Thursday, March 31, 2016

Focus Produces Perfect Peace

UV 1714/10000 Focus Produces Perfect Peace
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
Isaiah 26 v 3
Single-minded focus produces both stability and dynamism. Both stability and dynamism are needed at every point of life. The earth and the entire universe are in constant motion but at any given moment it appears to be still. We too need to experience this kind of stability and dynamism. Focus produces peace and progress, stability and dynamism. Only a magnifying lens that is held firm focuses the rays of the sun on a particular spot on a paper and sets it afire. Similarly, our faith is fanned into full flame only by focus. All our abilities, dreams, goals, desires, thoughts, plans, actions and reactions need to be focussed on the Lord. The net result is that we will have mind blowing and amazing experiences in real life that will further build our faith, increase our love and trust in the Lord. If we stay focussed on the locus of life- the Lord who not only created us but redeemed us from the power and penalty of sin, we will enjoy the perfect peace that Christ alone gives. It is a perfect peace and not the peace of the grave- not a passive peace, not a mere absence of activity or conflict. The Hebrew word for perfect peace is Shalom- a state of blessedness in which we lack in nothing we need and no good thing is withheld from us. Our mind- implying our thoughts, emotions and desires should be firmly anchored in Him, His ways and His Word. We rejoice in what He has done for us and trust Him for our future. We also trust the Lord for showing us mercy and grace for our shortcomings and wilful failures of our past.

We affirm continually our faith in the many promises of the Lord and hold onto them in every conceivable situation. If our mind is truly stayed or focussed on Him, we would not let these pass like water through a sieve but hold back the content of each promise, claim it and ruminate on it. If our mind is truly focussed on Him, we will believe it will be fulfilled in our lives even before it happens and maintain an attitude of expectancy and thankfulness. Even when circumstances become adverse and challenge our faith, we should continue to trust the Lord and His Word.

In the reality of our world, our minds are moved by different stimuli in our immediate environment and our attention flits from one thing to another. Our mind is like a monkey mind jumping from one thing to another quickly. Meditation on the Word on a regular basis enables us to focus our mind on the priorities of life rather than the immediate which demands our attention. Meditation and prayer are like the dual processes of respiration: breathing in and breathing out. Meditation also enhances our prayer and changes it from a mere litany of requests to an appreciation of who God is. Prayer is an unburdening of ourselves and handing over to the Lord to resolve the issues that we cannot. Prayer is spending time in the presence of the Lord, completely immersing oneself in His glory, grace and mercy. We need two eyes to focus on anything while we are walking or moving around. Our two eyes to focus on the Lord are prayer and meditation. We need two nostrils to breathe. The two nostrils by which we breathe in grace are prayer and meditation. We need to breathe in trust and faith in the Word and breathe out praise and thanksgiving to the Lord.

Prateep V Philip

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