“You will keep in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because [s]he trusts in You.”
This verse in the book of Isaiah is a part of a song of salvation that “will be sung in the land of Judah in that day” (26:1), a time referring to the last days. According to study notes in the New Spirit-Filled Life Bible (Executive Editor Jack W. Hayford, Litt.D, Thomas Nelson Inc.), “Perfect peace is expressed in Hebrew by ‘shalom, shalom,’ a Hebrew method of putting great emphasis on a word. ‘You will keep in’ everything the word shalom implies: health, happiness, well-being, peace. The word translated mind is not the usual Hebrew word, but rather is a word meaning ‘creative imagination.’ Isaiah’s thought is that he whose creative imagination, the seat of plans and ideas, is firmly founded on the eternal Lord, will enjoy shalom in all its implications.”
For someone like me who is madly in love with the creative process, this is certainly good news! It’s so easy to spend hours and hours dreaming up ideas for art, ministry, and other creative outlets like diane-izing my home. Assessing, researching, brainstorming, thinking, dreaming, and imagining are some of my brain’s favorite activities. And making lists. I love lists.
This love of planning and preparing is one of the more important tools I bring to ministry. That’s why Isaiah 26:3 is such a bright light in my brain’s studio, because by keeping my eyes on Jesus and my mind stayed on Him, I am assured that what follows is creativity shaped and molded by the Creator himself. Just as rocks in a streambed are smoothed and shaped by the water which flows, so are my plans and ideas. “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9, NKJV). That’s a good thing.
Does that mean that every idea I have is a good idea? Of course not. God didn’t give us brains and then expect us not to think things through. A mind that is stayed on God is a mind attuned to the still, small voice of His Spirit, whose focus and identity is in Christ; a mind that prayerfully considers all things carefully. It is a mind molded by faith, faith by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17, NKJV). Does that mean I never make mistakes or get in the way of what God is doing? Does it mean I will never stumble and generally make a fool of myself? Au contrare.
Like you, I’m in the process of being perfected, aka matured. I am not a done deal. God is not through with me yet. Therein lies peace. And such a peace it is! Perfect peace as I dream and think and plan, because it is in God I trust. And the peace that transcends all understanding will guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).