Stayed Mind

Isaiah 26:3
  Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee; because he trusteth in thee.

   There is much talk these days of children (and adults) with attention problems.  Distractibility and hyperactivity are blamed on everything from television to brain damage.  However, for the most part, we do not expect or teach our children to focus their attention and hold it.  The mind of man can be trained to attend and stay focused.  The Word of God says God will keep a person in perfect peace when that person's mind is stayed upon Him.

   Just as you train a dog to sit and stay, you can train your mind to stay upon God and His Word.  Sometimes you have to physically push the dog's hind end to the ground at first and say: "sit."  Then you take a couple of steps back and point to the dog and say: "stay."  You do this over and over, day after day, until the dog learns to sit and stay at your command.  A dog can learn to sit and stay for very long periods of time with proper training.  A trained dog will sit and wait outside a store as his master shops.  You can command your mind to stay in the same way.  At first it will be quite a task.  Your mind is used to wandering.  When you train your mind to stay upon God and think His Word you must keep commanding it back to the Word when it wanders.  Just like the dog, who at first will get back up and start to follow you, you take your mind back to the Word and tell it to stay put.  The key is you must have something to focus on.  You must put God's Word in your mind when it wanders to other things.   That means learning some scripture.  Memorizing.  Retaining.  And that means learning to pray and stay focused on God.

   Jesus Christ had so trained his mind to focus upon God, that when a distracting situation was presented to him, he just stayed his mind upon God.

John 8:2-6a
   And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.
   And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,
   They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.
   Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?
   This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. . .

    Here was Jesus, teaching the Word, when right in the middle of his presentation the scribes and Pharisees set this woman and challenged him.  They were not interested in the truth of God's Word that he was teaching.  They also were not interested in the need of the woman.  The Word says that they brought this question to him to tempt and accuse him.  What a distraction!  What opportunity for your mind to be pulled off of the Word!

John 8:6:b
   But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.

   The words "as though he heard them not" are in italic print because they were not in the original text.  Jesus did not write on the ground to ignore the question of the woman caught in adultery.  Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground to keep his focus on God and search the scripture in his mind.  In the Bible lands young children are taught to stay their minds on God and learn to write at the same time by writing "GOD" in the sand.  Many times I put the word "GOD" at the top of an e-mail or letter.  I do this to put God first and to focus attention and stay my mind upon God.  Jesus Christ stooped down and wrote "GOD" on the ground as he focused his mind and searched the Word for the proper response to the distraction of his accusers.

John 8:7-9
   So when they continued asking him, [the distraction did not quit - but Jesus stayed focused on God] he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
   And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
   And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

   Jesus Christ did not let the distraction of his accusers move his mind off of the Word of God.  He searched the scripture in his mind and asked God for the proper response.  When he knew how to handle the situation according to the Word, he spoke.  The distraction left and he was able to minister to the needs of the woman.  That is stayed mind.

Psalm 25:5
Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.
Psalm 27:14
   Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.
Psalm 40:1
   I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.
Psalm 130:5
   I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.
Isaiah 40:31
   But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

   To wait on the Lord requires action.  The Hebrew word for wait means to turn or twist.  It is to turn your mind upon God and wait for a response.  When Jesus Christ needed to ordain 12 apostles (Luke 6:12-13), he spent all night in prayer to God.  It takes time and practice to get to the point of being able to stay focused on God and His Word for long periods of time.  But the rewards of stayed mind are strength and guidance from God.

Isaiah 50:7
   For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.

   A flint is a very hard stone that will not move.  When we set our minds upon God, He will help us and we will not be distracted or confounded because He is our help.  Just like the dog, trained to stay upon the command of his master, we keep our face set like a flint upon God.

July, 1998
Michael Cortright