Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Steadfast means...

I'm returning to a new normal.  Or perhaps it would make more sense to say that the emotional instability that I was dealing with after my car accident is fading away.

The things God has demonstrated to me in these last two months have changed me, though. He makes all things new... He doesn't just reset them to how they were.  His kind of restoration recreates each part of me to the "me" that He knew before I was conceived in a sinful world.


Two verses have spoken to me a lot in these past few weeks. I'll share one now and the other in the next day or two for the new year.

The first is in the old King James Version. I haven't read that version in years, but evidently, way back in my childhood, something impressed this verse on me:
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee; because he trusteth in Thee.  - Is. 26:3
 "Perfect peace" is such a powerful phrase, isn't it? But this verse is saying it applies to those whose mind is "stayed on" God.  That means "focused on God" doesn't it?  I thought so, but I wanted to be sure... so I went to look it up in the super-literal NASB:
The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace,
Because he trusts in You.
"Wait a minute!" I thought. "Steadfast? That doesn't mean the same thing as "stayed on Him" does it?"  And I began a word study.

It turns out that "steadfast" does not just mean "steady" like I would have defined it. Merriam-Webster says it this way:
Steadfast: Very devoted or loyal to a person, belief, or cause; not changing.
That definition made me think of a dog whose full attention is constantly on its master... or a fanatic whose every action somehow has something to do with the cause they have dedicated their life toward.

For us, a "steadfast" mind actually reflects a lifestyle. A system of values. Something deeper than just the mind. Something that comes from the heart and affects everything a person does and everything thought that goes through their mind.

This verse is saying that when our mind is steadfast toward Him, that is when He keeps us in perfect peace.

Wow. Small wonder that so few of us are really experiencing this perfect peace all the time!

That last part of the verse explains why it works this way. Because the steadfast person trusts in Him.

You see... you cannot possibly be "very devoted or loyal to God" unless you trust Him. It's simply not possible because of who He is... because part of following someone is trusting them.,, because He asks those who give their lives to Him to trust Him.

Truthfully, I don't think you can't truly know Him without coming to trust Him more and more and more anyway. The more I know Him, the more I understand what He did and does and wants to do for me, and the more I understand how powerful and capable and loving He is. The natural result is trusting Him in more and more areas of my life.

But it is a process, isn't it? How steadfast we are at the moment matters less than the direction we're headed. Just as changing from glory to glory is a process, so is becoming steadfast in God... and so is the learning to dwell in a reality that is encompassed by that oh-so-desirable perfect peace.

These past two months, as some areas of my life became more and more storm-tossed, I discovered that the delineation between that storm and His "perfect peace" became more defined. It became easier to see which parts of my life were settled in a steadfast-towards-Him attitude and which were still embedded in the overwhelmed Katie's-still-trying-to-control-it parts. Each part of my life, I could go about in a steadfast-toward-Him manner... or I could try to go about it on my own. The result of one was stress. The result of the other was peace.

Oh what a difference!

My desire for 2015 is to explore more of what it means to be steadfast toward Him!



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