Lately, it’s been one thing after another. Although I realize that sometimes life is just that way, it hasn’t necessarily made it any easier. During hectic times, the spotlight really turns right on the person going through, often revealing who he or she really is. Unfortunately, I’ve noticed some things about myself that, let’s just say, are not becoming as a child of God. A major stumbling block for me is anxiety (and fear). Maybe some of you struggle with this ugly monster. When things heat up, if I’m not careful, anxiety and fear kick in, and things begin to unravel quickly.
Most of us realize that when we operate in fear and are anxious, our flesh is controlling us. After all, we can’t be spiritually minded and live with fear and anxiety. Romans 8:6 explains, “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” When we live in the flesh and are overtaken by our fleshly needs, wants, and desires, we become spiritually blinded and spiritually deaf as well. We can’t see the Lord in the midst of the situation and we can’t hear how the Lord is directing us.
Of course, when we are fearful and anxious, we don’t have peace. Personally, I have often times felt like if only this or that situation would straighten out, then I could have peace—only to find out that another situation is lurking around the corner, once again threatening to rob me of the (superficial) peace I thought I had obtained. Isaiah 26:3 reminds us, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” I’ve had to make the decision to put my trust in Him because He is my source. Honestly, it’s a daily practice of casting those cares and burdens on Him.
Breaking away from bad habits and thought patterns isn’t always easy. However, I’ve realized, especially over the past several months, how important it is to really work on letting go of fear and anxiety. Sometimes we can be tricked into thinking that if we’re fearful or anxious about something that we are only hurting ourselves, but it just isn’t true. Fear and anxiety can poison any relationship in too many ways to count. The tricky thing about fear and anxiety is that they often mask themselves and manifest in a very different way. For example, when some are fearful, they appear angry, offended, or hurt and really, they are struggling with being fearful.
We have to make the choice to trust God, and then we have to be willing to really live out what the Word of God says. We have to “be careful for nothing; but everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made unto God” (Philippians 4:6). When God is our source, we are at the optimum vantage point in every situation, no matter what. We don’t have to run to seek out approval, confirmation, and satisfaction from whomever will give it to us. We have God’s Holy Spirit guiding us and enlightening us. We have “the peace which surpasses all understanding, shall keep your hearts and mind through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). Another version says that His peace will guard our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
I don’t know about you, but the thought of His peace guarding my heart and mind is better than a vacation to the Bahamas or anywhere else! There’s no better place to be than resting in Him and His peace. Join with me as I break away from fear and anxiety. Be willing to recognize if fear and/or anxiety is anywhere in your life. Then, refuse to be bound by them, and break away to be refreshed, renewed and blanketed by His peace and love.
Breaking Away With You,