Sometimes it feels like the biggest threat to my peace or happiness isn’t ‘out there’, but ‘right here’ in the solitude of my mind. Condemning, intimidating and accusing thoughts lurk in the shadows like vultures who wait for the smallest sign of weakness before closing in for the kill.
Although David spoke of people, at times we can feel the same way he did about the ‘enemy within’:
‘My enemies speak against me; those who want to kill me consult together and say, “God has forsaken him; let’s pursue and seize him, for there is none to deliver him” – Psalm 71:10-11
As the peace in our minds staggers to the ground during an attack from an onslaught of worry, the vultures close in to make sure it doesn’t rise again by digging in the heels of accusation and intimidation. Once your kicked down it takes a lot of effort to get up again.
But David gives us the key that helped him to overcome:
‘Be to me a rock of refuge, to which I may continually come… for you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth… I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more’ (71:5; 14)
In every season throughout his life, whenever he was faced with overwhelming odds, David would do what he always did and run to his ‘rock of refuge’. And the path that led him to that refuge was ‘continuous praise’. No matter what was going on around him, instead of giving up he chose instead to ‘praise God more and more’.
When the vultures in our minds sweep in for the kill, the path that leads us to our refuge is also to ‘praise God more and more’. They key to resurrecting peace is to starve the vultures by feeding our minds with truth:
‘Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus… Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honourable, and right, and pure, and lovely, admirable… excellent and worthy of praise’ – Philippians 4:6-8 (NLT)
Expose the vultures with the weapon of praise!