I’m working on something a little different in my writing life these days. I’m still writing my next novel (a love triangle of sorts between a female inmate, an Afghan war amputee, and a shelter dog named Finley), but I’ve also been working on something else. I’m finishing up a 31-Day devotional book that I hope to release about a month from now.
Here’s the cover and below is an excerpt from Day 2.
* * *
Day 2 – True Peace is a Person
True Peace is a Person?
The secret to Perfect Peace is found in this Scripture (and in dozens more like it, which we’ll meditate on in future chapters):
“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” (Isaiah 26:3)
Do you see the promise here? What is being offered to us? Perfect Peace. Do you also see what this perfect peace hinges on? What makes it possible?
“You will keep him…”
“…whose mind is stayed on You…”
“…because he trusts in You.”
Perfect Peace is not simply the absence of trouble in one’s life. It’s found in a close relationship with a Person. The Scriptures tell us this person is Jesus Christ. He is called the Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6). We’re told Jesus is “the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature” (Heb 1:3). Jesus is the “You” Isaiah is talking about. Perfect Peace comes to those who keep their minds “stayed” (focused or fixed) on Christ.
This involves a bit more than simply becoming a Christian. If Perfect Peace came automatically when people come to Christ, Christians would never worry or fear, never fret or become anxious.
But they do.
If you’re like me, you’ve known moments of real peace. Moments when you’ve trusted God fully for your life, for everything going on in your life. And in those moments, you knew real peace. The problem is the word “moments.”
The moments didn’t last.
The promise of Isaiah 26:3 is not to have moments of peace in our lives. The promise is that God would “keep us in Perfect Peace.” So why is it that most of us only know moments of peace?
I believe the problem stems from our embedded tendency to live independently from God. We aren’t convinced we need God as much as we do.
What did Adam and Eve do right after The Fall? They hid from God and tried to fix the problem themselves. This is what we all try to do. We’d prefer it if God would make this perfect peace something we receive once, then it stays with us the rest of our lives, regardless of how close we live to God, day to day.
But that’s not how it works.
You probably already know this. The perfect peace Isaiah is referring to is given to those who draw near to God each day and stay near to God throughout the day. It is directly connected to the level of relationship we maintain with Jesus Christ.
God will keep us in perfect peace when our minds are stayed on Him, on Jesus. Jesus enjoyed this peace and experienced it every day on earth, because He kept His mind stayed on His Father. He wants us to enjoy this same level of peace as we keep our minds stayed on Him.
To help us experience this fully, Jesus gives us a wonderful gift. The gift of Himself, in the presence of the Holy Spirit. We’ll look more into this in Day 3.
Lord, thank You for giving Your life to make it possible for me to experience Your Perfect Peace. And for living now within me, so I can experience this peace every day. I want my relationship with You to increase. I want my dependence on You to increase, and my awareness of Your Presence at work in my life. Help me to keep my mind stayed on You today, and to trust You for everything I face. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
* * *
I’ll let everyone know when the book is ready to go.