“They swarmed around me like bees; they blazed against me like a crackling fire. But I destroyed them all with the authority of the LORD.” (Psalm 118:12, NLT).
Have the doubts and discouragements of life ever felt as if they were swarming around your head like a swarm of bees? Have you ever felt as though you couldn’t shake thoughts you knew to be from the pit, rather than from the cross? Have you ever felt the crushing presence of condemnation or depression?
So much of the Christian life boils down to the thought life. What we do with the thoughts which enter our minds will often lead to our success (or lack thereof). We need Jesus to help us “take every thought captive to obey Christ,” for it is often from within that “arguments” and “lofty opinions” come (2 Corinthians 10:5). The arguments: you are not useful to God, you are forgotten, you are beyond redemption. The lofty opinions: you are better than others, you are more important than others, God especially needs you. But when those bees of insecurity or depression or pride or doubt begin to swarm, we must remember the Lord. In his name, we must take every thought captive. In his name, we must destroy those arguments swarming within.
Discouragement is often a foe of mine. Pastoral work is tough at times. I can recall a time I had begun to chase a thought pattern which said my work was of little consequence, making little difference in people’s lives. But as I came to Christ in prayer, I began to realize the dangerous capacity of that train of thought. It could crush me and harm future generations of fruitfulness unto God. I saw how I was not to receive it, and that I needed to move beyond it. Then, a few days later, a group of trusted friends gathered together and began sharing with me how the Lord had used me in their lives. The encouragement flooded in, and, "with the authority of the LORD,” the swarm was destroyed.
Let us remember the heart and perspective of the Lord. It is his opinion that matters. It is his heart and his truth that guides. When the bees of discouragement or doubt or complaints rise, looking for a place to land, allow the Lord to strengthen your mind. If it is contrary to his word, reject the thoughts in his name, for “the name of Yahweh is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are protected.” (Proverbs 18:10).