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Finding Peace

Finding Peace

Are you stressed and anxious? Do you feel overwhelmed by worry? God promises you peace!

A few weeks ago, I was really struggling with anxious thoughts. Circumstances beyond my control left me riddled with stress. It was as if someone had pulled the rug out from underneath me. My future seemed completely uncertain.

I wasn’t aware of any blatant thoughts of worry, but my stomach felt like it was in knots. I kept a full schedule. No one around me knew the devastation I felt…but I knew.  Something wasn’t right. God promised me peace and I had to find it.

When God gives me a glimpse of the dichotomy between what He has promised me (what He desires that I have) versus how little of it I possess, I get to work appropriating His word in my life.

No matter what area of my life lacks evidence of God’s promise, my response is the same.

Step 1: Identify God’s Promise

The first step is to put a finger on the promise God wants convert into reality in my life.

“A promise from God is a surer thing than a post-dated check from a millionaire.” ~ John Phillips

In this instance, the promise to be made real in my life was God’s promise of peace.

The night I fully acknowledged my anxiousness and lack of faith, I got on my knees and asked God to help me, to speak to me and enable me to take my thoughts captive to His truth.

He then took me to Isaiah 26:3. God hadn’t promised me stress, but peace.

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
Isaiah 26:3

As I read these words, I could feel God’s supernatural peace. I went to sleep that night with a God-given touch of calm and confidence in God’s sovereign, loving hand.

However, I knew that between my runaway thoughts and the devil’s lies, the coming days would likely be a battle.

Step 2: Dig Deeper

The next morning, I began to dig deeper into Isaiah 26:3. There are treasures in the original language.

Keep

“Keep” in the original language means “to guard, (in a good sense), to protect, maintain, to conceal.” Strong’s Lexicon says of this word, “one can guard a vineyard, a fig tree, a fortification. Those who performed this function were watchmen…Israel was likened to a vineyard and Jehovah served as a keeper of her (Job 7:20).”

Beloved, no matter your frightening circumstances, God is your watchman! He is protecting, guarding and keeping you!

The beauty of this passage continued as I investigated “perfect peace.”

Perfect Peace

“Perfect” and “Peace” are the same word in the original language. The word is “shalowm,” which meanssafe, well, happy…welfare: that is, health, prosperity, peace.”

Perfect peace means:

  • health, security, tranquility, welfare, good condition, success, comfort; peace (opposite of war)…well, peaceful, secure, safe, happy…safety, soundness…
  • In modern Israel the greeting is, “Mah shlomkha? (“What is your peace?” or “How are you doing?”)…Shalowm is clearly depicted as a satisfied condition, an unconcerned state of peacefulness (Gen. 15:15)…it means to be unharmed or unhurt.
  • Though shalowm can mean the absence of strife, it usually is much more. It expresses completeness, harmony, and fulfillment. To wish one shalowm implies a blessing…

Shalowm, the word for “perfect” and “peace” comes from the word “shalam,” which means: to be safe (in mind, body or estate); to be (make) completed.

  • The Strong’s Lexicon definition of shalam includes: “to be whole, sound, safe, uninjured, safe and sound, to make secure…to have peace and friendship…to be complete or finished…to restore…to give back, to repay…to recompense (Ps. 35:12; 62:12; 31:23…) to reward, to be paid, to be requited, to be rewarded; to perform, to finish…

When God promised us peace, He promised so much more than just a calm mental attitude, although the value of such cannot be underestimated.

Would you have ever thought that when God promised you peace, He promised you good welfare, safety, fulfillment – even restoration, repayment and reward?

Now for the kicker!

Mind

“Mind” in the original language means – “formation, frame, pattern, image; conception, imagination, thought…what is formed in the mind.

No surprise here, huh? Well, don’t be so quick to discount the importance of this word. Take a look at the root word:

  • The root from which “mind” is derived means: “to form, fashion devise, frame; to produce, to create…In its part. form it is a potter or a creator…squeezing or molding. Prophets carried a shaped message…”

In other words, we have not only the ability but the obligation to shape our thoughts – to squeeze or mold them. We can (and should) create our thoughts to the conformity of Christ. It may feel like a tight squeeze at times, but it can be done!

“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).

We will not have perfect peace unless we take our thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ.

God keeps in perfect peace him whose mind is “stayed” on Him.

Stayed

“Stayed” means: “to prop… to lean upon or take hold of.”

How are you taking hold of God today? How are you leaning the full weight of your thoughts and existence upon Him?

God keeps him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Him, because he trusts in Him.

Trusts

“Trusts” means: “to hie for refuge [to go quickly, to hasten to Him for refuge]; to trust, be confident or sure.

Zodhiates defines trusts as:

  • to attach oneself, to trust, confide in, feel safe, be confident, secure; to be careless.
  • The basic idea is associated with firmness or solidity. The word expresses the sense of well-being which results from knowing that the “rug won’t be pulled out from under you” (Ps. 37:3).
  • This hope is a confident expectation, not a constant anxiety. We can truly relax when we know Who is in control.

How are you attaching yourself to God? Are you meeting Him in prayer in the morning, but departing and forgetting what took place without attaching yourself to Him throughout the day?

The believer who keeps his mind stayed on God builds his faith and trust!

“Apply your mind to my knowledge; For it will be pleasant if you keep them in your mind [believing them]; your lips will be accustomed to [confessing] them. So that your trust (belief, reliance, support, and confidence) may be in the Lord” (Proverbs 22:17-19, AMP).

The degree of your faith and trust in God is directly proportional to the degree to which your thoughts and words agree with God’s word. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. When we line our thoughts up with what God says in His word, our lips be accustomed to speaking in agreement with God. The result is greater faith. Why have greater faith? Faith is what moves God from Heaven to earth – not complaining, crying or begging. Unbelief is what kept Jesus from doing mighty miracles in his home town (see Mark 6:5).

It is not without reason that God instructs us in Proverbs 22:17-19 to:

  1. Apply our mind to His knowledge, to His promises
  2. Keep His promises in our mind – taking every thought captive
  3. Speak His promises – His truth – with our mouth, speaking what is real in the Heavenly realm, not what we feel.

Why did He instruct us to do this? So that our faith and trust might be in Him!

What we speak with both silent words (thoughts) and audible words impacts our lives!

“20A man’s self shall be filled with the fruit of his mouth; and with the consequence of his words he must be satisfied [whether good or evil]. 21Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life].” – Proverbs 18:20-21

There are consequences to our words. Not just the words we feel should have consequences, but all of our words. We will reap the fruit of our words whether good or bad.

Therefore, why not be deliberate with what we think and speak? Why not say the same thing with our words that God says?

Step 3: Deliberate Action to Take Thoughts and Words Captive

I am a visual learner, so when God convicts me of a way that my thoughts aren’t lining up with His, I put His thoughts – His word on the matter – on my walls. I type the scriptures in MSWord, make the words large enough to read at a glance, print them out and post them around my home and office.  In addition, when my thoughts are deeply at risk, as they were in this instance, I put my Bible on my nightstand, open to God’s promise. That way it is the last thing I see at night and the first thing I see in the morning. My thoughts begin and end on the right note.

However, these expanded definitions of Isaiah 26:3 spoke so intricately to me that I typed up the verse and the definitions, printed them out and placed the sheet of paper on my nightstand as well as my walls.

Small things throughout the day can overwhelm me. I can become so sidetracked with my agenda or work that I forget to stop and conduct a check of my thoughts. But in one instant I can glance across the room, see the scripture on my wall and instantly realize how opposed my thoughts are. Instantly they come in line with His word.

Unless our thoughts and our words agree with God’s word, we aren’t walking in lock step with Him.

“Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?” ~ Amos 3:3

In every area, whatever it may be, we must say the same thing with our mouths that God says in His Word. We cannot walk with God in unity concerning His plan for our lives unless we are willing to agree with Him – in our hearts and with our words.

For me, the real key is confronting my opposing thoughts and words and keeping them in line with God’s decree.

God has challenged me in a few key areas in recent months – areas in which my words and thoughts do not agree with His. In addition to having scriptures and corresponding confessions on my walls, I’ve programmed my phone to send me an alarm several times a day with different scriptures and God-aligned confessions so that agreeing with God on these matters becomes a habit, the norm.

An example confession for Isaiah 26:3 would be:

God is my protector. He has concealed me in the secret place of His tabernacle. He is keeping me safe and secure in a satisfied condition. I refuse to fear. I refuse to speak out words of doubt and fear. God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love and of a sound mind.  My thoughts are centered on Jesus. He keeps me in perfect peace. I cast down imaginations, reasonings, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. I stay in perfect peace. My mind is fixed on my deliverer. Nothing can defeat me!

Regardless of what your concerns and anxieties are today, I encourage you to:

  1. Identify God’s promise on the matter.
  2. Dig deeper – Look up other passages on the same topic, or dig deeper into the original language
  3. Take deliberate action in order to reign in your thoughts and words and cause them to agree with God’s.

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Tweetables

  • Are you stressed, anxious, worried? God promises you peace. “Finding Peace” > Tweet This
  • “A promise from God is a surer thing than a post-dated check from a millionaire.” ~ John Phillips > Tweet This
  • “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” ~ Is. 26:3 > Tweet This
  • We won’t have perfect peace unless we take our thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ. > Tweet This
  • The degree of our faith in God is proportional to the degree to which our thoughts & words agree w/God’s word. > Tweet This
  • We cannot walk with God in unity concerning His plan for our lives unless we are willing to agree with Him. > Tweet This
  • When you trust God, you can be assured the rug won’t be pulled out from under you. > Tweet This

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Question: What are you going to do today in order to deliberately take your thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ?

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