The War of Anxiety

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” -Matthew 6:25

“For the Gentiles seek after these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.” -Matthew 6:32

In Greek, the word for anxiety, literally means ‘to be divided’, ‘pulled in different directions’, or ‘to go to pieces’ because of worry. Anxiety is controlling. Anxiety is dominating. And worst of all, anxiety is sinful.

Now, I want to preface everything by saying, I myself deal with anxiety. In desperation, I have to constantly search the Scriptures, memorize the Scriptures, affirm myself by the Scripture, and wrestle to believe it with a whole heart. Daily I have to fight to believe God’s promises. Unbelief is the driving force behind any anxiety, and belief is the force that drives it away. Anxiety occurs when we don’t believe God’s word. We all fight worrying about our daily lives, the future, and when we fail in this, it is always because we are failing to believe God. Worrying about tomorrow ruins today, and never fixes tomorrow. That’s why Jesus says, “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

For the Christian, this becomes an all out war. There are 3 very loud voices we hear, that divide our minds, and cause severe anxieties.

  1. The World: When I say the world, I don’t mean Earth. 1 John 2:15 says, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” — This is the world I’m speaking of. This use of the world means the systems of the world. It is the ‘do as thy will’ mentality. You first, people second. Survival of the fittest. It means the way the systems of the world are constructed, that tell you that money is the almighty solution, and succumbing to lust is the all-satisfying experience. These are the voices of the world. So, for the Christian we see the world’s voice all around us, and we are drawn to it. The world beckons the Christian, “Come to me for joy. Come to me for satisfaction.” I tell you, resist this voice.
  2. The Flesh: The flesh in Scripture isn’t merely speaking about our bodies, but to our will, and specifically, our actions. Romans 8:8 says, “Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” Well, we are all in our bodies, and this passage clearly indicates that there is a way to ‘walk in the Spirit’ that is pleasing to God. So, what do I mean by the flesh? I love the way DesiringGod.org defines the flesh, “Any kind of thing one does– when the Holy Spirit and Jesus are not central.” In other words, any action done for self-gratification, self-exaltation, or self-preservation. Any action seeking to please ourselves, rather than aiming to please God. And we all fall to this at times. We all deal with the flesh’s voice saying, “Feed me, and I will give you joy. Feed me, and I will give you satisfaction.” I tell you, resist this voice.
  3. The Devil: The devil completes this type of unholy trinity. He is the mouth-piece for the world, whispering to our flesh. His voice whispers for the world to our flesh, and his aim is always to cause us to sin. To cause us to flee from God. 2 Corinthians 2:11, “so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.” His design is to steal, to kill, and destroy, and he intends to steal, kill, or destroy your peace, by destroying your faith. Be careful not to heed his slithery voice. Resist him, firm in your faith.

What is the voice we must listen to? God’s Word: God speaks through His word. This is where He has revealed Who He is, what He’s done, and what He continues to do. His Word is our weapon, His Word is how we fight anxieties. His word centers us, keeps us from being pulled to pieces, and protects us from the path of worry. Ephesians 6:17, “and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” This is the voice that we must all fight to believe wholeheartedly. This is the voice that must fill our minds, must be on our lips, and must be believed deep in our hearts in order to fight anxiety. Memorize God’s promises, this is the greatest way to fight anxiety.

The Bible is written for anxious people, so if your anxious, be encouraged. the Bible is tailor-made for anxious people. The Bible was written knowing that we would deal greatly with this issue. There are so many commands, and instructions regarding anxiety. It is our job to resist the voices of the world, the flesh, and the devil, and allow God’s irresistible voice to reign supreme in our minds. Of all the voices you’ve ever heard, only one has never lied, and that’s God’s Word.

I’ll leave you with this wonderful quote by John Macarthur: “Jesus gave us, His children, three reasons for not worrying about this life: It is unnecessary because of our Father, it is uncharacteristic because of our faith, and it is unwise because of our future.”

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