Have you ever heard this statement before?
I know A, B, and C is true BUT I am fearful because of X, Y, and Z.
Doctor Phil says that when you make a statement and then add a "but" to it, everything after the "but" is your real mindset.
David Gregory from "The Rest of the Gospel" coined the phrase "The Holy But" long before Doctor Phil.
"The Holy But is a bridge. It moves you from the stuff you're in [circumstances and problems] to faith. If we didn't have the negative in life, we'd never exercise faith. You don't deny the negative, because it's real and it's what prompts your move into faith."
Let's talk a look at 1 Samuel 17:45-47. David was a wonderful example of the "Holy But." Let's set the scene with young David facing Goliath, a tank of a warrior who had scared away Israel's most seasoned soldiers.
Here are David's words. Take special note of the placement of the Holy But.
David's Mind Set on Problem: "You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin.'
Yep, Goliath, you are a huge problem. I see you. Good grief, you're 9'7" tall and you're fully weaponized. In all appearances you can take me. To tell the truth, I am panic stricken...
David's Mind Set upon God's Truth: "I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted. This day the LORD will deliver you up into my hands, and I will strike you down and remove your head from you. And I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the LORD does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the LORD'S and He will give you into our hands."
But do you see my God, the LORD of hosts? Do you see what He is going to do to you? The battle is His and I believe and trust Him. He will do what He says. You have no idea the power and strength of my God like I do!
Now comes the fun part. Count the words on each side of the "But."
Looking at the sheer number of words in the dialogue, what does David magnify—the problem or God's truth?
David chose to put all of his thoughts and conversation on the weight of God's faithfulness. He saw the challenge but, more significantly, he saw the Father's character, love, and goodness.
But wait. There's more.
David Gregory also says, "The Holy But is a bridge. It moves you from the stuff you're in [circumstances and problems] to faith. If we didn't have the negative in life, we'd never exercise faith. You don't deny the negative, because it's real and it's what prompts your move into faith."
After speaking the truth to the problem (Goliath) and himself, it says that "David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine." (vs. 48)
Why do you suppose he ran quickly? David had just bathed every cell in his own body, the giant's body, and the soldiers bodies around him with the truth of God. Yet, I believe he was scared witless. He knew that if he didn't go right then, he might cave into the fear pulsating through his veins. Who wants a spear bigger than yourself plunged into your unprotected chest?
Here, David had a choice to make. He could ACT on the weighty truth of God in faith or he could decide to succumb to the fear in his actions.
Friends, this applies to us in this crazy world in which we live, too.
What do we magnify when the violent storms of life come ravaging upon us?
Think of your biggest challenge right now. Maybe it's a relational difficulty. Money issues. A dreaded conversation. A decision you are putting off. A grievous season. A truth that you don't want to face. What they did to you.
Allow me to ask you this.
Are you putting the weight of your thinking on the problem's appearance or on God's truth? Which are you magnifying in your mind, self-talk, or conversation? Will it be based on what you can experience in the world or will it be based on the truth of God's Word?
Or in other words—which has the most word-count in your mind and therefore in your actions?
Remember, you control the teeter-totter of your mind through the fulcrum of your will. You get to chooses which side will bear the most weight. It's one or the other. The way of the world with its heartaches and challenges or the way of the LORD of Hosts who has died out of love for you.
May we magnify the truth in every situation we find ourselves!
And then let's run quickly to put our faith into action.
p.s. Confession—I keep counting different number of words after the "but" in David's discourse. LOL! I am using a NASB version of the Bible. How many do you count? What version of the Bible are you using?