The Way a Man Thinks, So He Is

I want to discuss Psalm 27, but before we do let’s look at Proverbs 23:7, “for as (a man) thinks in his heart(or mind), so is he.”  This is one reference in scripture to a truth that has been made very clear to me: how we think, how we perceive things, the thoughts in our mind and the pondering in our heart, will directly impact our actions and behavior.  I have also come to understand that it is the intention of the scriptures to guide the way we think, so when we read the Word, we should consider how the author is thinking and attempt to have a similar perspective.

Consider also these verses in Matthew 6:22 & 23, “The eye is the lamp of the body, so if your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is not sound, your whole body will be full of darkness.  If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”  Jesus is not talking about the physical function of your eyes, but rather how you perceive things.  It is critical to recognize the importance of how we perceive our circumstances and how we think about our situations  in life.

It is important to note that the scriptures says that David was “a man after God’s own heart.” (see Acts 13:22 and 1 Sam 13 – 16) I believe this is a reference to David’s way of thinking in contrast with the mindset of Saul, who David replaced as king of Israel.  David is the author of Ps 27.

Let’s look at verses 1 thru 3:

“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, uttering slanders against me, my adversaries and foes, they shall stumble and fall.  Though a host encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident.”

Fear and anxiety are the opposite of faith and trust, but we can’t just “will” ourselves to not be fearful and anxious.  David shows us the key to victory over fear in these verses.

First, David establishes in his own mind that the Lord is his source of truth (light) and salvation (i.e. deliverance from this corrupted world that ends in death).  Jesus said it this way: if God has the power to cast your soul into hell, then fear God, but not any man.  Looking at the big picture, ultimately, what happens to us after we die is the most critical issue.  Once this is resolved, all other situations having to do with this life become diminished.  This anchor of hope becomes a stronghold for our lives.  Hebrews 6:18 & 19: “..we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to seize the hope set before us.  We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul….”  David also confirms that this truth of the Lord “is the stronghold of my life” and therefore, ” of whom shall I be afraid” – the answer of course is no one.

Remember that David is really talking to himself here.  He is encouraging himself in the Lord.  In 1 Samual 30:6 David was greatly distressed because his men had turned against him and he then “encouraged himself in the Lord.”  I believe he convinced himself of these same truths that helped him to get the proper perspective on his situation.

All of us face situations that conjure up fears and anxieties.  The solution, as it was for David, is to convince ourselves of the hope we have in the Lord through Jesus.  Even our current situation is under the Lord’s control.  David goes on to remind himself of this truth also.  What could be worse than a war arising against us?  Even in this situation David convinces himself that he can be confident.  Is your faith in the Lord this strong?  If not, do what David did: meditate on the Lord’s power and on the victory that has been won for us through Jesus, the great hope we have of eternal life in heaven as a child of the living God and the inheritance that accompanies it.  No one can separate you from this promise and the love of the Father who stands behind it.

More on Ps 27 later.

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