Originally written July 29, 2004. Updated July 20, 2006.
I was putting together some Bible verses to send to someone I knew, on July 29, 2004. As I found one verse it reminded me of something else. That is why this is so long. I have seen God do some amazing things lately. I am writing about some of those things from my own life. And then about “perfect peace” and a “sound mind”. This is a lot of stuff I needed to be reminded of anyway.
Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
This is a verse that I used to have tattooed on the inside of my eyelids. Regrettably it has been some time since I have remembered this wonderful bit of wisdom. Someone I knew had just sent us an E-mail and she needed to “unload” a little bit. For some reason (a good one!) I remembered this verse as I read her letter. I am in need of remembering these things too. If you have any questions about any of this let me know!!
As we keep our mind on God and trust in him, he will give us perfect peace. Wow!!!! I have heard about “inner peace” from other religions. But they have elaborate ways to unscramble the chaos by a person’s own efforts. In order to obtain peace they try to get the chaos to “fly right”. They do not actually eliminate the chaos. With God, TRUE perfect peace is very easy to receive!! It is not by our own efforts. When we keep our minds on God, we get that peace. The chaos is gone. How do we keep our minds on God? Psalm 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. [The word “law” means, The Bible]
My cousin was an officer in the army during the first Gulf War. His mother told me some amazing things about that. I am sure Isaiah 26:3 was a part of his life at that time even if, he didn’t realize it. I mean he may have put this verse into practice even if he didn’t recall it word for word.
Keeping your mind on God is not always an easy thing to remember. It has been my experience that I tend to keep in mind the thing that is irritating me most at the moment. Or maybe I am thinking of something “exciting”. Satan knows every trick to keep us from having our minds on God.
I have just learned (by self diagnosis) that I probably have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). To have a name for “this”, is like having the light suddenly come on in a room that you suspected was darkened, but it wasn’t dark enough that you couldn’t see. The “diagnosis” explains so many things.
I have seen these advertisements lately advertising a prescription drug. They ask if your mind is like a television that is constantly changing channels, and you do not have the remote for it. In other words, they are asking if you have difficulty controlling your mind. I was like, “YES!!!”. But I didn’t want to take their pill. Then I was talking to a friend of mine. She was describing her family. She knows all about ADD. We were swapping symptoms. Then I would describe a situation I get into and she would say something like, “That’s because you are visually oriented”. It was an amazing conversation.
Now I know why I do some things that I do. I can be in the dining room and grab a handful of stuff to put away in the back room. On the way there, I see 20 things that need doing. I set the handful of stuff down and do five of the things I see. Then I “wake up” and realize that I was originally doing something else. What was it? Where did my handful of stuff go? Etc. Over the years I have learned to make a point of NEVER setting stuff down until I actually go to stick it in its proper place.
I also know why Douglas and I seem to get into the same sorts of arguments all the time. D. “What do you want for dinner?”. R. “I don’t know. What do we have?” D. “That’s not what I asked! What do you want for dinner?!!” R. “There is no point in telling you what I want, until I know what to choose from!!!” I always need a “menu” to pick from. Douglas says, "Just tell me what you want". I am looking at the situation like this, there is no point in getting in the mood for say, “seafood quiche” that was made at Talheimer’s in Virginia—since we can’t get to Virginia for dinner and Talheimer’s is no longer in business. So I reply, "What are my choices?".
Another verse that I had tattooed on the inside of my eyelids for many years is, 2Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
God doesn’t give us a spirit of fear, we get a spirit of power, love and of a sound mind. Isn’t that wonderful?!! This is why I am reluctant to take any psychotropic (mind) medicine. I know it is available to receive a sound mind from God! Each person is different. If you need to take a prescription, then by all means, do so. I had taken different ones in the past and it wasn’t always a pleasant experience for me. But that was just me though. My problem was that I didn’t like taking them, I didn’t believe I needed them, and I didn’t believe they would do any good. Since what you believe for happens, the prescriptions didn’t work for me. But that was back in the 1970’s and they have new drugs that work differently now. Some people get a lot better on medication.
God is really good at giving you things when you need it. I have started to take dietary supplements. I knew I had difficulty in the winter months when there was no sunlight. I wanted to hibernate with the bears. When I realized that it was “winter blues” I knew there had to be some scientific way to solve the problem. I didn’t want to take an anti-depression pill. I think that would only mask the symptoms. I wanted to solve the problem. By reading about nutrition I discovered that I probably need some supplements. So now I take some. The main one is the cod liver oil. I have been taking it lately. Wow!! I suspected that I needed vitamin D. (There is a better brand of cod liver oil. If you want to take it, just ask me. In orange juice it isn’t so bad. If you get a lot of sunlight, DO NOT take cod liver oil! There is such a thing as vitamin D toxicity or poisoning.) The supplements are not a cure but I do feel loads better!!
I was wondering why I hadn’t learned about my having ADD sooner. Why am I just learning about it now? I could get angry that the “doctors” didn’t know about it when I was being tested for such things. But back then they didn’t know what it was probably. What good would getting angry do? I know that God has his timing for things. There was a long time when I got out from under the labels. At one point I went to get a (cheaper) “disabled” bus pass. A wise man that I shared a house with, asked me if I was “disabled”. I had been classed as that, and lived as that about two years before this. I had gotten “disabled” bus passes before. But by this time, I had gotten out from under that label. I was having to rely on God and learn how to get on in life. I was having to learn how to use my mind. It was quite an experience. I had moved to Virginia to teach people about the Bible for a year. During that year, I learned that I could use my mind. God gave it to me and it was up to me to use it. I have since learned, that I have to continue using my mind or I will loose the ability to use it!!!! So, if I had learned that I had ADD
sooner, I could have gotten into the habit of saying, “I can’t do that I have ADD, it prevents me from doing it”.
But since I have learned that I can use my mind if I choose to, I know I can either work around the ADD, (compensate) or I can OVER COME it in other ways. 3John 1:2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
I know from studying The Bible that the mind is like a “muscle”. You can exercise it. And if you don’t use it, the mind will atrophy. I found a web site once. (I think I heard an article on the radio about it first.) It was about this woman who got a PHD. She was born with half of her brain smaller (atrophied?) than the other. She had to learn how to learn to read and how to learn things. Eventually she got her PHD. She now has developed a system for teaching children who “can’t learn”. It was an amazing thing. The mind is very plastic. That is, the mind has some of the properties of modeling clay, and it can be remolded (reshaped). [See below—renewing the mind.] Before I went to Virginia I went out for a day where we practiced witnessing. I spent the day with a guy who could not learn to read. Yet by reading The Bible and with the help of a woman he lived with, he was able to learn to read. The Bible is very healing.
God talks a lot about the mind in His Word. That is where sin starts. There are things that we do which we shouldn’t do. We get a thought in our mind. The next step is key. Do we immediately say to ourselves, “NO! Don’t even go there!!”? Or do we say something like, “Lets see, what does doing that entail?”? It is when we go on to think about it, and consider it, that we eventually build up a desire to do what ever it is we shouldn’t do. If we keep on thinking, in our minds about it, the desire becomes so strong that we do that thing we don’t want to do. Paul talks about this sort of thing in Romans 7. Romans 7:15 (KJV) For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. Romans 7:15 (Contemporary English Version) In fact, I don't understand why I act the way I do. I don't do what I know is right. I do the things I hate. Romans 7:15 (Analytical-Literal Translation) For what I do, I do not understand; for what I do not desire [or, will], this I practice, _but_ what I hate, this I do.
God talks a lot about controlling the mind in His Word.
We are to love God with all our hearts, soul and MINDS.
Matthew 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mark 12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
It must be available to be healed by God and have a sound or “right” mind. Jesus healed people and they had sound minds.
Luke 8:35 Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.
We are not to doubt God in our minds. This whole section in Luke 12 is wonderful. (You can read it all from verse 13 to 32. But I am writing here about Luke 12:22-31.)
Luke 12:29 And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.
For example, look in verse 24, Luke 12:24 Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? Jesus is teaching in this record. He reminds us that the ravens (birds like crows) do not grow crops, and they don’t store up food for the winter, yet God feeds them somehow. Then Jesus goes on to ask, “aren’t you all better than birds?”. Yes, we are better than birds!
In verse 25, he asks if any of us can add to our height. I know of no one who can make themselves taller. A doctor can do it with surgery, but you cannot will yourself to get any taller.
Eventually in verses 29 to 31, Jesus says, And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.
But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. God knows what we have need of. We are to keep our minds on the kingdom of God and then all the things we need will be added unto us. Isn’t that great!!!! No worries!!!!!!!
That is how we put Isaiah 26:3 into practice.
Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
Then there is another verse, Acts 17:11, which talks about the “readiness of mind”. The people of Thessalonica had a ready (willing) mind. Acts 17:11 says, These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. The apostles had been in Thessalonica to teach the believers there. And the Thessalonians searched the scriptures, that is, they studied daily to make sure that what the apostles told them was true. They really wanted to know for themselves the word!!
Here is one more key verse, Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. You see, we can renew our minds to God’s Word. We are to be a LIVING sacrifice!! Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. We put God’s word on in our minds; we study it and live what we study. That is how we renew our minds to God’s Word.
Some of the books of the Bible are called, “epistles” or “letters”. Epistle means letter. They were originally written as letters to the Believers. They would be copied and sent on to the next group of Believers. Well, God says in one epistle, that we are “living epistles”. Paul is writing to the Believers in Corinth. 2Corinthians 3:2-3 Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. Paul is saying that the Believers at Corinth are his epistle written in their hearts. And that these epistles are known and read of all men. When people see us out in the world, sometimes that is a person’s first introduction to God. If we are behaving in a Godly manner, then we are living God’s Word. We are a living breathing example of what God says in The Bible. For people who do not go to a church, listen to
Christian programs on the radio, or even own a Bible; we are possibly the only example of God they will see.
All of this is like a circular argument in a way. Instead of being a “vicious” circle (something negative) we could call it a wonderful or joyous circle. In order to have perfect peace we must keep our minds on God. In order to keep our mind on God we must study his word. We are to seek the kingdom of God. As a believer we have duties within the body of Christ. That is, we are to do the things of God. Yet in order to do those things, we need to have a peaceful mind or these things won’t get done. Or if they do get done, they will not be quite the blessing they should be. So we start at the beginning of the “circle” again.
So it is available to have a sound mind from God. It is available to have perfect peace. Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. This peace is something beyond our understanding. Our world can be falling apart around us yet, God can give us true inner peace. Other religions (especially “Eastern philosophy”) teach about “inner peace”. It is a counterfeit of God’s peace.
If you ever read the book of Job, he went through some rough times. There are at least two verses where it says that God spoke to Job out of a “whirlwind”. Job 40:6 Then answered the LORD unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
A whirlwind is sort of like a tornado. In West Texas they call it a “dirt devil”. They aren’t as powerful as a tornado. In this case though, the “whirlwind” is a metaphor (figure of speech) representing Job’s mind. His mind was so upset it was going in circles. I was in such a situation a year or two ago. My grandfather was very sick and in the hospital. I didn’t know if I was going to have to get ready for a funeral. It was near a weekend or a holiday or something. I needed to have some dresses cleaned, at a dry cleaners. They aren’t open on Sundays or holidays. Would the dresses be done in time for me to fly to Texas? We were going to be buying our new Volvo soon if we hadn’t already gotten it already, how could we afford the plane ticket on top of that? We were also planning a driving trip to Texas to visit my grandfather. How would his illness interfere with our plans? How would I get from the airport to the funeral?
I would sit and try to figure it out in my mind. But it was that “vicious” circle over and over. I would think, “We could to this_____”. “Then we would do this_____”. “But then what about_____”. “Ok, so we could do this_____.” It just kept going on and on. I would always end up right back at the beginning. The more I tried to figure it out, the faster the “whirlwind” went in my mind. FINALLY I just got quiet and prayed to myself, “Father, I can’t figure this out. You solve it.”. Then this peace came over me. The “whirlwind” stopped. We were able to sort things out. My grandfather got better. We drove down to visit him and it was a “happy ending” in the end.
As we go about our day, if we keep God and His Word in our minds he will give us perfect peace.