Yesterday, I was feeling anxious. I needed to research and buy a new oven. I was trying to get ready for remote learning starting Monday. And then, I had to stop everything I was doing to plan to teach bible study that night. Oh, the topic by the way – Jehovah Shalom, God our peace. Ironic, right? (That is why I love teaching the word. I am always my first student)
As I began studying, I read this verse: “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”
(Isaiah 26:3 NIV)
Now I have read this verse many times but yesterday, I delved a little deeper. The word “mind” in this passage is “yester” in Hebrew and it means imagination. What is the significance of this discovery?
Well, it is our imagination that causes anxiety and worry. Example. Your child is 10 minutes past their curfew. Your “imagination” sees all the possible bad outcomes – they have been in an accident, they have been kidnapped, they took a wrong turn and are circling the belt line endlessly. So your imagination of all the bad things that could go wrong, produced fear and worry.
But what if instead, we imagined God in that situation. What if we envisioned angels protecting our child, the Holy Spirit guiding them, the Lord leading them to paths of righteousness. Those images would produce peace.
Do you remember Elisha’s servant? He saw the army had surrounded their city and began to worry and fret. (Apparently, seeing in the spiritual realm was a common for Elisha, which means it should be common for us as well.) Elisha prayed God would open his servant’s “eyes” so he could visualize God’s army working in the heavens on their behalf. (II Kings 6:17-20). God did. Worry was replaced with peace.
After reading the passage in Isaiah, I sat on my porch, took a deep breath and used my Holy Spirit infused imagination. I envisioned God giving me wisdom to buy the best range, it being delivered and installed quickly and lasting 20 years. I envisioned my students learning better remotely than in the classroom. My peace returned and we had an amazing discussion last night about fighting for peace. He encouraged me so I could encourage others. I got a twofer.
What are you worrying about this morning? What circumstance has stolen your peace. I say stolen because Jesus promised:
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27 NIV
Fight for your peace today. The battlefield is your imagination. Ask God to open your eyes and see what He is doing. Then use your Holy Spirit infused imagination to envision the good outcome God has for you! Keep your imagination steadfast upon Him and He will keep you in perfect peace.
God is able to do more than we can ask, think, or imagine. What are you imagining?