“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall.”
Psalm 27:1-2 ESV
David was certainly a man who knew how to talk to himself in a good manner. This might be a strange thing to some of you…but it makes quite a difference how we speak or listen to ourselves. Many times we are told from the pulpit to preach the gospel to ourselves every day…but what does that mean and how do we do it?
Let’s think for a moment how the above verses would have been if David was listening to himself and his emotions:
I am in darkness and there is no one to rescue me; I am terrified! I feel like I’m losing my grip on everything; I feel so anxious! Evildoers will assail me to eat up my flesh; I will stumble, fall and die.
If you’re anything like me, most of your inner conversations will sound much more like the latter example than the beginning of Psalm 27, and if it’s continuously like this, we will start to believe it. Modern poet, Atticus, wisely said: “We drink the poison our minds pour for us and wonder why we feel so sick.”
There is, of course, the danger of the other extreme – if our inner peptalk is overly optimistic and unrealistic, we will be disappointed as well – we don’t want to go that route either. But our reality may be much more positive than we think or imagine.
As Christians, God’s Word should determine our reality and truth. That means God’s Word should have the last word, so to speak, and should be our ultimate authority…not our finite human minds and brittle human emotions.
In many of David’s Psalms, he is preaching God’s truth to himself – “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” He is still completely aware of the dangers of his circumstances; he is not deluded…but he knows who God is.
This is how we preach the Gospel to ourselves – in a nutshell. I am aware of the pandemic surging through our planet, taking lives in its wake…but I know who God is. He already took care of my biggest need (forgiving my sin on the cross). He is sovereign and eternally reigning over the universe; of whom or what shall I be afraid?
This is why it is so important for us to spend time in God’s Word, studying and memorizing it, so that “…Satan has to climb over a lot of Scripture to get to you.” (Pastor John MacArthur)