God will quiet your heart when you take heed of all Jesus taught, which Paul through the Holy Spirit also taught, concerning the peace which surpasses knowledge. He really will guard your inner being.
Lately I’ve noticed how many unbelievers are grasping for this peace through ‘mindfulness’ and countless other means. And though believers are promised it, in union with Christ, we either deny the reality or continue to present ourselves as slaves to an opposing mindset without realizing it.
Don’t dislike me for this idea brethren, this is found clearly in Romans 6. Part of crucifying our flesh, or laying down our old man, is laying down the idea that fear, worry, doubt, ignorance, anxious thoughts, grumbling, and weariness are the only reality we can take part in. Jesus says “the Kingdom of God is here!” and we cry “but not really!”
Take a moment to read Romans 6. Supposing you could present your members to God as slaves of righteousness and flourishing. And supposing you could yet hope in God in the midst of tribulations and sufferings (which all true believers will experience in this world). And supposing His peace could guard your hearts and minds, and He could renew your inner man day by day… Then would we not want to learn how to “present ourselves to God as those alive from the dead”?
(this is not a post addressing clinical anxiety or depression which may require medical intervention. For a thorough discussion on that, I highly recommend purchasing “Finding Quiet” by J.P. Moreland, and praising God for modern medicine. Our bodies and minds need help in this fallen world.)
Pray as David did in Psalm 131
Having composed and quieted your heart–by focusing on who He is, and the truth of His steadfast love, and the beauty of His holiness, and the perfection of His goodness and glory.
Learning how to focus is a hurdle for most Americans, but is both possible, and rewarding. Compose and quiet your soul by silencing the lies and doubts and worries that creep in. Hold them up to the word of His power and watch them fade away. This will take time on your part.
To start training yourself to focus, to quiet your heart, to silence the other voices, make a list of verses that outline a view of His glory, His love, His goodness, His power and Sovereignty. Read them often, letting them become a part of who you are, letting them be the lens through which you see your circumstances. Give yourself a few weeks to gather a good list, dedicate time to this.
If you are new to this, this will take weeks of practice before you are able to say as David did: I have composed and quieted my heart. Devote yourself to His Word, to prayer, and to seeking Him with your whole heart and you will be delighted. The fruit will grow, but not overnight.
Focus on the hope we have in Him, the hope of glory. Focus on His promises. Especially the ones in Revelation. Let your mind linger there, often. Daily. He will refresh you, and He will keep you in His perfect peace, and guard your heart and mind (not either/or, but both! You may try to disconnect them as a Western thinker would, but you cannot separate what God has created to be whole).
As you grow in this practice of praying in the Spirit, or praying from a posture of abiding in His Word, your experience of His joy and peace will increase. It was His desire that it be so. Journal through Jeremiah 33:6-9; John 14:27; John 15:11; John 16:33; John 17:13.
We may distance ourselves from enjoying Him, or from ‘feeling’ His presence–but we remain united to Him as a branch to a Vine. We remain in union with Him though we sin. Nothing can separate us from His love! Bring to His cross the ‘things’ that make you feel separation, and hear His Words: I will never leave you nor forsake you.
Then return again to Philippians 4, and be reminded that He who will never leave you, has promised to fill you with His peace, His flourishing, eternal, Kingdom life. Lean into Him as a weaned child would to his mama (Psalm 131). Rest your weary soul in Him. He will quiet you in His love.