Anxiety is sneaky. It can disguise itself as something else. For me, anxiety was masquerading as indecision, ruffled nerves, anger, sadness, fear, negative thoughts, loneliness – yet a desire to be alone.
How can we feel lonely and desire isolation at the same time? I felt like I couldn’t put on my happy face and I didn’t want to. It would be easier to hide until I felt normal again. I didn’t want to have to talk to anyone. This was all boiling below the surface and I was afraid it would pop out at any moment. My foremost thought was, “I don’t know what’s wrong with me.”
The odd thing was, I didn’t feel anxious about a particular problem. It was more like a cloud hanging over me. Anxiety is not necessarily the same as worrying. I can recognize worry right away and make a decision not to do it.
I felt like whatever it was I was going through was too strong for me to fight alone. So I got angry because I thought, “Nobody prays for me. Poor me! How can I have a ministry and nobody prays for me?” (And other ridiculous thoughts I’ll keep to myself.)
But once I realized that this dark cloud was anxiety, I was on my way to breaking free. (Probably because somebody was praying for me.) Identifying the problem robs it of power.
The rainbow in this storm is that I’ve learned to recognize this kind of spiritual attack and I know I am better equipped to face it in the future if it rears its ugly head.
If you think your enemy is too strong for you, hold on to this:
“He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the Lord was my support.
He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.” Psalm 18:16-19 NIV
We need to memorize this one! I know I will. And remember – we extinguish the flaming arrows of the devil (the attack he launches against our mind) by believing God’s Word.
This is My Journey Unscripted.
More Scripture references on anxiety and spiritual warfare:
“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NIV
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.8 Come near to God and he will come near to you.” James 4:7-8 NIV
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 NIV
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit,which is the word of God.” Ephesians 6:10-17 NIV
“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5 NIV
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Photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash