The Steadfast Mind
Paul L. Garlington
 
“In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: ‘We have a strong city; He sets up walls and ramparts for security. Open the gates, that the righteous nation may enter, the one that remains faithful. The STEADFAST OF MIND Thou wilt keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in Thee.’” (Is 26:1).

The most oft used word for peace in scripture is Shalom. Shalom is more than just a Jewish expression of greeting or farewell. It is a wholistic, all inclusive term. Specifically, shalom or peace means: 1. To be whole, complete, entire, lacking in nothing; 2. To experience health, wealth, success, happiness, total security, rest from one’s enemies (i.e., the lack of all things), freedom from anxious care; and 3. To live in harmony with God, or in tune with the Infinite ONE. In other words, if you were given a choice between 50 million dollars or shalom, take shalom; between the perfect mate or shalom, take shalom; between the job promotion or shalom, take shalom. Shalom is the greater that includes the lesser. Every good and perfect gift is included in shalom.

In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for Thou alone, O Lord, dost make me to dwell in safety.” (Ps 4:8) “I will hear what God the Lord will say; for He will speak peace to His people, to His godly ones.” (Ps 85:8a) “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace WHOSE MIND IS STAYED ON THEE BECAUSE HE TRUSTETH IN THEE.” (Is 26:3 KJV) The one whose mind is stayed on God is in harmony with God, he is in tune with the infinite. For such a one, life is a continuous symphony. There is a melody, harmony, rhythm and flow to their lives that is pure music. Is this worth embracing the discipline of keeping your mind focused on God? Are you willing to give up the human drama to have this kind of life? When your life flows effortlessly in this way, you are constantly observing and enjoying the music that God is, knowing that God is living that perfect life as all that I am. Is this doable? Of course! Is it something that is going to happen to you tomorrow? Probably not, but do we quit the second grade because we are afraid we won’t finish college? No, we press on with a steadfast mind.

Solomon is a beautiful illustration of the steadfast mind. As a matter of fact, Solomon’s name means peace or peaceful, shalom. King Solomon, a man of world wide renown for his wisdom, was designated by God to build the Lord’s house (i.e., the consciousness of God), specifically because he was a man of peace. “Then he called for his son Solomon, and charged him to build a house for the Lord God of Israel. And David said to Solomon, ‘My son, I had intended to build a house to the name of the Lord my God. But the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “YOU HAVE SHED MUCH BLOOD, AND HAVE WAGED GREAT WARS; YOU SHALL NOT BUILD A HOUSE TO MY NAME, BECAUSE YOU HAVE SHED SO MUCH BLOOD ON THE EARTH BEFORE ME. BEHOLD, A SON SHALL BE BORN TO YOU, WHO SHALL BE A MAN OF REST; AND I WILL GIVE HIM REST FROM ALL HIS ENEMIES ON EVERY SIDE; FOR HIS NAME SHALL BE SOLOMON, AND I WILL GIVE PEACE AND QUIET TO ISRAEL IN HIS DAYS. HE SHALL BUILD A HOUSE FOR MY NAME, AND HE SHALL BE MY SON, AND I WILL BE HIS FATHER; AND I WILL ESTABLISH THE THRONE OF HIS KINGDOM OVER ISRAEL FOREVER.” ’ ” (1 Chron 22:6-10) Do you see it? Only from a place of inner peace that surpasses all understanding can we reestablish the consciousness of God, good as all there is. War is resistance and we are expressly told to, “Resist not evil.” “You need not fight...; station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf.” (2 Chron 20:17) Peace builds the house of God and those who dwell there enjoy rest from all surrounding enemies.

When Jacob awoke from his dream and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place and I knew it not,” he was also enjoying great peace. His awareness of the presence of God, here, there, and everywhere, was all that was required to enable him, as a man of peace, to return to Bethel, the house of God. Everyone, without exception, who has experienced peace, has also discovered that it is always accompanied by a feeling of, “All is well.” There is an awesome renewal of the conviction that my life in every area is unfolding precisely as it should.

“And the house, while it was being built, was built of stone prepared at the quarry, and there was neither hammer nor ax nor any iron tool heard in the house while it was being built.” (1 Kng 6:7) Everything necessary for the building of the house by peace is provided by peace as well, such that there is no sweat, struggle or efforting whatsoever on our part. Everything necessary in the building of the house comes already prepared and blends in perfectly and harmoniously like a beautiful symphony.

“In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream at night; and God said, ‘Ask what you wish me to give you.’ Then Solomon said, ‘Thou hast shown great lovingkindness to Thy servant David my father, according as he walked before Thee in truth and righteousness and uprightness of heart toward Thee; and Thou hast reserved for him this great lovingkindness, that Thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. And now, O Lord my God, Thou hast made Thy servant king in place of my father David, yet I am but a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And Thy servant is in the midst of Thy people which Thou hast chosen, a great people who cannot be numbered or counted for multitude. So give Thy servant an understanding (or hearing) heart to judge Thy people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Thine?’” (1 Kng 3:5-9) Now remember, what is the consequence of maintaining the steadfast mind? A HEARING HEART!I will hear what God the Lord will say...” And what does God say? “...For He will speak peace to His people, to His godly ones, but let them not turn back to folly.” Hence, it is sheer folly to let anything distract you from the steadfast mind. Do you see the wisdom of Solomon in asking for a hearing heart? When you have a hearing heart, there is only one thing you need or desire to hear -- PEACE. The restoration of peace is all that is necessary to recover the joyful experience of having it all.

“And it was pleasing in the sight of the Lord that Solomon had asked this thing. And God said to him, ‘Because you have asked this thing and have not asked for yourself long life, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have you asked for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself discernment to understand justice, behold, I have done according to your words. Behold, I have given you a wise and discerning heart, so that there has been no one like you before you, nor shall one like you arise after you.’” Is this your position? Is Solomon giving articulation to your heart’s desire? Or have you, in lieu of the hearing heart, asked for riches, long life, or perhaps, somebody’s head on a platter? Solomon (peace) will always ask for a hearing heart and discover, to his never-ending joy, that he has received infinitely more than he ever could have humanly imagined. “And I have also given you what you have not asked, both riches and honor.” In other words, the hearing heart that always and exclusively hears peace, also includes riches and honor. It is an all-inclusive package. To be crystal clear, the one who has a steadfast mind has peace, in addition to riches, honor and a long life in this dimension if such is desired. Therefore, He says, “And if you walk in My ways (i.e., don’t turn to folly, belief in two powers), keeping My statutes and commandments, as your father David walked, then I will prolong your days (i.e., to enjoy in this dimension, “It’s all good” as long as you desire).” (1 Kng 3:11-13)

What then is the steadfast mind?
  1. It is a mind fixed, set in its direction as a steadfast gaze. The Psalmist said, “O Lord, my heart is FIXED.” FIXED as opposed to wavering; FIXED as opposed to being one who’s always wishy-washy, forever in two minds; in, out, up today, down tomorrow. The steadfast mind is one that is always FIXED, immovable, and unshakable.
  2. It is having 100% resolve or intent to glorify the One, besides whom, there is none else.
  3. It is unwavering devotion and total loyalty accompanied by a joy unspeakable and full of glory.


In other words, the steadfast mind is one in which the thoughts and the imagination is stayed exclusively on God. Since, God is all in all, inclusive of perfect everything, is there anything else to contemplate? In other words, because the One life, functioning as the life I am, is the only power, action, and mind in existence, one can only “turn” one’s thoughts to folly, futility, and illusion.

We must, therefore, with total commitment Think, Imagine (Heartsight), Feel, See (outer sight) that God/good is all there is (TIFS). “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Gen 6:5) The King James Version says, “The imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” What does it mean to indulge in evil thinking and imagining? From a dualistic position (i.e., belief in two powers), an evil mind and imagination means lusting after someone’s wife, getting drunk, stealing, or lying on your tax return, etc. On the contrary, when we begin with God as all in all, entertaining in thought or imagination lies about God, good is the only logical definition of evil.

For even though they knew God (i.e., we assume all men know this truth even when they act as if they don’t. Why? It is simply being suppressed in unrighteousness. See Rom 1:18), they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became (i.e., they weren’t always this way) futile in their speculations; and their foolish heart was darkened.” (Rom 1:21) Settle it: All of our problems originate in mind, and all of our problems can only be resolved in mind. Futile speculations (i.e., Thinking that refuses to concede all glory to God as the only power) always leads to vain Imagination (i.e., Seeing pictures of discord caused by the belief in two powers). This inevitably leads to “crappy” moods (i.e., Feeling fear and all of its kindred emotions) resulting in “crappy” experiences (i.e., Seeing in our outer world a mirror reflection of our inner thoughts and imagining). “Accordingly, whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in the inner rooms shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.” (Lk 12:3)

People are always trying to change their experiences or their mood without dealing with their thinking or imagining. Our thoughts and imagination always dictate our mood and experience. In other words, whether we like it or not, we literally tell our bodies what to “see” and “feel.” Therefore, if you would change your life, you’ve got to go back to the source. You must repent of the futile speculations that led inexorably to vain imagination. Hence, we think lies about God, good; imagine evil circumstances; feel fear and anxiety; then manifest in our outer world the fruit of our misguided inner life. It is precisely at this point that the overwhelming majority of people elect to be victims, rather than say with Pogo, “We have found the enemy and he is us.”

ALL MOVEMENT, ACTION, AND TRANSFORMATION OCCURS IN MIND. Because God is already omnipresent, omnipresent being itself cannot move. God cannot expand for God would then be more than infinite, and that is impossible. On the other hand, neither can God contract for God then would be less than infinite, and that is equally impossible. Therefore, all movement in omnipresent being must occur in mind, in thinking. If you find this reality strange or phenomenal, you have only to think about your dreams. How many of us have played out intense, high action drama in our dream state only to awaken to the realization that we never left our bed? It was all a scenario happening in graphic detail exclusively in our minds.

This is such a critical point and explains why James said, “The body without the Spirit (i.e., life, consciousness, awareness) is dead (i.e., insensate, unresponsive). That is, the body without consciousness is totally devoid of the “five senses,” and completely unaware of, or responsive to, the so-called outer world. It is consciousness exclusively that thinks, feels, sees, hears, smells, tastes, and is generally aware. Whatever exists is resident in consciousness alone. Hence, when the Lord says, “Is there a God besides Me?...I know of none,” He is saying in effect, “If I am not aware of another power, it doesn’t exist.” Therefore, what you cease to be aware of in your thoughts and imagination must inevitably fade out of the world of your outer experience. It is for this reason alone that all action, movement, as well as transformation, must occur in mind. Repent for the kingdom of heaven (the realm of perfect everything) is at hand. It is the very thing you have been living in but could not see because futile speculation and vain imagination had totally obscured your heartsight.

Energy, joy, enthusiasm are all products of the mind. When your mind and imagination functions in tune with truth, you immediately begin to feel joy and experience wonderful circumstances. Remember, the one whose mind is stayed on God is in harmony with God, and experiences his life as a continuous symphony.

So again, as soon as you entertain futile speculation, exchanging the truth for the lie in your thinking about God, you create a VAIN imagination, preoccupied with imagining all kinds of things and situations that are not good, at which point your joyful mood goes down the drain, immediately followed by all of your wonderful experiences. There is utterly no alternative to the steadfast mind for this mind, and this mind alone, is kept in perfect peace, shalom. And shalom is inclusive of perfect everything.

When we resolve to have that steadfast mind, we will think, imagine, feel and see (TIFS) that we are: 1. Enjoying the continuous state of being debt free and financially independent; 2. Always being in our perfect place (i.e., our life is always unfolding precisely as it should); 3. Enjoying harmony in all of our relationships and in our daily affairs; and 4. Free from futility to be all that “I Be.” This is called, “The freedom of the glory of the children of God.” (Rom 8:21)

To think, imagine and feel these things is to literally decree what we will see in our outer world. There is no other way, and we can only do this inner work through repentance. “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Cor 10:5)

When everyone of our thoughts have been made captive to the obedience of Christ then there will come to pass in our experience the words of Jesus, “...The works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do.” (Jn 14:12)

 
 

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