If we don’t bring it to God, we don’t get peace. Why on earth would we choose to sit in our overwhelm and anxiety, holding on instead of bringing it to God? It doesn’t make sense, yet that’s what we do. We forfeit the gift of peace over and over again as we play the scenarios in our head and try to fix things on our own. But, it doesn’t work does it?

The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing expecting a different result. No God, no peace. No surrender, no strength. No trust, no guidance. Yet here we are expecting to receive guidance, but we haven’t decided to really trust God fully. Honestly, we’re still holding back. We’re hoping to be strengthened, but we haven’t fully surrendered, so we’re exhausted.

Isaiah 26:3, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”

It’s one thing to have peace, but God is offering PERFECT PEACE to anyone who will trust in him and keep their thoughts fixed on him. What would perfect peace look like in your current ‘less than perfect’ situation? Wouldn’t it look like being able to sleep? Wouldn’t it look like waking up without the weight of your burdens? Wouldn’t it look like confidently taking the next steps instead of being stuck? Wouldn’t it look like being unshakable, unbothered and determined? Wouldn’t it look like strength and joy through it all? Yes, that’s what perfect peace looks like. Do you want it?

God will keep you in that perfect peace when you trust him and choose to focus on him. When your mind wanders off in worry, creating feelings of overwhelm and anxiety, you’re forfeiting God’s perfect peace. Girl, lasso your thoughts and get them back in the corral – they’ve been running wild again!

I don’t know about you, but I personally go through seasons of focusing on God, then seasons of my thoughts running down dark alleys of worst case scenarios and jumping off cliffs of utter destruction. It’s really not about the circumstances of my life, it’s simply a result of me getting lazy with my focus. When I get lazy, my thoughts run wild and wreck havoc on my peace.

As humans, our minds naturally wander off course. Keeping our focus on God requires intentional daily effort. What are you doing daily to get your thoughts zeroed in on the one who offers perfect peace?

I’ve found a few things that help me focus on God and trust him fully, maybe they will help you too:

  1. My Bible

For many years, I’ve used only a digital Bible searching for scriptures online. It worked for our vagabond traveling lifestyle, but it also felt impersonal. Since returning to a print bible that I can hold, flip through and write in, I’ve noticed a difference in my trust level and my thought pattern.

If you don’t have a print Bible, may I suggest you get yourself one? I use the Experiencing God study Bible which is on sale on Amazon right now for $37. I use the Mr. Pen brand pens and wax highlighters to make notes as I read.

If you have a Bible, but it’s been collecting dust, return to a daily commitment of opening it up and reading. Even for just 5 minutes. I’m telling you, it will make a difference. It will change your thought pattern and trust level. And with that trust in God and thoughts focused on him, you will be kept in perfect peace. Yes, the peace that helps you sleep again. The peace that helps you wake up without dread. The peace that helps you move forward and get unstuck.

  1. Prayer

The second thing that helps me focus on God and trust him fully is prayer. Don’t tune me out here. I know, if you’re out of the habit of talking with God, prayer can seem like a box to check out of obligation that changes absolutely nothing. But it does change something … let me tell you what it changes first … it changes your mind. When you talk to God about a situation, your thoughts begin to change about it. There’s a release and a surrender.

God doesn’t need your prayers. YOU NEED YOUR PRAYERS TO GOD. This is for you! You’re designed to thrive in connection with your creator. Without this connection, you live in confusing chaos where nothing makes sense and everything is a mess.

Never forget, your prayers allocate the power of God. Where do you want to send his power? Prayer directs his power like a flashlight shines light where you point it. And when you’ve prayed about it, you can release it.

God is continually taking us on a journey of learning to trust him more. Of living with open hands instead of clinched fists, with hearts and minds that say if God’s in it, we want it, but if he’s not, we don’t. On this journey, we still have a long way to go, but we’re certainly getting better. God is so patient with us!

  1. Creation

The third thing that helps me focus on God and trust him fully is being in his creation. Romans 1:20, “Through everything God made, we can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So we have no excuse for not knowing God.” God shows us his power and his nature through his creation. As I write this, I’m sitting on a cliff watching massive waves crash. Our God is the one who commands the waves and can calm them with a single word. I know him more when I look at his creation.

Sitting inside, staring at a screen, you miss the reminders of God’s creation and you overlook his power and divine nature. We are numbed by man-made distractions and noise. We check out, we settle, and we miss the wonder of all God created to keep us engaged. Get yourself outside. Look for God’s fingerprints on the things only he could design and create.

Just last week I was having a conversation with the women I mentor about the rarity of the color hot pink in God’s living creatures. We see all the other colors in the exotic birds and tropical fish, but where have you seen hot pink? Can you think of one? Flamingos are a light pink and apparently there’s a dolphin in the Amazon that’s light pink, but my favorite color is hot pink. Where’s that?

Well, God showed me. Like he personally showed me! We currently live in a little cottage high atop a mountain in Hawaii on the North Shore of Oahu. Our cottage is surrounded by the wild jungle. There are plants growing that I’ve never seen before and more sounds than my ears can hold. The front deck is lined with flowering wild bushes. Over the weekend I noticed a creature I’ve never seen before eating nectar from these flowers. It looked like a hybrid of a humingbird and a moth. It was totally unafraid of me while I stood only inches away, watching it. And to my absolute surprise, guess what color it was? Go ahead and guess … ya’ll this divine creature unlike anything I have ever seen before had hot pink stripes. Legit HOT PINK.

Now that might not matter to a single other living soul, but to me it was a big deal because I had just questioned why God in all of his creative genius didn’t design a creature in my favorite color of hot pink. Now, what are the odds this mysterious never seen before creature would be at my front door step? That’s not odd … that’s God! That’s God being God. That’s God showing his genuine care in the details of our lives in the most unique ways. That’s God personally showing his eternal and divine nature through his creation.

And when you see his creation, you can easily focus on him. And when you focus on him, you receive perfect peace.

Do you notice the peace you feel out in nature? Yes … that’s by design … get yourself in that space more. Look for his power revealed in his creation. Look for his nature in nature. He created it all so that you would have no excuse to not know him. He reveals himself in his creation, and his creation is waiting for you to notice him.

1 Peter 3:11 tells us we must not only seek peace, but we must pursue it. Don’t only look for it, but actively go after it. Pursuing peace is less like sitting in a closet saying, “Lord, please fill me with your peace”, and a whole lot more like carving out dedicated time to read our Bible, intentionally talking with God throughout the day, and noticing his power and divine nature revealed in his creation. This is pursuing peace. And what we receive is perfect!

Perfect peace only God can offer, but it’s up to us to pursue it.

What will you do today to focus your thoughts on God and place your trust in him?

No God, no peace. Know God, know peace.

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