Anxiety, unfortunately, has become somewhat of a normality in our world and lives today. There are a lot of views on anxiety and sin, but one thing we can be certain of is it interrupting and debilitating to what you want to accomplish with your life. Anxiety interrupts your life and deviates you from your goals and purpose in life.
Most who deal with anxiety know what should be done. Some even have the “armchair experts” who want to tell you how to overcome anxiety, yet they fail to empathize. If you are a Christian, most likely you know what Bible verses to read or what sermons to seek out. But what are we to do when those become a box we check while we are struggling with anxiety? What do we do when we are gripped with anxiety and cannot seem to shake it?
If we want to overcome anxiety, we have to attack it with intentionality and truth. If we want peace in our lives, we have to overcome negativity and the very thing weighing on us. Peace is often attained through a struggle. Anxiety is certainly a struggle in our lives. But we also know God promises life and life abundantly. (John 10:10)
The simple fact is being overcome with anxiety is not of Him. He wants you to be free from bondage. To find freedom from anxiety, we will need to put things in place to prevent us from losing any ground to the enemy. (Ephesians 4:26-27)
“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your god, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”Deuteronomy 31:6 NKJV
Anxiety is not a fruit of the Spirit, in order to combat it, we have to fight for our peace! Because our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against evil principalities. We need to prepare appropriately in order to withstand the attack!
“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have diving power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.”2 Corinthians 10:3-6 ESV
To defeat an enemy, we must first define it. We need to know what we are up against. Anxiety, in the Greek, can be defined with words such as “burdens, cares, distraction.” Anxiety is a distraction which draws our minds away from the promises God has for us. Anxiety is a mental and spiritual game manifesting itself physically. Our battleground is our minds. In order to attain victory over anxiety, we need to take back the ground which was stolen from us!
Whenever it comes to anxiety, talk is easy. Telling someone how to “snap out of it” is the easy response. When anxiety is on us though, there is a serious weight we feel and have to endure day to day. As I stated earlier, anxiety is in our head, and manifests physically.
This is a battle for a reason, because we must fight! We must be active. We must be proactive because anxiety will hang around as long as we are not willing to fight.
There may not be a 1, 2, 3 step process in dealing with anxiety, but there is always the first thing we go to. We must seek His Word, seek time with Him and seek out fellow believers to uplift us. We must have people willing to get in the pit with us and fight for us.
Anxiety is all too real and all too prevalent. Peace needs to advance. In order to attain peace, anxiety must be kicked out. Let’s start on that journey by seeking these three things:
- His Word
- His Presence
- His children
Fighting anxiety is a daily fight. Sometimes it will be “hand to hand” combat, other times it will be preventative. But we must always be on guard! The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, but Jesus wants us to have life and live it to the fullest. It is difficult to do that when we are bogged down by anxiety.
Anxiety is real. The pain, uncertainty and fear stemming from it is real. If you deal with anxiety, YOU ARE NOT LESS THAN! It simply means your battle is different than others and you will have to adjust your battle plan accordingly. But also know, you are NOT ALONE! Our God has already won, He has the victory, but we must maintain our diligence and keep our battles lines strong. I want to encourage you, if you are dealing and struggling with anxiety to do these three things:
- Seek His Word! Get in the Bible. Continue reading those passages. Memorize them. Write them down. Put them on your mirror, in your care, EVERYWHERE you can. His Word is living and active (Hebrews 4:12) and will provide hope, strength and peace when we allow it to soak into our minds.
- Seek His Face! The Bible is one avenue where God speaks directly to us. Another way is to submerse yourself in worship. Especially during times when anxiety is coming on strong. Worship, even when you don’t feel like it. Let the truth fill your heart and sing out. Singing is one of the best ways to honor God. Lift up your voice and be with Him!
- Seek His Children! God established the church for our benefit, as well as for advancing His gospel. The whole reason we are involved in a body of believers is to be supported and lifted up. When anxiety is hitting you hard, we need to be the ones to reach out to someone we trust and ask for prayer, deliverance and power. His church has purpose, and it goes beyond Sunday mornings.
Anxiety is not the finish line, nor is it something we have to consistently deal with. God desires peace in our hearts, minds and life. If we want peace, we must fight for it! And we must be willing to fight for it daily. Stand firm on His truth and do what you can to ensure your battle lines are drawn and your heart is guarded. Too much is at stake.
“The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”John 10:10 ESV