The Bible reveals that David experienced his share of spiritual warfare. Yes, this "man after God's own heart" frequently confronted the lures of lust, evil plots against him and even those of his own devising. Through the Psalms, God offers us an intimate look into David's prayers and the ways he dealt with some of the worst of times.
Recently, David's praise to God in Psalm 27 stood out to me in a profound way. In it, David declares why he need not be afraid. "The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger," he asserts, "so why should I tremble?" (Ps. 27:1, NLT).
But what caught my attention are the three progressive steps David says help him escape attacks and live in victory. Follow these, and you'll experience the same.
Step 1: Get in God's presence. David begins with this request: "The one thing I ask of the Lord—the thing I seek most—is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life" (v. 4).
David knew God's presence as a place of refuge. As we hear him boast only a few chapters earlier, in Psalm 23, God's presence is a place of protection, where one can freely feast at the table of the Lord without the threat of danger (see Ps. 23:5).
Still, in David's day, the presence of God was confined to a single location. Therefore, David had to go to a place—"the house of the Lord"—to spend time with His Creator. As a Christian, you are far more blessed today in that you don't have to travel to a certain site to spend time with God. No, you are a temple of His Holy Spirit, which means God's presence lives in you (see 1 Cor. 3:16).
When you make a habit of communing with God right where you are, you begin to experience a heavenly habitat of protection against the devil's attacks, threats, lies and accusations. A simple prayer such as "God, let's talk" can get you there.
Step 2: Reflect on God's goodness. David continues with what he likes to do in God's presence: "[delight] in the Lord's perfections" (Ps. 27:4c). In other words, when he spends time with God, he likes to reflect upon God's goodness in his life. This isn't the only time in Scripture when David speaks like this. One of the more obvious is when he finds the courage to confront Goliath by remembering how God rescued him from a lion and a bear (see 1 Sam. 17:37).
Reflecting upon God's good character is absolutely essential for sustained victory in your life, too. As he attempted with Job, the ultimate goal of Satan's attacks is to erode your confidence that God is good. If he succeeds to do this, then you begin to blame your afflictions, suffering and struggles on God and can become concerned that He's mad at you. It's a slippery slope. When you fear God is mad, you no longer desire to be in His presence, and therefore, you won't experience the protection we covered in the point above.
In your time with God, be sure to review the ways He's blessed, protected, healed and delivered you, and then thank Him for it. But also, thank God in expectation that because of His good character, He will do it all again. Pray a prayer of faith as David did: "I am confident I will see the Lord's goodness while I am here in the land of the living" (Ps. 27:13).
Step 3: Meditate on God's Word. Next, David lets us in on his final practice in God's presence: "meditating in his Temple" (Ps. 27:4c).
For many today, the idea of meditation is confused with new-age practices. When the Bible encourages meditation, it doesn't mean to merely close your eyes and think happy thoughts. No, biblical meditation is an emotional process of thinking on and speaking God's Word.
The biblical process of meditation is powerful because it rewires your mind with truth. When you speak God's Word, you involve many of your senses and emotions. That is, you read and think, then you speak and hear and repeat the cycle. When God's Word consistently goes out of you and back into you, eventually you believe its truth instead of the devil's lies.
My free Shut Up, Devil! app is a powerful tool to help you keep God's Word on your mind and your mouth. It offers personalized scriptures for more than 25 common issues. And it features a reminder system to alert you to speak your favorite scriptures as often as every hour. Download it for iPhone or Android here.
What To Expect
Finally, David boasts about how this process helps him: "For he will conceal me there when troubles come; he will hide me in his sanctuary. He will place me out of reach on a high rock" (Ps. 27:5). You should expect the same.
When you enter into God's presence, you are hidden under the protective muscle of the Almighty. When you reflect upon God's goodness, you experience sanctuary—a state of peace and confidence founded on God's character. Finally, when you meditate on God's Word, it becomes more real than what you feel. And you are therefore raised high above the influences of your circumstances.
Kyle Winkler equips people to live in victory. His mobile app, Shut Up, Devil!, is the #1 spiritual warfare app; and his recent book, Silence Satan, has helped thousands shut down the enemy's attacks, threats, lies and accusations. Kyle holds a Master of Divinity in biblical studies from Regent University. Get daily encouragement from Kyle on Facebook and Twitter.
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