust in God are a little like this scuba diving adventure. Experiences of the conscious mind defeating the subconscious have to do with self-control. God’s Word instructs us to gain control of our desires and inclinations, lusts and tastes. Control of the self is the conscious mind controlling the subconscious. It is in the subconscious mind that we store reactions that are often guided and directed by past experiences. People know that smoking is bad for their health, for example, but some inner subconscious drive just dominates and always will until they exert enough character, determination and direct conscious effort to do what is right and good for our bodies. Poor eating habits, abuse of alcohol, emotional outbursts and the philosophy “if it feels good, do it” are all a result of the conscious giving in to the subconscious. That may be simplifying things too much, but you get the idea. Control is a conscious activity. It is a God-plane activity. God knows that humans have the ability to use their minds and He expects us to rule over the tendency to sin, as He strongly explained to Cain in Genesis 4:7 Genesis 4:7If you do well, shall you not be accepted? and if you do not well, sin lies at the door. And to you shall be his desire, and you shall rule over him.
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. The New Testament also expresses the struggle we can win in Romans 6:1-2 Romans 6:1-2 1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
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and Hebrews 12:4 Hebrews 12:4You have not yet resisted to blood, striving against sin.
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. The motto SBTA is helpful in keeping the conscious mind in control. We fight off panic, rage, fear, overreactions, doubts, emotions and more. These are the tactics the subconscious mind uses to stop us from doing what the thinking mind dictates. In scuba diving, thinking is essential. In the life of a Christian, thinking is also essential. God gave us the subconscious mind and it is a needed tool for our well-being. This is where we keep things like automatic responses in sports. It is also where we store behavior patterns that are learned or experienced in childhood. Fear and trauma, as well as positive events, all take root in the subconscious mind. Panic at the sight of a mouse for some, spiders for others, claustrophobia, rage or violent action all have subconscious triggers. Life is complex and constantly changing. Wise people examine their subconscious thoughts and the reactions that surface, and correct or control them by conscious effort. Walking on Water The process of conversion calls for people to learn a whole new system of living that is at odds with the human mind. Romans 8:7 Romans 8:7Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
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tells us the carnal, natural mind is enmity against God. Trusting in God’s Word, we learn that what our conscious mind led by God’s Spirit tells us can provide a new, unintuitive and often frightening-though exhilarating-experience. We are reminded of the story of Peter in Matthew 14:27-33 Matthew 14:27-33 27 But straightway Jesus spoke to them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. 28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be you, bid me come to you on the water. 29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. 31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said to him, O you of little faith, why did you doubt? 32 And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. 33 Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth you are the Son of God.
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. Here we read that Jesus told the men not to be afraid. They had plenty to be afraid of. Their conscious and subconscious minds were in full agreement on that point! When Peter saw it was Christ walking on the water, his conscious mind said, “I want to do that!” He was able to override his subconscious mind for a few moments with his eyes fixed on Christ. He walked on the water-far enough from the boat that he could not get back. Peter looked away from Christ and saw the waves and the stormy sea. Doubts and fears suddenly arose and blotted out the fact that he had walked on the water. Everything in Peter cried out and said, “It cannot be done-you cannot walk on water!” Peter began to sink. Christ held him up and rescued Peter just as God rescues us. We cannot live spiritual lives without the faith and trust promoted by Christ and the Father living in us through the Holy Spirit. The presence of God makes humans spiritually minded and enables us to soar to spiritual levels that the carnal mind cannot reach (Romans 8:6 Romans 8:6For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
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, 9). Yes, God says, you and I can walk on water! Christians are asked to cast aside everything that is contrary to God, and that is pretty much everything human or carnal. Our conscious and our subconscious minds are to be conformed to the mind of Christ (Romans 8:29 Romans 8:29For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
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; 1 Corinthians 2:14-16 1 Corinthians 2:14-16 14 But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he that is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16 For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
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). It may not seem to make sense to us, but in exhibiting faith and trust in God, with Christ in us, it is possible. It is a good motto that the scuba diving instructor taught. Stop, breathe, think and act-SBTA. There is something to be said about the successful control of the subconscious by the conscious. We cannot afford to miss out on this new experience. Walking hand in hand with Christ is exhilarating. Try it-you will like it. Hmmm…. Maybe I ought to give scuba diving another look? UN

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