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How to Win the War with Yourself — The Secret of the Third Force

Do you ever find yourself in a war with yourself? I have. In fact, I sense I’m in the battle right now. We all do. King David did. Often this battle is waged between what seem to be two opposing forces inside of us, but there is a third force that trumps those two.

Yesterday I read Psalm 22, in which King David went back and forth between what his heart was telling him and what his mind was saying was true. Click here now to read Psalm 22 in a separate window. ). Ask him to rescue you!

David turns to praise in verse 22. His ultimate purpose through all he was going through was to bring glory to God … to worship him and to tell others about him. This is worship-evangelism! Whatever we go through in life as a Christ-follower should lead us to this same place — worshiping God and telling others about him.

In verse 24, David again engages his mind. Note that even though David felt like God had forsaken him, he now proclaims the truth — that God has not ignored his people in need, that he has not turned and walked away, that he has listened to his people as they cry out to him for help. This is a remarkable verse and shows the remarkable faith of King David.

This is important. Like David, we should be in touch with our feelings, but we should not let them rule us. We also must be in touch with the truth of God’s Word and choose to obey it regardless of how we feel. We find balance there and decide to believe God’s truth, not our feelings. 

In verse 25, after all of this back-and-forth between David feelings and mind, the third force enters in and takes over. Now we hear from his will. Notice: “I will praise you … I will fulfill all my vows…” The will has the final say.Why? Quite simply, “for the Lord is King” (verse 28).

Perhaps you feel like giving up on something or someone. Maybe you feel like giving in to anger or self-centeredness or an addiction. Perhaps you’ve made a vow that you don’t feel like keeping. Maybe you feel like God is not near and you can’t get back to him. It’s time for the will to take over! It’s time to say, “Not my will, but yours be done.” It’s time to surrender your feelings and perhaps what your own mind is telling you and allow God to lead you on his path (Psalm 23).

Start with verse 25 and say, “I will praise youI will fulfill my vows.” Let God’s will have the final say.

What do you think about this? How have you seen your feelings and mind collide? How has your will helped win the war?

For more on this subject, read “The War Between the Heart and Mind” on the Ultimate Productivity Mastership Blog.

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Michael C. Mack founded SmallGroups.com in 1995 and served as a small-groups minister for more than 20 years in several churches. He is a writer, editor, trainer, and consultant in the areas of small groups, leadership, and discipleship. He is the author of more than 25 books and small group studies, including his latest, World's Greatest Small Group (pub. January, 2017). He regularly blogs on his ministry website at SmallGroupLeadership.com. His family is a small group that includes his wife Heidi, their four children, and their dog, Lainey. Mike is also an avid mountain biker.