Welcome back to those of you who joined me for Part One of Quiet My Anxious Heart. If you missed Part One, click here to read it.
Thank you for all the comments, verses and prayers. I especially enjoyed reading the Scriptures that speak to you in the midst of your struggles and anxieties. What a blessing to see the comment page FILLED with God’s Word!!
FYI. At the end of the post, I announce the winner of Lysa’s book, Unglued, so be sure to read to the end to see if you won! I also have another giveaway for this week so be sure to leave a comment!!
Today we dig a bit deeper into how we can quiet our anxious hearts. It is so funny how the Lord works. Every time He lays a message on my heart, He ensures that I have LIVED that message before I share it so that I can speak with confidence. Well, this message is no different!
This past weekend, I had a speaking engagement in Mississippi. And although I love teaching and speaking, I don’t love traveling and being away from my family. In fact, flying is right up there on my top ten list of things I hate. Despite my prayers for perfect weather, the day Lisa and I flew out, it was dreary, cold and pouring down rain. If that wasn’t stressful enough, we arrived at the airport to find that our flight had been delayed for a “minor mechanical problem.” They estimated it would be repaired in 20-25 minutes. Hearing the words “mechanical problem” associated with the plane on which I was about to travel increased my stress level a bit. But I thought, twenty minutes how bad can it be? But 25 minutes stretched to an hour and then to two hours. By this time, I’ll be just plain honest, I was scared. My heart was racing and my stomach churning. I kept thinking there is no way I can get on this plane!
But a wonderful thing happened in the mess of my stress. God’s Truth poured into my racing heart. A single verse played over and over in my mind. Isaiah 26:3
You will keep in perfect peace [her] whose mind is steadfast, because [she] trusts in you.
It was not a random verse. It was one to which I had clung over the Christmas holidays… a story I shared in an earlier post entitled Resolve to Rest. A dear friend had shared it with me and prayed it over me. I had hidden it in my heart. And Jesus, through His Holy Spirit, brought it back to me as I sat at the airport feeling as if I could not breathe.
We are going to spend significant time in this verse because I want us to understand how to research a Scripture and apply it in prayer.
Part 1: You will keep…
The “You” in this verse is God. God makes a promise that He will “keep” us in perfect peace. The Hebrew word for “keep” is natsar, meaning “to guard, to protect.” This choice of wording teaches that God is a watchman, standing guard over us. He will guard our hearts and minds and keep us. In this particular verse, He promises to keep us in perfect peace. But this promise contains a condition. We will get to that in just a minute. Now let’s examine the next three words.
Part 2: in perfect peace…
God promises to keep us not just in peace, but in perfect peace. The Hebrew word translated perfect peace is a familiar word, shalom. It means “to be safe, to be whole, to be complete.” God desires to give us a sound mind, a “safe” mind, one that is protected from the fiery darts, lies and deception of the evil one. But again we see that this promise to keep us in “perfect peace” is conditional. We find this condition in Part 3 of this verse.
Part 3: him [her] whose mind is steadfast…
I find this condition to be the key to God’s promise of perfect peace in Isaiah 26:3. The Hebrew word for mind is yetser. It means ”a form, a thing framed, imagination.” It is anything that we form in our minds, like a plan or purpose. When we read the words “a thing framed,” we need to understand it is not speaking of a physical framing, like the framing of a picture. It speaks of our mind framing something. It is how our mind works to frame the events that occur in our lives.
Most of us frame our thoughts and responses from our perspective, in the context of our circumstances. For example, I have never lost a child. When I hear of a child dying, it breaks my heart. I am moved to pray for the parents and family, but my emotion end there. For a woman who has lost a child, when she hears of a child dying, it stirs up emotions and elicits a response significantly different than mine. She may weep; she may revisit her own grief; she will feel empathy for those parents that I could never feel.
According to this verse, the frame of our mind must be steadfast. What does steadfast mean? This word derives from the Hebrew word camak and means ” to sustain, to reflexively lean upon or take hold of.” I love the visual this creates. When anxiety comes…when the evil one prowls…when fear presses in, the woman whose mind is steadfast is the woman who CHOOSES to lay hold of TRUTH. She will not believe the lies of the evil one. Sweet friend, the only way to battle the lies of Satan is to cling to God’s Truth. When the thoughts come rushing in, literally grab hold of your Bible and find Scripture that speaks to your circumstances. Speak those verses into your circumstances. Pray them over yourself . As you begin to hide God’s Word in your heart, the verses will come to you as they did to me that day in the airport.
Now, let’s examine the last part of Isaiah 26:3.
Part 4: because he [she] trusts in You.
Oh, how I love this Hebrew word too! The Hebrew word for trust is batach meaning “to trust, to be confident or sure, to put confidence in.” I found another definition that said “to attach oneself.” What a word picture. Like a fearful child in the midst of a bustling crowd who attaches onto her mother’s hand and holds on for dear life.
We obtain a steadfast mind ONLY WHEN we trust in God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. He must be our All in All. Surrendering our mind to God is our best safeguard against falling prey to the lies and schemes of the evil one.
While sitting at the airport, and even while on the plane, this is what I prayed: “Thank You, Lord, that You will keep me in perfect peace, no matter my circumstances…no matter the mechanical issues, no matter the delay, no matter the rain and clouds, no matter the turbulence…because I have a steadfast mind fixed on You, because I trust in You and You alone.” When I prayed this prayer, peace came over me. It washed over me like a river. It calmed my heart. It filled me with confidence outside myself. It was confidence in Christ, in His Word and in His great promise to me.
I want to share with you a few more of my favorite verses that I call upon when I feel my mind slipping into anxious, angry, fearful and stress-filled emotions. After each one, I will give you an example of how to personalize the verse and pray it. And please do not be discouraged because you feel like you don’t have a steadfast mind. We all lack self control when it comes to our thoughts! Keep filling your mind with Truth. Keep praying and asking God to give you the mind of Christ. Keep surrendering your heart and mind to Jesus. God will be faithful to honor His Word!!
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. 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV 1984)
Personalize this verse by praying, “Heavenly Father, I feel myself losing it, help me to take captive every thought, every emotion, every feeling and subdue it into obedience to Your Word. Replace every negative thought with one of Your Truths. Help me to stand steadfast with You and in Your Word so that Satan cannot put a wedge between You and me or me and the ones I love.”
A mind focused on the flesh is doomed to death, but a mind focused on the Spirit will find full life and complete peace. Romans 8:6 (The Voice) and 1 Corinthians 2:16b But we have the mind of Christ. (NIV 1984)
Personalize this verse by praying, “Father, help me take my mind off my flesh…my needs, feelings and emotions. Allow me to respond with the mind of Christ that is mine in Jesus, a mind focused on the things of the Spirit, so that I will find life and complete peace.”
Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10 (NIV 1984)
Personalize this verse by praying, “Abba Father, I feel so anxious and stressed. I feel so out of control. Help me carve out time to be still before You. As I sit at Your feet, Father, fill me with Your presence. Draw me close. Wash Your peace over me from the top of my head to the tips of my toes. Enable me to KNOW that You are God and You are in complete control.”
This time, you try. Personalize these verses…write them in the form of a prayer. Share yours with us in the comment section!!
Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips. Psalm 141:3 (NIV 1984)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (NIV 1984)
Cast all your anxiety upon him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV 1984)
If you struggle with sleep, pray these verses.
My son [daughter] preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you…when you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Proverbs 3:21,24 (NIV 1984)
Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain…In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for he grants sleep to those he loves. Psalm 127:1a-2 (NIV 1984)
If you struggle with fear, pray these verses.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
Psalm 91:4-6 (NIV 1984)
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)
Friend, turn your worries into prayers and your fears into faith!!
Romans 10:17 says, Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.
Romans 12:2 says, Do not be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
As we study God’s Word and pray His word back to Him, transformation will come. It must because God honors His Word. He promises that when it goes out, it will not return void but will achieve what He desires and accomplish the purposes for which He sent it. (Isaiah 55:11)
Thank you for joining me today. I would love to hear how God spoke to you through His Word today. Please share with us your personalized verses and prayers. From the comments you leave, I will choose one name to receive a signed copy of my book Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner: The Transforming Power of God’s Story. In my book, I spend several chapters on the topics of Surrendering Strongholds, Learning Forgiveness, Quiet Time, Prayer and Abiding in Christ. Each one grounded deeply in Scripture. It includes a study guide in the back to help you apply the principals we talked about today.
Now for the winner of Lysa TerKeurst’s book Unglued…..
Kathleen who posted on 2/18 at 8:41 pm.
Congratulations, Kathleen!! Please e-mail me at Deuteronomysix@aol.com with your full name and home address so that I can mail you your book.
I look forward to hearing from you this week.
Blessings to you,