Let’s jump right to a timely question. What is peace, like real peace?
We know what it’s not by enduring the daily and nightly news reports broadcast smack-dab in the middle of 2020.
Chaos in the cities, streets, and minds of millions of people affected by unrest and destructive actions due to festering problems of yesteryear.
From his memoir, Telling Secrets, the late Frederick Buechner wrote, “To be at peace is to have peace inside yourself more or less in spite of what is going on outside yourself.”
But what if the disruption we feel inside ourselves seems greater than what we witness on the outside? Then what?
Isaiah 26:3 reads, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You!” (NLT, emphasis mine)
Your thoughts. My thoughts. The mind. The breeding ground for lies, disbelief, and despair. No, you can’t keep a crazy bird from flying around your head, but you can keep it from making a nest on your noggin.
How do you do that-specifically? Practical Paul makes it simple, yet following his advice is difficult and never ending. He wrote in 2 Corinthians 10:5,
“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.” (NIV, emphasis mine)
So when the bird of lies–flies around your head saying, “You have no future” or “You will never find a job due to the Coronavirus” or “You will never change” or “No one really cares about you and your circumstances,” you have to first capture the thought.
- Capture or state the lie out loud or quietly to yourself. For example: “Even though it seems like our world is painting a dismal picture right now due to the Coronavirus, the Lockdown, my Unemployment, and now a Violent Unrest on our streets…” Now you are ready to face or acknowledge the lie.
- Stand up to the enemy who wants to steal, kill, and destroy. “I reject the lie that I don’t have a future. Get behind me satan!”…Now you are ready to replace the lie with the hopeful truth of God’s word.
- Claim the promises of God. God you promised to give me a future. Jeremiah 29:11-12 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen.” (NLT)
Then, move on. Don’t give the enemy or a lie too much time to roost, or to burrow in your psyche. The battle for peace begins in your mind.
Why not memorize “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You!” or 2 Corinthians 10:5.
“Memorized Scripture” is strategic ammo against our deceptive enemy, not just a churchy knowledge of it.
Start capturing your thoughts aggressively-today!