Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Worry and Anxiety and Fear, Oh My
I have spent more time than I would like to think worrying. It just comes naturally to me. Yes, I am a dedicated believer of Jesus Christ. But I admit that sometimes I forget to put my armor on in the morning. That helmet of salvation that protects my mind is missing and the shield of faith that deflects the fiery darts of the enemy will not work if I have neglected to put it on! Therefore, I began to believe the lie since I have left myself open to the enemy and worry consumes me. I have a quite simple equation for what happens next .Worry +Anxiety= Fear. Worry enters the picture and starts playing all sorts of films in my mind. Some of these films start with "what if" and others with "you really blew it". They proceed on to the point where a new component enters the equation; that of anxiety. Anxiety occurs when all of the different worries compile and you actually feel a bodily change. Your heart may beat faster. You may breathe more rapidly and sleep may elude you. Anxiety certainly may affect your stomach and digestive system and it leads to a whole new way of thinking. All of the thoughts bombarding you are negative and the "worry" tape keeps playing over and over again. One worry leads to another worry and it is never ending. Many people actually suffer physical panic attacks at this point. Lastly, full blown fear enters the picture. Fear is anxiety exaggerated. When you get to this step, you have lost the battle. You have succumbed to the enemy's wiles and he has you just where he wants you. Christ is NOT the author of fear. Satan is. God does not work by using fear. When the Bible speaks of "the fear of the Lord", it is referring to a holy reverence of the Lord that would keep one from trying to displease Him; a fear that understands His majesty while still enabling the believer to have His peace. There is NO peace when the enemy has knocked you on your back and you are racked with the kind of fear that he gives. The Bible says, " When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Thy consolations delight my soul." Psalm 94:19 God gives consolations for anxious thoughts. What are consolations? Consolations are thoughts of peace and care from the Father Who gave His only Son for you. Where do you find these consolations? Oh, I'm so glad that you asked that question! God's consolations are found in the many promises in the Bible and in His character. If we abide in the Word, His Word will begin to abide in us. Before we know it, we will have verses that we have memorized and hidden in the treasure chest of our hearts so that when the enemy shoots his fiery darts and worry begins, the Holy Spirit will be faithful to pull out these verses and things that we have learned about the kind of God we serve and He will put those in our mind. We then have what we need to rebuke the enemy. We can say, "God has not given me the spirit of fear but of power and love and discipline" for example. (II Timothy 1:7) Then we can say, "Because this is true, I know that it is you, Satan, and I rebuke you in the name of Jesus and tell you to leave. I have been bought by His blood and you must leave because I am His own!" And, at that, the enemy of your soul must depart. You see, you DO have power through God and through His Word. He has not left you defenseless but He does expect you to put on your armor and arm yourself with His Word and His character...the things that you have learned in Scripture about what kind of a God He is. So, when in Oz, Dorothy exclaimed, "Lions and tigers and bears! Oh, my!" But you do not have to proclaim, "Worry and anxiety and fear, oh my!" NO! You have a God Who has overcome the world and the enemy and you need only tell the enemy that he must leave. There is nothing more miserable than being so full of anxiety that you feel as if you have a ton of bricks on your chest. No matter what your situation is, God IS bigger. Or as Corrie ten Boom once said, " No matter how deep your pit is, God is deeper still!" Will you continue to cohabitate with debilitating fears? I hope not!!!!! Christ wants us to be free of worry, anxiety and fear and we have only to claim His power over them to obtain that freedom! Will you do this today? It is a daily struggle but it becomes easier once you get in the habit of practicing wearing His armor. God bless you as you "put on Jesus Christ" today!