Isaiah 21:4 MSG Absolutely stunned, horror-stricken, I had hoped for a relaxed evening, but it has turned into a nightmare.
Isaiah 21:4 NLT My mind reels and my heart races. I longed for evening to come, but now I am terrified of the dark.
Have you ever had this happen to you? You’ve planned a needed night of relaxation… when all of a sudden bad reports come or you get assaulted with thoughts about your job or upcoming projects and your heart begins to race. Don’t let your relaxing evening become a nightmare, you can take those thoughts captive.
This doesn’t mean that problems won’t arise, your phone won’t ring, or those “overwhelming” thoughts won’t come. It does mean that it doesn’t have to end in disaster for you.
This Scripture is actually a prophetic word spoken by Isaiah the prophet pertaining to the Babylonian Empire and their demise at the hand of the Medes and Persians. Daniel records its fulfillment in Daniel chapter 5. Isaiah 21:4 describes the horror Belshazzar and his officials felt as the Persian military snuck into their fortress and surprised everyone in the middle of a party.
However, this prophecy was given to provide comfort to God’s people that although they would be carried off to Babylon, that Babylonian rule would not last forever and the kingdom of Babylon would be destroyed. Just like the terror mentioned in this verse that came suddenly upon the Babylonians was not for God’s people, panic-filled thoughts are not for His people today.
Jesus said we would experience difficulty in this world. That may mean that our planned night of relaxation is interrupted by a bad phone call or other overwhelming thoughts, but your night doesn’t have to become a nightmare. You can take those thoughts captive in a number of ways:
1. PREVENTATIVE: Do something to avoid the anxiety. You can turn off your phone or at least screen your calls. You are not as important as you think. Change your message to let people know you aren’t available and who they can call in an emergency. Many times the emergency that would have stolen your refreshing evening is resolved or better a few hours later. You can even check your voice mail and have a moment to process the situation instead of having your peace startled out of you by the panic of the person on the other line. If you need to respond, you’ll be composed and not in shock.
2. PROACTIVE: Pray for your evening ahead of time and believe God for a peaceful, relaxing, distractions free night. Cast your cares upon the Lord (1 Peter 5:7). He really does care for you. Worrying about something only amplifies anxiety. FEAR NOT! He is with you. He is for you. He is in you. And He is faithful.
3. RESPONSIVE: Take those fearful thoughts captive (2 Cor 10:5). Should a bad report or overwhelming thought come? Instead of thinking about it, choose to think on things that are: true, noble, just, pure, lovely, good news, virtuous, and praiseworthy (Phil 4:8). These are the things God has given us to think about. Combat thoughts of fear with thoughts of faith.
Don’t allow your relaxing evening to become a nightmare. Trust in the Lord to take care of others, Cast your cares on Him, and Take fearful thoughts captive and guard your heart by thinking the God given list of things to think about and FEAR NOT.