You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
—Isaiah 26:3 (nlt)
When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant [Gehazi] said, “Alas my master! What shall we do?” He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
—2 Kings 6:15–17
The most interesting thing in this story is that nothing changed right away except now the young man’s eyes were opened. The enemy was
still surrounding Elisha and Gehazi, intent on their destruction. But now Gehazi could see what Elisha saw all along: God had sent horses and chariots of fire from heaven to make war on behalf of the prophet and his people. With God’s help, Elisha was able to lead the army away from Israel and send them home.
Why was Elisha so calm in the face of danger? He trusted God and had “perfect peace.”
Perfect means having all of the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics to make something as good as it can possi- bly be. Peace means tranquility and freedom from disturbance.
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. (Isaiah 26:3)
Those who love your instructions have great peace and do not stumble. (Psalm 119:165 nlt)
Is this something you believe can really be true? Perfect peace? In the nearly fifty years I have walked with God, I can assure you that this is very real and it’s yours to have. I can also assure you it is found in only one place and that, my friend, is in His presence in your “secret place,” as Jesus called it.
Pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. (Matthew 6:6 nkjv)
God does not make this hard for us to experience, but we some- times do. God continually goes out of His way by knocking on the door of our hearts and inviting us to come to Him. Remember the very first thing He did when Jesus died on the cross? He split the temple veil immediately so that we could have access to Him. (See Matthew 27:50– 51.) God is holy and His attributes are perfect; in His presence, perfect peace exists because that’s where our eyes are opened.
God is holy and His attributes are perfect; in His presence, perfect peace exists because that’s where our eyes are opened.
Our situations may not change immediately, but we can change because now we see with eyes of faith, and His presence brings perfect peace. Even if the enemy has us surrounded and in the natural, there is no possible way this can end well for us, God and one person is always a majority! Just ask Him to open your eyes and allow you to see Him and what His power is capable of and perfect peace will flood every aspect of your entire being. That’s His promise, that’s His Word, and that’s for you, His child.
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incompara- bly great power for us who believe. (Ephesians 1:18–19 niv)
The apostle Paul wrote these words while he was in prison, so for him, this was a natural outpouring of his state of mind. Paul had experienced the supernatural; he knew it was truth, even behind prison walls, and that’s why his prayer is for our eyes to be opened! Perfect peace can only come through the eyes of our understanding being enlight- ened as we enter behind the veil in prayer with humility and reverence for almighty God.
I’ve had many setbacks both personally and professionally as I’m sure you have. I’ve felt at times as if I was in a prison to the circum- stances that confronted me, not seeing in the natural how it could possibly work out for my good. As I look back over those very rough times in my life, one thing always remained true: if I looked first at myself and took responsibility—spiritually, physically, mentally, and
financially—and sought God in prayer with an honest heart, I was able to walk through whatever He allowed to come my way.
In the morning, start every conversation with God with humility and honesty about anything in life that may not be pleasing to Him. He knows it anyway, but He wants you to acknowledge it because sin is a snare that will entangle you. Honor God in your heart; He really is your heavenly Father, your Abba, your Dad.
You have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”
(Romans 8:15 nlt)
Your responsibility is to eat right, exercise regularly, get enough sleep, and take care of your body.
Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?
(1 Corinthians 6:19 nlt)
Learn as much as possible about the circumstances you are dealing with and get as much trusted professional advice as possible. Make any adjustments necessary. Pull down the negative thoughts that are sure to come; this is part of your daily success. Your mind can be more fully equipped in God’s presence than anywhere else in the universe.
Hopefully, your financial plan—whether a family or business budget—is prepared for the setbacks that usually come in any effort. But if you are like me, and most people I know, some things can never be anticipated. Remember, whatever you are facing financially is not a surprise to God. He knew about this moment before the foundation of the world, and He has the answer for your need today. He is more than able to help us with our financial needs.
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
(Matthew 6:33 nlt)
I don’t want to make light of what you are facing today. I have had moments of despair and unbelief. I’ve questioned my own ability, my faith, and my entire belief system. My wife would find me sitting awake at 3 a.m. wondering how I was going to be able to finish what we started. Building a business, I have been in trouble financially many different times; sometimes, everything felt completely overwhelming. But God was faithful and in the end, there was victory.
Where do you think I learned about God’s ability? Where do you think any child of God grows the most? In the valley or on the moun- taintop? God knows you’re hurting and yet He will use this to bless you and build you into the person you really want to become for His glory.
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. (James 1:2–4 nlt)
That was not the answer I wanted to hear most of the time, but after I surrendered to Him, it made the most sense to me…and it brought me the greatest peace I have ever known.
God can do anything, and today we are going to pray and confess this out loud against the supernatural forces that are designed to fight against us. Today, we are going to pray, as Elisha did, and ask God to open our spiritual eyes so we can see things as they truly are, knowing “there are more on our side than on theirs” (2 Kings 6:16 nlt). Let’s seek His beautiful face for His perfect peace, and then we will seek His all-powerful hand for the provision you need.
Excerpted from “21 Days of Deeper Prayer: Discover an Extraordinary Life in God” by Jim Maxim with Daniel Henderson, © 2020 by Jim Maxim. Published by Whitaker House, New Kensington, PA. Used with permission. All rights reserved. www.whitakerhouse.com.
Free audio prayers found here: www.acts413.net/deeperprayer