You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You because he trusts in You. (Isaiah 26:3)
When looking at the world and the chaos going on around us, it can be hard to stop and have peace. On first read through of this verse, it may appear that we have to strive to be in God’s perfect peace. Yet God Himself, our Prince of Peace, makes us a conditional promise that HE WILL keep us in perfect peace IF we stay our mind on Him. And if you really stop to analyze this verse, it’s the fact that we trust in God that we’ll stay on mind on Him, in which God then does all the work of keeping us in perfect peace.
We don’t need to strive to be in God’s peace, He offers it freely and keeps those who trust in and stay focused on Him in that perfect peace.
Are there things you’ve been striving in lately? Things that, even while they may be for the Lord, you’re relying on your own power or might? Let’s look back to the beginning in Genesis when God created man and woman, “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:27-28)
God created them, He blessed them, and then told them the work He had prepared for them to do. Mind you, that was a lot of work He had just laid out, to multiply or basically make babies and raise them, and subdue the earth and have dominion over all the living things. BUT GOD blessed them first! He didn’t tell them to do all this work and then say that they’d be blessed in doing it. While yes, we do often find sweet blessings in doing the work the Lord has called us to do, it’s from God’s blessing that we will be productive. If we strive for a blessing by what we do, we’re putting the cart before the horse, and we aren’t going to have peace because we won’t have our mind stayed on God in the process. Not to mention how the action of striving in our strength quite literally proves our trust is not resting in God.
With the hustle and bustle of life, it can be extremely difficult to stop, listen, and just sit at the feet of God, but it’s made very clear in Psalm 46:10 that the proper order is to be still and know God, and what follows that is God’s exaltation among the nations and in the earth. We receive the blessings from God as we sit still before Him, and He will be exalted through the works that flow from that. If we don’t follow the way God designed for us to, we’re going to run ragged operating in our own strength and render ourselves useless in Kingdom work. It’s important to know and understand that the hustle and bustle can very much so be spiritual warfare. The enemy will attempt to hurl anything your way to get your attention on anything else other than God, and if he can’t then he’ll attempt to pervert the very works God has prepared for you to walk in and turn them into striving.
Is there anything in your life right now that God designed to be a beautiful work unto Him that has been distorted into an act of striving? Really take a moment to stop and consider this because it’s a subtle way that can hinder us from entering His rest and taking advantage of that promise to be kept in perfect peace.
The world can only offer you so much peace, and nowadays, barely any if at all anymore. The peace of God which surpasses all understanding is there to guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. God gives you His peace not like the world gives, because only the God of Peace can give and keep you in perfect peace.
Trust in God is at the very foundation of this promise. The only way to trust God is to grow in a relationship with Him. Trusting Him started on the very day of your salvation, when you confessed your sin and you trusted that He was indeed faithful and just to forgive you of your sins, redeeming you unto Himself, and that was only the beginning. The sweet things He has in store for you, as He calls you deeper and deeper into relationship with Him, is far more than you can even imagine. He wants to bless you, simply because He loves you and desires to lavish His blessings upon you, and He knows that one of those blessings is His perfect peace, which comes when you trust in Him and focus your mind on Him.
In Revelation 4, the description of the throne of God says, “From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder…and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal.” (Revelation 4:5-6) I love this description because it gives the imagery of a perfectly still body of water that looks like glass. Not a ripple of disturbance about it, just completely calm and peaceful, despite the awesome wonder of lightning and thunder coming from the throne. God sits upon His heavenly throne, the very rumblings of His spoken word going forth, yet so perfectly in peace as before His throne is like a sea of glass.
Have you ever seen a lake similar to that, where it’s perfectly still and looks like glass? It almost looks like a mirror, perfectly reflecting the landscape near the body of water.
God is always at peace, and He offers that to us. And although now, while on earth, we see God as if looking through a dim mirror having to wait until we’re in heaven to see Him face to face, if we decide to take Him up on His promise, we’ll be in perfect peace, able to see God in the most clear way possible while on earth.
You don’t have to have your life put together or fit any other description, you only need to trust in God and allow that growing relationship to steer your mind to focus on Him, and He WILL keep you in perfect peace.