Shalom

Quiet Time

Some mornings I wake up with lists and worries swimming around in my head. I grab a cup of coffee and my Bible and sit still in the Word, only to feel like I can't concentrate because the heaviness of these mind troubles wages war for my peace. Have you ever been here? Maybe this morning was that way for you. The mind is a battlefield that we must fight for everyday. Our enemy, Satan, stabs the truth with his lies, he rages battle for our comfort in Christ and deceives us and does all he can to pin us down in defeat. The problem is, many of us wake up waving a flag of surrender before the day even begins. We feel the fight is too hard and have a defeated mindset before the day begins. Sisters, this is not what God intended for us. When Christ laid down His life on the cross for us, He did so that we might victors through Him. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 says "For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ"(emphasis mine). The word for "destroy" means to take down, demolish, refute, break down a fortress. The lies and worries that fill your head in the mornings and throughout the day are clearly against the cause of Christ. They are put there by an enemy seeking to make this day distracted and useless for the Kingdom. BUT, we have the power, through Christ, to demolish these! The problem is, most of us don't fight hard enough to "take every thought captive." Isaiah 26:3-4 tells us this great promise:

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock. 

Perfect peace. Doesn't that sound amazing? The key to both of these verses is the actions that you and I are required to take. The first one is to "stay" our minds on Christ. Literally, we are to rest our purpose on Jesus and to think of Him always. When we feel overwhelmed, we think of how He was temped in every way and knows our weaknesses (Hebrews 4:15). We also rest in Him, knowing that we will get done all that He has purposed for us that day. When we feel afraid, we think of God's character. He promises to never leave us or forsake us and we think of the cross where Jesus defeated death. The second command we are given is to trust in God. We are to be confident, bold and secure in the character of God. Why? Because He has never been unfaithful. It isn't who He is. We can be confident in our God who never changes and never will. Hebrews 13:8 says "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." That is amazing!

This perfect peace is possible. The word for "perfect peace" is shalom in Hebrew. It means to have completeness, soundness, safety and friendship with God. Because of Christ, we can be friends of God and have complete hearts in Him. Think about that. The shalom peace of God goes before you, behind you, beside you, above you and all around you. Isaiah 9:6 calls Jesus the "Prince of Peace" - or Sar Shalom. When Isaiah 26:3 says to stay our minds on God, it is saying that we must rest in Christ, the embodiment of peace with God. In our relationship with Him that was made possible by the cross of calvary, we can have perfect peace. Why? Because Jesus is that peace.

We must train our minds first to go straight to the throne of God and praise His faithful character rather than to an endless road of worry. When you feel overwhelmed, fix your thoughts on Jesus. Fight the good fight of faith in Christ. We weren't created to live defeated, worn-out lives. We were redeemed to live victoriously in Jesus. And this victory begins in the mind. Meditate on Isaiah 26:3-4 with me this weekend.

Let us have hearts and minds that are steadfast on Jesus, our Savior.

fixing my mind on Jesus,

Gretchen