Friday, December 30, 2005

Talk to yourself

Imagine that your family is kidnapped, all your belongings are stolen, and your best friends turn against you bitterly and threaten to kill you. Bad circumstances have quickly descended into disaster, and life is not good. What do you do?

Such was God's agenda for David on the day when the enemy ravaged his campsite. All had been lost. It couldn't have been any worse. At that point Scripture says that he encouraged himself in the Lord. Instead of cursing his predicament, he talked to himself and he prayed. Perhaps he even yelled at himself, desperately recalling God's unfailing love and sovereign plan for his life. He knew from experience the power of God at times like this. Thus he was able to draw valuable strength at his lowest moment. Could it have been this response that turned the tables for him and for his men that very night? He spoke the truth to himself even though circumstances seemed to scream at him, "give up, curse God and die, get bitter, escape from all this, get back at them, God has let you down." In fact, the Lord did not let him down, but saw to it that all was restored to David!

Every showdown like this is never without its reward, its opportunity for improvement, and its overshadowing victory. Often push must first come to shove, however, and we find ourselves at the edge of the Red Sea, between a rock and a hard place. Sadly, it is there that the best learning can take place. Sad in that we often could have chosen wisely much earlier and with less trauma. And sad in that we often fail to respond properly especially in high pressure situations! If we could only step back at the point of emotional impact and comprehend that God just might be in this, and remember that he always intends for life's pressures to improve us, not to destroy us!

The point is talking to ourselves, not a sign of senility, but a strategy, a self-coaching, an automatic recall of the truth at the moment of need. The Holy Spirit is our coach, bringing to mind those scriptures which have been implanted (treasured) for such a time as this. The more weapons we have become familiar with from our spiritual arsenal, the more effective will be our using of them in the crisis. If lies can be believed when repeated often enough, then why not speak the truth to ourselves and find protection and victory instead of defeat? "For the Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart."

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