The anxiety I am speaking of in these posts is not the same as a normal response to fear. Our natural rush of adrenaline in the fight or flight response is not the same as letting anxiety rule us. No, we were made to be able to jump out of harm’s way and are given the boost with a surge of energy from our adrenal glands. This natural response is not the same as an anxious spirit.
Though the beginning may reside in the same events, there is a deliberate choice that makes all the difference. Do you remember my post, Jesus Loves Me? In it I told on myself and how as a child I refused to sing the words “They are weak, but He is strong.” This illustrates my point in this post.
Roots of Anxiety
Anxiety is rooted in a deep sense of bitterness. It is a deliberate choice to, “Take care of myself, thank you!” Painful situations arise all the time. It all goes awry when we make bitter judgments against God for FAILING so miserably.
The fruit is poison, proving the source. Anxiety is rooted in Satan, and accusation of God. And the more we use it as a tool, the more power it has to invade our lives. This choice is made so long that eventually you are trapped in the stronghold of anxiety.
I don’t want anyone to mistake my meaning, to think that I am saying being afraid is always the spirit of anxiety. My point is where we can take these responses. If I make my fear a Custer’s Last Stand moment against God, then yes, I’m setting myself up for the inevitable fall. It all rides on bitterness, and the Spirit will have to discern the heart of a man.
Bitterness Paired with Anxiety
My state of anxiety has a LONG tail. It is not a few fearful moments; no, it is a lifetime of choosing to not be weak, to not allow Him to be the strong one. That was in me at an early age. I was determined to be strong. And when I was the only source of strength . . . no wonder I became fearful. That is foolishness! But the step that sinks us is the bitterness.
“God didn’t do me right. I’ve been done wrong.”
This judgment of God is the perfect soil for hysteria and anxiousness, which is characteristic of the stronghold of anxiety.
“I didn’t like it, disapproved of it and so decided to make it different.”
Do it MY WAY!
The world God made for me wasn’t suitable to my liking, so I would change it. In stepped the “Hero” of the flesh, anxiety. I would demand the power to make it, as Sinatra sings, “My Way!” And even if I couldn’t change it, I at least could escape or protect myself from it.
Blaming God, and the bitterness that followed, set me up perfectly for anxiety. And it is very, very, very crafty. Anxiety masks itself as so many things, even apparently good things. It wasn’t like I was masterminding to take over the whole world, just mine.
Do not fret – it leads only to evil.
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.