8/1/14 “Staying My Mind on God” (Daily Bible Reading: Isaiah 26-28)

“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for in Yah, the Lord, is everlasting strength” (Isaiah 26:3-4).

Do you ever find your mind wandering off in a thousand different directions? Sometimes, our minds get distracted by things which may be innocent, but which simply pique our interest. They may be no harm in this. At other times, we get diverted by harmful things such as worries that add misery to our lives. Jesus said, “Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:31-34).

I know I often have a hard time keeping focused on the things that are important. Too often I allow my mind to wander off in directions it should not. In the opening passage, Isaiah mentions a song that God’s people would sing when God had delivered them from their enemies which had oppressed them (Isaiah 26:1-2). Even in the midst of the oppression they were experiencing, Isaiah says that God would help them experience “perfect peace”. This was because they had kept their minds “stayed” on God. In other words, instead of getting distracted by their enemies and the oppression they were experiencing from them, these servants of God kept their focus on God.

A great example of keeping one’s mind stayed on God is seen in Jesus. Even as a teenager Jesus had this focus. When his parents Joseph and Mary were looking for Him and found Him in the temple, Jesus said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father's business?" (Luke 2:49). During His ministry, Jesus describes how He kept His mind “stayed” on God as He said, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work (John 4:34). As He neared the end of His ministry and was about to face a cruel death on the cross, Jesus shared with His disciples the struggle in His heart, but also the focus of his life: “"Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save Me from this hour'? But for this purpose I came to this hour” (John 12:27). Jesus’ mind was “stayed” on God and He enjoyed “perfect peace” even in the midst of knowing the death that awaited Him. As he was about to be arrested and led away to be crucified, he told His disciples, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

I want to have that “perfect peace” that comes to those who keep their minds “stayed” on God. How can I keep my mind “stayed” on God? There is no “secret formula”. Actually, God’s Word gives us guidance on how to keep our minds “stayed” on Him. First, the Bible teaches me that I need to meditate on God’s Word by studying it and reflecting upon it throughout the day. The psalmist wrote, “I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways” (Psalm 119:15). Second, I can keep my mind “stayed” on God by praying throughout the day. David wrote, “Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice” (Psalm 55:17). Today, I will strive to keep my mind “stayed” on God by meditating on His Word and seeking Him continually in prayer that I may enjoy that “perfect peace” that only He can give!

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).