A few weeks ago I shared my struggle with the A word... anxiety. I described some of the thoughts I have, what makes me anxious, and also what verses have put me at ease. I had an overwhelming response from that post from others who share the same struggle, so I wanted to expand a little on it.
I've been reading Power of a Praying Woman by Stormie Omartian along with the study guide. This is a tremendous devotional and I hope to continue reading her other books. But God has been speaking to me in the chapter I'm reading now entitled, "Lord Show Me How To Take Control of My Mind." The first verse mentioned 2 Corinthians 10:5: "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it more obedient to Christ."
A few things really captured my attention and I believe God spoke to me through these statements:
1. A huge part of standing against the enemy of our souls is taking control of our minds. And I believe with God, that is completely possible. Paul writes in the Word that we are to take every thought captive. What does that mean? If you know your mind is wandering to things that are not of God, stop it in its tracks. Ask God if it is from Him? If not, ask Him what you should do with it. The enemy will lie about everything he can to get us to question God's Word and truth. Truth = Christ. Lies = The Enemy.
2. You do not have to entertain every thought that comes into your head. YOU HAVE A CHOICE. You have a choice about what you will accept into your mind and what you won't. This led me to what I like to call "Run Away Thoughts". These are what I had mentioned in the post a few weeks ago and here's an example: I rammed into the corner of our new guest room bed. Ended up with a huge bruise on my thigh, which really did hurt. I checked that bruise all the time for its shape, color, size, etc. My thoughts were, what if there's a blood clot underneath. Even two weeks later, it still hurts, and I'm still thinking what-if, still checking, still having anxious thoughts. These, are Run Away Thoughts. One simple thought leads to another which is worse, which leads to another, which leads to pure anxiety. God, teach me to stop these thoughts before they even begin!
3. There is POWER in the name of the Lord! The is POWER in the Word of God! Pray aloud against the enemy. Study and memorize scripture so that you can KNOW God's truth and promises and so that you can use His truth to destroy the lies in your mind. Ask God to help you to discern when the enemy's voice in upon you so that you may take those thoughts captive and release them to God. Don't be deceived by the anxiety, questions, and harmful thoughts in your mind. You have a choice - you don't have to be consumed by lies.
I encourage you to continue reading your Bible on a daily basis. Heck.. I'm encouraging myself. Because I don't do this daily, and I need it. I may know verses by heart and know of God's truth, but I often need to be reminded. I need to seek His spirit of truth daily so that I am prepared against the enemy and his lies. With God's help, I can take control of my mind. I have a choice when it comes to entertaining anxious thoughts, and I KNOW there is power in the name of the Lord!