|artwork by Julie Artz Hanson|
The Hebrew word for “mind”—yêtser—is translated “imagination” four other times in the Old Testament. So, you could quote this verse this way: “The Lord will keep you in perfect peace when your imagination is stayed upon Him, because you trust Him.” Imagination. Meditation. Worship. To mediate you have to imagine. Your imagination is part of meditating.
Young's Literal: An imagination supported You fortify peace—peace! For in You it is confident.
Your imagination is your ability to see with your heart what you can’t see with your eyes. Your imagination is how you think, how you meditate, how you understand, and how you remember things. We really can’t do anything without our imagination.
God's Word comes alive when you can picture what it’s talking about. Let the Word of God control your imagination as you think about scriptures, and you will see things in Scripture that you can’t see with your physical eyes. You see it on the inside…in your imagination.
Your imagination is a powerful entity. It can cause the hair on the back of our neck to stand up, our spirit to soar, or our face to blush. Imagination is the power that holds our beliefs together; we believe with our imagination. Imagination is the wellspring of faith and hope. Our biggest and best dreams for ourselves and others rise from the imagination.
It is the work of the imagination to reinterpret and reform repeated assumptions and expectations. When we enlarge the context, we refocus, or we see it through a wider lens. Imagination is the work of seeing through a wider lens. When you enlarge your perceptions using your God-given imagination, you give yourself the opportunity to turn from the negative aspects of your past, to get rid of the excess baggage, and to face the journey into the future with hope.
You may be saying, "But I don't know how to meditate." However, if you know how to worry, then you know how to meditate.
Worry is when you take a negative idea and continue to think on it over and over, and it will usually start to affect you negatively. When you take a Truth from Scripture and think on it over and over, we call that meditation. Meditation just means you focus your attention over and over on the Word of God. When one continually mutters God’s Word to himself, he is constantly thinking about it. The benefits will be a blessing.
Pastor John Piper gives an interesting word picture of meditation writing: “If you want to be filled with the Spirit of passion and exultation over the great things of God, you must fill your mind day and night with the Word of God. Pour over it. Memorize it. Chew it. Put it like a lozenge under the tongue of your soul and let it flavor your affections day and night.”
Pastor Warren W. Wiersbe writes, “The believer’s mind should become like a “spiritual computer.” It should be so saturated with Scripture that when he faces a decision or a temptation, he automatically remembers the Scriptures that relate to that particular situation. It is the ministry of the Holy Spirit to bring God’s Word to our minds when we need it. But the Spirit of God cannot remind you of something that you have not learned! You must first let him teach you the Word. You must memorize the Scripture that He opens up to you. Then the Spirit of God will be able to remind you of what you have learned.”
Finally, in Isaiah 26:3 God’s promised peace has two conditions: First, it is for those who trust in Him, which means to commit ourselves to the Lord, lean on him, and hope confidently in Him. Second, it is for those who fix their thoughts on God using their imagination. We are often preoccupied and have our minds focused on many other things. Some of us seem to have a tape in our minds that keeps replaying a list of responsibilities, tasks and scheduled activities, problems and burdens, and the tragedies and fearful things going on in the world around us. But when we use our God-given imagination and fix our minds and thoughts on the character and attributes of the Lord our God, we have something different playing in our minds: the reminder that God is our everlasting rock, our refuge in times of trouble, the Lord Almighty who holds the whole world and each of us individually in His hands. With God as our focus and with our faith firmly fixed on him, we can experience the truth of this verse: He will keep us in perfect and constant peace no matter what happens. It’s a promise.
Heavenly Father, I need Your peace today. I ask you to help me to do these things: to lean on you, to meditate on your character and attributes, and to trust you with all my heart. Thank You for Your promise that Your perfect peace will guard my heart and mind. In Christ, we are relaxed and at peace in the midst of the confusions, bewilderments, and perplexities of this life, because we trust in You. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.