Stressed Out

The Israelites and the Philistines are about to have a major battle. The Philistines are suggesting that each nation send out their champion and they can fight to the finish for their country. But there is a problem with this winner takes all proposal. The Philistines have a giant and the Israelites don’t, and the Israelite king and his men are stressed out. Their adrenal glands are pumping overtime. Then along comes David who is too small to wear the king’s armor, but ready to do battle, saying “How dare you taunt the armies of the living God!” He picks up his sling shot and slays Goliath. What is the difference between David and the others?

The Israelites saw the giant in relationship to themselves, but David saw the giant in relationship to God. Faith in God can and should have that kind of an effect on us, but David’s faith didn’t suddenly come upon him. David had previously seen God deliver him from a lion and a bear. The situation was the same for David as it was for the rest of the Israelites, and Scripture reveals that David wasn’t in any way superior to the king’s men. They had the same data, but they interpreted it differently.

Their eyes saw the giant, their ears heard his boasting and that information came through their physical senses to the brain, which was interpreted by the mind. How the mind processed that information is what determined the signal sent to the adrenal glands. Like a computer, the brain cannot function any other way than how it has been programmed. All five of our senses send data to the brain. The mind interprets the data based on prior learning. David had faced a similar crisis and learned to believe that He could trust God to deliver him from his enemies.

The tendency is to think that some person or event outside ourselves is what made us feel a certain way. That is not the case. Between any external event and our emotional response is our mental evaluation. How we interpreted events and what we believe about them is what determines our emotional response. Our emotions are primarily a product of what we think and believe. You can’t directly control your emotions, but you do have control over what you think and believe. You are saved and sanctified by what you believe. “For as he thinketh in his heart so is he” (Prov. 23:7 KJV).

Dr. Neil

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