The conditions of life that we often ache for, we already have. Above everything else, inner peace is what we crave. We wish for moments of tranquility that will serve as a breath of fresh air before we’re launched back into the unfolding chaos around us.
What if we dare think that ‘moments’ of peace could become consistent inner peace as our reality of life?
Transformed Thinking Is The Way
As the Apostle Paul stated it, “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
The solution is transformation. The hub of the wheel is a renewed way of thinking. Our minds have lost their way.
What if we come to realize, in contemporary computer jargon, that we already own, through Christ, a superior Operating System that will never need any upgrades? It’s the Infinite Kingdom Operating System. In fact, our OS comes pre-bundled with love, joy, peace, patience, endurance, etc. (Galatians 5:22-23). Being bundled with the IKOS, these ‘programs’ are more advanced in capability than their natural counterparts.
Activating Our ‘Programs’
Activating the programs of our Infinite Kingdom Operating System doesn’t require years of special spiritual training. It doesn’t depend on theological degrees, or the ability to remember and understand doctrinal foundations.
(Now that we’ve established computerese as a plausible way of understanding our intangible self, we’ll move on with more common vocabulary.)
Logic Is God’s Gift For A Purpose
The human ability to think logically and diagnostically is a gift from God. It’s necessary for navigating our way through the material world. Systematic building blocks of thought are essential for functioning in the physical world. We need these abilities for building bridges, wiring generators, baking cakes, finding cures for diseases, and material progress in general. Rationality is a vital element of life; but, it’s not the source of life wisdom, itself.
Slow Your Thoughts
Finding consistent peace doesn’t require the activity of more naturally rational thinking. The necessary condition for realizing the quality of God’s peace is learning how to slow your thoughts down so that your mental process returns to its God-designed purpose: Servanthood. It helps us to communicate with a natural world, the eternal ‘Mind of Christ’. (1 Corinthians 2:16)
Detached from the mind of Christ, the logical reasoning process isn’t smart enough, or wise enough to successfully navigate life in a broken world. The abundance of life that Jesus freely gives us (John 10:10) is so awesome and yet practical for daily life that searching its depths with natural reasoning power is like attempting to explore the depths of the Milky Way with a $5 pair of binoculars.
It’s an established reality of psychology that the number of thoughts that bombards the average person in Western society is 35-48 fragments per minute. When we consider the subconscious ramifications of those fragments the amount of information our minds are processing at any given moment is exponentially higher and inundating in volume.
As someone put it, “Our Western minds are like cages of drunken monkeys on crack!”
Peace is not “out there” in the world around us. The peace that thrives in a place beyond rational understanding is “in here” (point to your chest).
The drunken monkeys of the mind have to be tamed.
“Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
The Mind Returning To Its Original Design And Purpose
Retraining and returning our mental process to its original design is not complicated. Complication infers lots of mental activity. The average mind loves that. It’s become well trained over generations and is, naturally, very comfortable with chasing tornadoes of speculation. The natural process of rational thinking, like a drug addiction, craves the next fix…the next high.
Our natural minds have long forgotten that ‘being high on (real) life’ far exceeds, in quality, the temporary counterfeit thrill that needs frequent feeding lest it tumbles into the pit of despair and depression.
Seems Too Simple
The Western mind has learned to thrive on, and honor, complexity. Therefore, ‘simple’ has seemingly less value, and the simplicity of the process to quiet the natural mind becomes a stumbling block. A barrier. God’s Kingdom within His children, however, is so simple a child can do it.
Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (Mark 10:15)
The Psalmist said, “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10). That verse can also be read, “Cease striving (to) know (experience) the I AM God.” Most of the striving that we experience is not physical activity, but instead the striving of our minds.
Taming Not Emptying
Don’t be mislead by any self-proclaimed guru. It is not possible to cease thinking. Just wondering if I’ve emptied my mind of thoughts is, in itself, a thought. The goal is to tame one’s thoughts. Train them to slow down as they line up, as a servant, behind the Presence of God.
Lining Up One’s Thoughts
Remember… this is going to be simple. I didn’t say easy. It has to be a re-learned behavior that’s not easy. The mind is used to being in control. It doesn’t submit easily. It will ‘balk’ in all sorts of creative ways. It will appeal to your pride to be rational. However, if you’re willing to learn to be ‘simple’, like a cranky child, your mental process will discover that the real and eternal you has decided to be boss and it will begin getting in line.
How To Begin
Begin realizing you are learning to experience something you already possess. Next, relax without pressuring yourself to experience something. When you pressure yourself to experience, your mind is actively engaged as a ‘searchlight’. It’s doing what it likes best…analyzing. That is counterproductive to calming and taming the mind. The process of refocusing on His Presence will produce whatever He knows is good for that moment. Just believe that the most important thing to accomplish is gently refocusing your attention to God’s Presence.
A Practical Tool
To begin, practice taming and refocusing your thoughts at a time and space where you won’t be distracted for at least 15-20 minutes. You’ll be confident you are in a space where you can relax without interruption. For some in our busy world, and with young families, that may sound nearly impossible. But, the time can be found.
Now, slowly breathe paying attention to your breath. As you do so, allow your heart to worship with a simple word. I personally use the name, Abba. That’s the intimate Hebrew form of Father.
It may interest you to note that the most authentic way Yahweh (LORD) was heard was the simple sound of breath inhaled and exhaled. It was more of an entonation than a pronunciation. I sometimes listen to myself inhale and exhale knowing that I’m worship His name.
When Thoughts Arise
Be still allowing your attention to rest on your worship word, or listening to your breath ‘say’ Yahweh. After a few minutes and you more fully relax, you’ll sense I AM with you as part of you. It will be the kind of ‘sensing’ that is very hard to explain with words. You know…but you can’t really explain it.
At first, the amounts of time will be briefer because your mind will be battling you, not wanting to get in line behind the interior Mind of Christ. But, as you apply this simple exercise as a habit rather than a hobby, you’ll find your way of thinking is transforming. When daily disturbances intrude, you’ll begin realizing you are automatically ‘looking’ to your Christ mind.
Transformation of What You Think To How You Think
Your natural mind will increasingly become your servant, helping you to sense the wisdom of God in what confronts you. The tempo of your life will still be full of your normal activities, but they will ride on the waters of peace instead of feeling like you’re riding the swells of a storm-raged ocean.
You’ll enjoy increasing times with the Prince of Peace being your faithful companion.
Your presence wrapped with and generating His Presence will embrace your ‘neighbor’ representing the quality and nature of God’s Kingdom.
You’ll find that you’ve always had the peace, love, joy, wisdom, and power that supernaturally calms the chaos that surrounds us. Now, you know the simplicity of living in it as a habit of life.
Stillness is a learned habit, not a temporary (I’ll give it a try) hobby. It will take the consistency of time to enrich the experience. But, transform? It will!
Don’t strive while you’re learning. There not one ‘right way’. Your intention for stillness is the most important. I’ve explained the simplicity that truly works for me. (So, give it a good chance? 🙂 ) But, also, experiment to find the best path for you to more fully know the powerful, supernatural peace and wisdom that’s found in the mind of Christ.