OMG! Anxiety has Taken Me Over?

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I would like to do a couple posts on the way-too-common sin of anxiety.  First, I will diagnose so we are on the same page, and then proceed with resolution and the solution.

I wish I could say that I’ve never struggled with anxiety but I can’t. Being anxious was a besetting sin of mine. John, in my old man, is anxious! And whenever I allow that old nature to live my life, I am in anxiety. There is only One source of peace, and that’s the Prince of Peace. And it is only His life, as my life, that lives anxiety-free.

Anxiety: Stronghold and Motivator

Anxiety Stronghold and Motivator
My being anxious started almost at the beginning of my life. And I courted that sin so long that it became a stronghold. I have even used it as a motivator to get things done.  Like a soccer mom on meth, I used this drug just to get my day done.  And the result of this action is the same as using meth. My use of adrenaline burned out my innards, just like meth eats the center of its addicts. A hulled out shell is left in the wake. Anxiety is addictive, deadly and used by Satan to destroy its users, just like meth. OMG!

Oh anxiety is crafty! It disguises itself as concern, excitement, even passion – but the fruit is not any of these.  Anxiety is a deep fretting or fear of death.  It is deceitful because often I won’t even feel afraid or anxious yet I’m in anxiety. I can be sitting calmly in a chair, and though my external frame is still, my insides are racing.

Anxious Self-Talk

Anxious Self TalkIt sounds like this: “Oh God, I won’t get this done, it’s a crisis! What if the worst-case scenario happens, (in my world, my community, to my family members or in my life)? Look at this mess; I can’t get it dealt with! Or _____!!!” Fill in your blank. Though the situations are individual to us, the sin is the same: anxiety.  It might even be just that foreboding sense of something amiss.

Anxieties stem from assessing a situation within our own opinion rather than from the mind of God. And it is supposed to hurt when we think separately from God. The tree of knowledge in the Garden was just this: the choice to think apart from God. The result of making this choice is still the same for us today, DEATH.

Now the mind of the flesh [which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit] is death [death that comprises all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter]. But the mind of the [Holy] Spirit is life and [soul] peace [both now and forever].
Romans 8:6 Amplified

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[…] posts on the stronghold of anxiety are a very realistic picture of discipleship.  I’m amazed at how […]

[…] Martha has said many times that fear is unbelief.  John’s recent posts are hammering home the many forms and names and manifestations of fear and anxiety – […]

Tina

Yes! After reading this post and pondering I realized that I have been ill at ease with my rest. If that makes sense. I have entered a greater level of peace and rest and walking in it for some time but have had an uneasiness getting used to it, feeling as if I am doing something wrong by not being stressed, striving, or such…but I know the longer I stay in His peace the more certain I never want to leave it for the old.

Majaunta

We forget sometimes what it takes to open up and share where we really are in our journey and what God is showing me about our heart so that I understand why about me, not about God! It is courageous and terrifying! I love you John. I love that you are seeking God’s heart and allowing yourself to see what God is exposing.

Tina

Referring to Jack’s comment. I believe that there is some distinction to be made regarding anxiety just as there is with anger and other emotions. It is not the emotion itself that is sin. We can “be angry and sin not”. We are to “be anxious for nothing” but there is no way around not having fearful reactions in traumatic situations. When our life is in danger either physically or emotionally we are going to have physical and emotional fearful reactions. Stress hormones are released in the body in a flood as God made us to help us respond physically… Read more »

Tina

To be clear I am referring to the physical reaction of fear, not the heart. Jesus experienced great physical reaction to his suffering even as He was in the garden and sweet great drops of blood through His grief. When we face danger we will have a physical and emotional reaction but in our heart we can choose to trust and obey. In the day to day it is our constant choice to submit our fears and cares to God no matter where their root originated.

Jack

John I had a “wild youth” by any measure. Drunk step dads, three of them, so that home life was a constant and frightening turmoil. I was well into my twenties before I realized that an ongoing state of anxiety wasn’t just normal. So take care of whom you label it sin; including your own self.

Sam

Jack, I understand you are saying your anxiety was a result of your external enviroment. Yes and no. Jesus talked about (1) a peace the world and (2) His peace which the former cannot give. God robbed you the “peace of the world” in your youthful years, only He knows why. But if your external situation had been to live in a Swiss lake with swans and a sober dad, you still ARE in the adventure of knowing His peace… as we are all. And it is not slouch. The greatest adventure and most mature level in Christ is to… Read more »

Sandy

I’m in the same lineup! Both the anxiety one and the one for the Holy Spirit!

Sam

“Anxieties stem from assessing a situation within our own opinion rather than from the mind of God. And it is supposed to hurt when we think separately from God. The tree of knowledge in the garden was just this: the choice to think apart from God. The result of making this choice is still the same for us today, DEATH. Now the mind of the flesh [which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit] is death [death that comprises all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter]. But the mind of the [Holy] Spirit is life and… Read more »

Tina

Yes, Amen and amen!