PSALM 42:5 – Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation
THEME OF THE DAY. TALKING TO OURSELVES. It is the person we hold the most conversations with, and that person is not another human being. It is ourselves. All through the day and into those sleepless nights, we hold long and deep conversations with ourselves. Think about how often we mull situations, circumstances, “what ifs” and a host of other things to ourselves.
In today’s scripture, the Psalmist is doing the same thing. He is talking to himself. This verse is repeated in verse eleven and in the next Psalm, Psalm 43, verse five. This repetition in such proximity reveals importance. And the importance is this; learning to rightly and scripturally reason with ourselves, even talk to ourselves, is a spiritual necessity for a healthy spiritual life. Why? Think with me of all the “voices” in the world screaming for our attention. We have the world and all its sinful pleasures singing its siren songs of compromise. We have ungodly people whispering to cut corners on godly living. We have the powerful impressions of the devil seeking for us to listen to his lies about ourselves and God. And then we have our own remaining sin constantly screaming, “Hey, hear me. Satisfy me.” And there is only one way to stop our ears from listening to all these alluring seductions; learn what the Psalmist is practicing – spiritual reasoning with oneself in spiritual conversations about truth. Let’s observe him and learn.
First, the Psalmist questions himself and his spiritual condition – Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? If we don’t take control of our spiritual lives, the world, devil and flesh will. Any passivity in the Christian life leads to defeat. And passivity begins with listening to error and lies instead of taking control of and scripturally reasoning with ourselves. The Psalmist talks to himself and that in rational, spiritual terms. Learn to evaluate yourself by following his example. Do warfare against the forces “screaming” at you to take you away from God.
Next, we observe the Psalmist commanding himself to obey God’s truth – hope in God. Here is where the Christian life will sink or swim. Obedience to God, the only evidence Jesus says we show love for Him, is always mindful, purposeful, willful, and active (John 14:15). There is no obedience without a self-control towards obedience and that begins with telling, even commanding, ourselves the truth of God’s Word. This means when feelings want to tell us, “Take a break. You deserve it”, we talk it down and tell ourselves, “No, feelings. I will obey. It is right, pleasing to the Lord and will satisfy me with His joy far more than heeding your lazy ways.”
Finally, the Psalmist shows us we are to talk ourselves into a worshipful frame – for I shall again praise him, my salvation. Pay attention to this profound display of spiritual self-discipline. The Psalmist is not in a worshipful attitude. He is in a downcast condition of inner turmoil, yet, he won’t allow his present state to prevent him from looking ahead to when the dark clouds will lift, and he will worship his God again. And that hope and confidence was based on his resolve to talk to himself God’s truth not listen to all other competing forces wanting to take him away from God’s truth.
Self-talk. Let’s learn to do so in a spiritual manner by reasoning God’s truth into our daily patterns of thinking.
PRAYER: “Father, help me to learn to talk to myself Your truth not listen to myself and my own understanding.”
QUOTE: “It is spiritual discipline of necessity to learn how to tell yourself God’s truth over and over and over.”