In Isaiah 7, Judah is being threatened and Isaiah gets’s a word from the Lord to go and meet Ahaz and share this message:
TAKE HEED AND BE QUIET; FEAR NOT
I think there is an important picture here for us today.
Firstly, in your situation, ‘take heed’. This is old phrase meaning ‘to listen and follow’. When we encounter challenges in our life the first thing to do, is listen. So often we rush in with our own ideas and plans. We need to stop and listen, then follow what God has to tell us.
The second thing is to be quiet. I remember a long time ago, the Holy Spirit very clearly told me to ‘Shut Up’.. You may think ‘that isn’t the way God speaks’, but I know it was God and it wasn’t harsh, but it was most definitely what I needed to do at that moment. At another time in my life, the Holy Spirit told me to ‘hold my peace’. At first, I thought that He again meant me to be quiet, but I realized that ‘holding my peace’, while it can mean I need to stop talking, it was more about holding onto the peace that Jesus gave us. ‘Quiet’ in the bible may refer to saying nothing, but it is more about a state of being than an activity: to be tranquil, be at peace, be quiet, rest, lie still, be undisturbed
We can only stay in this state of peace, by keeping our focus in one place! God will keep us in perfect peace when our mind (imagination) is stayed on him. (You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3).
Quite often we can let go of peace trying to keep hold of something else (being right, justifying ourselves, revenge, spite, pride, frustration). We let our imaginations run riot over every possibility or negative turn. Instead we need to realize how valuable and important God’s peace is in our lives.
Finally from that position of listening to God, following his voice and being in peace, we can be unafraid.
All of the points from this verse (take heed, be quiet & fear not) are commands/instructions not requests or suggestions. Sometimes when we’ve ministered to people and we say things like this, they say “Oh you don’t get it!! I can’t…” The truth is if it says in God’s word DO such and such, it would be unjust and unfair for God to say that if we couldn’t do it! When God says to FEAR NOT, it’s an instruction. God is telling us that the responsibility for not being afraid is with us..
So we see there is a pattern – first we need to listen to God, fix our eyes on him, and not let our imaginations run wild, but instead bring our thoughts in line with what God has to say and chose not to be in fear, trusting that he is our faithful God!
Have a great week.