THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT – PEACE (3)

Bible Reading: Isaiah 26:1-9

“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You” [Isaiah 26:3]

Job went through a terrible testing of his faith and lost both his wealth and his health. Several people, whom he called miserable comforters, spoke negative words to him. Their words brought condemnation and suggested that what he was going through was his own fault. “You must have sinned!” they said. One of the reasons that Job survived and came through this test was that he was careful whose words he listened to!

One of the things that I have often battled with has been worry. Particularly after my first experience with cancer, I would note any abnormal physical symptoms and start to think that the cancer had returned.

Recently my wife and met a lady who believes that she has mental illness simply because she read a list of symptoms on the internet and felt they described her condition. As a result she has sunk into deep despair.

There is a common factor in each of these three cases – the mind. What we focus our mind on is a key to enjoying God’s peace. The Bible teaches that the battleground of spiritual warfare is the mind. Job says that as a man thinks in his heart so he is [Job 23:7]. Writing to the Corinthians, Paul says,

 “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” [2 Corinthians 10:3-5].

The real battle is in the mind where wrong reasoning and arguments exalt themselves above the truth of God’s Word. When we were born again our spirit was made alive and it is through our spirit that God communicates with us. When our born again spirit rules over our mind we became spiritually minded, but when our natural mind rules over our spirit we become soulish or carnally minded. Imagine this scenario – God has given us a word that has brought peace and freedom, but then our mind begins to think of all the negatives and chokes God’s word so that it cannot trust God and produce the fruit of peace. If you want the fruit of peace you must focus your mind upon what God has said and trust Him.

Questions:

Why do you think that the reasoning and arguments of the mind are called a stronghold? What does the Bible say are the keys to bringing down this stronghold?

How would you describe, “perfect peace”? God says that He will keep us in perfect peace. What is our part in enjoying that perfect peace?