Dr. Asha Fields Brewer
Psalm 121:1-2, ESV, encourages, “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”
We are advised throughout the Book of Psalms to look up when we are in despair, but why? Let’s test out this advice together. Take a moment to stop all that you are doing, lift your head, and look up. You may have noticed that you instinctively felt the desire to inspire (i.e., to inhale). This is based on a neurological response where pulling your eyes upward triggers you to breathe in.
The oxygen we inhale supplies a complex system of cells, tissues, and organs. God’s first breath into our bodies made us alive (Genesis 2:7). As God continues to breathe into us, we become strengthened to face life’s many challenges (Ezekiel 37:4-10, 14). His breath revives us as we live out our testimony (2 Kings 4:32-35). Therefore, if God is still breathing life into us, then we know we still have a purpose to fulfill.
Now consider, if looking up fills you with breath, what do you think looking down does? Reflect on a time when you were stressed or depressed. What posture did you assume? Without even noticing it, you were likely flexed forward and slumped down with your head hung low, assuming the “posture of defeat.” This is an instinctive pattern we resort to when we are going through difficult and stressful times. Doing this makes it easier for anxiety to defeat us, because we are physically closing in on our lungs. As we encroach upon the muscles of respiration, we literally make it harder to breathe.
The enemy knows that the Breath of Life is powerful. He knows that we cannot fight if we cannot breathe. He knows that we cannot testify if we cannot breathe. He knows that we cannot rejoice if we cannot breathe. And he most certainly knows that we cannot live if we cannot breathe. Since the enemy cannot steal this Breath of Life from us, he instead endeavors to destroy our access to it. He does this by convincing us to take on the slumped posture of defeat, which makes his job much easier. He doesn’t have to expend the energy to fight us; he can just sit back and relax as we hang our heads and defeat ourselves.
With the hurried pace of society, it can be challenging to pause and catch your breath. Stress and burnout have a way of infiltrating all parts of our lives. However, as the Psalms share, God’s counter to this is for us to simply look up. When you feel like there is nothing else you can do, you must gather just enough strength spiritually and physically to look up! That is how you will regain energy and power. As the often quoted Psalm 24:7 describes, “Lift up your heads, O ye gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.” When you are in desperate need of God’s inspiration, look up!
Dr. Asha Fields Brewer is a Creator of Healthy Conversations. As a national speaker and published author, she teaches the busy & overwhelmed how to live life abundantly. She is the owner of the Temple Fit Co. wellness agency, which is home to 25+ wellness speakers and fitness instructors. Tune in to “Temple Fit Devotions with Dr. Asha” on Wednesdays at 4 pm on Hallelujah 95.3 FM.