Hello long lost friends! I am so sorry that it is has been so long since I've shared some words. I was on a 10-day hiatus in our favorite vacation spot, Puerto Rico and man was it beautiful (I mean, right? seriously take me back). I feel like the Lord has been putting lots on my heart, and I'm excited to get back into the swing of writing weekly. And to start, it's about time I finished up my anxiety series.
I'm not going to lie, I am pretty excited that this is the last tip. Starting this mini-series, all for the goal of encouraging others with comfort the Lord has given me in my struggle with anxiety, I knew that some aspects of sharing would be difficult. But what I did not expect was for my anxiety to escalate as a result. I guess I should've been prepared because one, the evil one likes to take advantage of our weaknesses and two, I was spending a lot of time focusing on the idea of anxiety.
The reality is, the more you focus on something the more aware of it you become. If you notice a chip on your nail, you'll most likely be picking at it the rest of the day. If you are worried you are going to get a headache, suddenly you are concerned about every little thing you feel and might even convince yourself you have one when you really don't. Well I think that's partly what when into play here. Wanting to really pour my heart into this series and encourage you as much as I could, I became hyper aware of my anxiety. Needless to say I am most definitely ready for a new topic here on lovemin so I can change my focus a bit, but I'm also thankful for it because it brought up a valid point. If you are struggling with anxiety, it's incredibly important to not let it become your whole world. Yes, it's good to know yourself and be intentional about self-care and exercising your no, but even more beneficial is to claim the victory over anxiety. Which leads me to my last tip...
Claim the victory
One of my favorite things about God is that he is not a God of disorder; He is all about peace. When sin came into our world, things got all out of whack and peace was MIA but God didn't go on letting us live in that. He sent His son Jesus to live on this earth and die a human death so that he could conquer sin's crummy powers. Raising Jesus from the dead, God crushed the evil one and proclaimed the victory over sin and death. If we want to truly beat anxiety, then quite frankly this is the only tip that matters- to personally claim the victory of Christ.
2nd Corinthians 10:3-5 has been my jam lately as it says, "For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 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.” We are in a daily battle to claim the victory that Christ won for us on the cross, but these words in 2nd Corinthians powerfully remind us that we are not just fighting with our own actions or intentions, we are fighting with divine power that can demolish strongholds. Because of Christ, we have the ability to demolish every argument, thought, or anxiety by taking each one captive and making it obedient to Christ.
What I love about this scripture is the language that Paul chose to make his point. He doesn’t just say, we are fighting with power that can break strongholds – he says, we are fighting with divine power that can DEMOLISH strongholds and every thought or pretension. Those are profound words with great depth and authority that make me want to pump my fist in the air and squash the evil one. Through Christ’s victory on the cross, we have the power to demolish our anxieties. Not just make them smaller, but pound them to smithereens so absolutely nothing is left.
Learning to use our breath, change our focus, use essential oils, and exercise our no are all important tools we can use in our fight against anxiety, but the grandest and greatest weapon, truly, the only one that matters is to crush it with Christ.
So here's my last tip - When you feel anxious thoughts creeping in, literally speak the words of 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 out loud. With intensity, proclaim the words - let them be your battle cry and picture anxiety being demolished by His divine power. Together, with authority, we must claim the victory of Christ over anxiety. He's given us His power to demolish strongholds – so let’s do it. Get out there and fight dear ones. We already know the outcome and it is glorious.
- image by Mindy Larsen -