Tuesday, June 21, 2016

What did you say?

Over the weekend I took a couple of hours to go through my big box of writing stuff. I've collected quite a few things over the years and have tons of unfinished projects. My goal was to get it all organized and get started on something...anything! I can now proudly say I have all my projects gathered together and somewhat organized, and I have 2-3 I am ready to dive into and get done. But among all my scattered notes, ideas and thoughts I found a study I had done that I didn't even remember doing.

It seems I've gone through the Psalms and looked at how the psalmists dealt with the voice of the enemy. I've started collecting my thoughts around this idea and the project is underway.

I've thought quite a bit about this the last couple of days and just last night it hit me - the enemy doesn't have a voice if we don't give him one. If we look at Psalm 3, David speaks of what the enemy is saying about him. Specifically - God will never rescue him!" (v. 2 NLT)

But David wasn't sitting around the campfire collaborating with a physical enemy. He was trying to stay one step ahead of them. He did not literally hear the enemy say those words. It's what he felt. Maybe it's just me, but those darn voices in my head can lead me way off track some days. No one is telling me I'm crazy, I can't do it, I'm going to fail, etc. It's my perception of what everyone thinks.

My enemy wants me to think that God is not going to rescue me either. He would like for me to give up hope, sit back on my laurels and stop trying to believe. He wants to sap our hope, trust and faith because he knows if we don't continue in our faith he'll have us backed into a corner incapacitated. The voice of the enemy has not changed over the years - it's still feeding us the same thing it was handing out to David all those years ago.

What I found interesting was David's response. He simply declared what God had done:

You O Lord, are a shield around me,
My glory and the lifter of my head.
I cried out - and He answered me...
I lay down and slept - I woke up in safety
for the Lord was watching over me.

And then he made his faith statement: I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies who surround me on every side.  Following that with a prayer: Arise, O Lord! Rescue me, my God! Then he finishes off the psalm with another declaration and a prayer:  Victory comes from You, O Lord.May Your blessings rest on Your people.

David silenced the enemy's voice in his head through prayer and declaration. He stated what He knew about God - even though he was seeing no direct action from Him. In the midst of the battle on the field and in the mind David says - You O Lord are a shield around me - the glory and lifter of my head! 

For the caregiver thoughts and emotions are ever eroding away at our faith. The day-to-day can be a constant struggle to keep our heads above water and not be swept underneath the tide. Even though we are not fighting a physical enemy specifically, the mental struggle can be incapacitating at times. The multitude of what-ifs and whys can wipe us out - and they can come often.

Today in the midst of the struggle I will declare with David: You O Lord are my shield - You are my glory and lifter of my head! My thoughts will be on how my choice to be a caregiver pleases Him. On how as I let love be the driving force behind why I am a caregiver - I look like Him. I do not resemble the enemy like he would like me to think! I will remind myself that the enemy's words are always lies - and God's word is always truth. I choose to embrace the truth today with my heart and mind and declare: He is my shield! He will protect my soul! He is with me like a mighty warrior! He will lift my head.   Will you join me?


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