Your Anxiety Doesn’t Have to Control You
By: Stephanie Long
It was a night like too many I’d had before. I was trying to sleep, but my thoughts were spiraling out of control. My anxiety was getting the better of me — again. I had a huge decision to make. What started out as a simple “What if…” had my mind dreaming up worst case scenarios for either choice.
2 Corinthians 10:5 came to mind, and I got mad: “…We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
I found myself yelling back at God, “I know you say take my thoughts captive, but if I knew how to do that, I wouldn’t have anxiety in the first place! Show me how!”
God brought to mind Scriptures that fought against the exact lies I was believing in my anxiety. He reminded me that His plans for me are good and that He works everything together for my good (Jeremiah 29:11, Romans 8:28).
Then it hit me. We take our thoughts captive by replacing the lies with truth from what God says in the Bible.
Don’t Buy the Lie
Anxiety disorders are real biological conditions, with medical and psychiatric treatments. I know because I have two different ones. God has given us the ability to understand so much about how our bodies work. It is not unspiritual to receive counseling, take medication, and follow your doctor’s treatment plan. It’s wise.
But even when anxiety is caused by biology, it doesn’t eliminate the spiritual component of this condition. Our anxious thoughts are lies from Satan.
Satan hates us because he hates God, and we’re created in God’s image. Satan’s mission is to destroy us (John 10:10). He is a professional deceiver. He deceived Eve in the Garden of Eden and has been using that tactic ever since.
We win the battle against anxiety when we recognize these feelings as lies and fight them with the truth.
Satan’s too crafty to use obvious lies. He’s not trying to tell us the sky is green. Instead, he feeds our own negative self-talk and insecurity. When things go wrong, and a voice inside of us says, “I’m a failure and always will be,” it’s not from the Lord.
We win the battle against them when we recognize these feelings as lies and fight them with the truth.
Arm Yourself with Truth
Jesus understands better than anyone the power of Scripture in driving Satan away.
Jesus had been fasting in the desert for 40 days when Satan showed up. Satan tried to trick Jesus into disobeying God through bribes, threats, and mockery. In each situation, Jesus responded by quoting Scripture. Finally, the devil left him, and angels came and attended him (Matthew 4:10-11).
Jesus quoted Scripture to Satan when Satan was trying to trick Jesus, and Satan left. We can fight Satan the same way. The most powerful weapon in the battle against anxiety is Scripture. The Bible is called “the sword of the spirit,” and it’s the only offensive weapon we have to fight against Satan (Ephesians 6:10-20).
If you are battling anxiety or any other lies from the enemy, find verses that speak truth to those areas of your life. Write them down and keep them with you. Make an effort to memorize them, so you have your sword ready whenever the attack comes. Then when you hear the lies, speak the truth.