This has been a year where peace seems to be quite elusive. We search for peace and fight for peace. However, ultimately it seems like confusion, unrest and chaos reign supreme. At least, in this moment, it seems like peace is not sitting on the throne.
Within the context of our conversation, peace is actually the absence of or freedom from internal chaos.
Just take a minute and imagine peace within the core of your being. What would have to leave?
When all those very real and unnerving emotions get a cease-and-desist order and are told to vacate the premises, imagine what happens.
Can you hear it? Can you see, sense and feel the:
"When you're at peace—when you are engaged with life while also feeling relatively relaxed, calm and safe—you are protected from stress, your immune system grows stronger, and you become more resilient. Your outlook brightens and you see more opportunities" (Hanson, R. "What Is Your Sense of Peace?").
What Is the Source of True Peace?
This morning, our pastor was talking about the nuances that the term "rabbi" carries and what it means in the Hebrew culture. He further explained that there was a saying "May you be covered with the dust of the rabbi." In the context that I am speaking of in this article, the question would be, "Are we walking so close to Jesus that we are covered with what He carries?" Remember, in Isaiah 9:6 Jesus is called the prince of peace. Are we carrying peace or fear in this season? If we can confidently state that we are contagious carriers of peace, then I would suggest that we are covered by the dust of our rabbi. However, if we are contagious carriers of fear, then we are covered with the dust of another kingdom.
Another passage that speaks powerfully into this concept of peace is Isaiah 26:3 (TPT): "Perfect, absolute peace surrounds those whose imaginations are consumed with you; they confidently trust in you."
Why is it so important to have your imaginations consumed with Jesus? Because who or what we focus on becomes our reality. If we want to have a kingdom mindset or kingdom point of view, then we have to be heavenly minded. This means that even our imaginations need to come under the lordship of Jesus Christ.
Questions We Can Ask
—Is my imagination so aligned with Jesus Christ that I am surrounded by perfect peace?
—If not, what do I need to change in order to be rightly aligned?
As I pondered being aligned with Christ in perfect peace, I was reminded of the hymn, "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing," that we sang in church when I was growing up. I found the following portion going through my mind: "Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it/ Prone to leave the God I love/ Here's my heart, O take and seal it/ Seal it for Thy courts above."
Prone to Wander or Prone to Focus?
We have two German shepherds that make our home theirs. Valyria, by nature, is a good dog. However, she is prone to wander! She doesn't seem to intentionally leave the property; she just slowly wanders away. Eventually realizing she has strayed away, she comes back quickly to the peace, comfort and food of home. However, the fact still remains, she is the one that is prone to wander.
The other dog, Trina, is intently focused. What is she fixated on? A tennis ball. And, not just any tennis ball, it needs to be a major brand and fully pressured. Trina will not allow a counterfeit tennis ball to grab her attention. She is insistent that the tennis ball be the "real thing." And she will stare at it for hours waiting for someone to throw it. Her gaze doesn't wander; it is fixed with intentionality and a goal in mind.
One of the dogs is prone to wander, and the other one has a gaze that is solid and fixed.
We need to understand that our imaginations can wander even if we are physically present. We make up stories and wander away into the territory of vain imagination, just like Valyria. It takes intention and purpose to shift our focus to where it belongs.
What would it be like to have our imaginations so consumed by God that we could not be sidetracked? This type of connectivity would allow our imaginations to flourish. Not only would they flourish, but we would also have the wisdom, strength and courage to carry them out. With a God-fueled dream, there is hope that awakens from the very core of our being. Faith is the soil in which hope grows. So, we can see now that this type of dream imparts faith, and along with faith comes hope. What a powerful combination, which results in an outcome more than we could ever ask or imagine.
If our imagination were consumed by the Lord, our identity would be perfectly secure. We would not question who we are. We would know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we are sons and daughters of the most high God. It would impact our belief system and our behavior. No longer would the world hold us back, and we would walk with confidence as heirs of the kingdom of heaven.
With an imagination saturated with the Lord, the demonic cannot find any foothold! Legal ground for demonic entry would cease to exist because our focus would be one-minded with our Savior.
There is so much more I could add; however, I will end with this. Did you catch how the verse started? "Perfect, absolute peace surrounds." Let that sink in. Think about being bathed in perfect, absolute peace. No more anxiety, no more sleepless nights, no arguments, no hopelessness, no depression, no fear, no terror—the list goes on and on.
The end result is increased faith. And, when I rest in and trust in God, there is peace. It has come full circle.
Stepping-Stones to Peace
—Read Psalm 91 and journal what you learn about God's place in our fear and insecurity.
—Confess and repent for giving fear a home in the very area where you were created to carry peace.
—Invite the peace of God that surpasses understanding (see Phil. 4:7) into your life.
—Make it a practice of giving over fear, insecurity and so forth to the Lord as soon as you sense it. Don't wait.
—Worship, meditate on the Word of God; worship, meditate on the Word of God—and repeat.
Heavenly Father, I pray for an impartation of Your perfect, absolute peace. That Your peace would surround me and consume my thoughts so that my imagination would be free to soar with You. Thank You, Lord, that I can trust You. You are faithful!
Ruth Hendrickson is a conference speaker, ministry trainer, board certified counselor, pastor and above all, a follower of Jesus Christ. She is passionate about training, equipping and releasing individuals to walk in wholeness and freedom.
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