“God did not give us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and a sound mind.” — 2 Timothy 1:7
Anxiety is a form of fear that the enemy uses to keep us trapped. He is crafty, however, in how he disguises anxiety. He often wraps it in ‘care’ and ‘concern’ and causes you to think that you’re being lazy if you rest in the Lord.
Anxiety is not a cute condition that one needs to coddle. We need to treat it as the demonic attack that it is.
Whether your anxiety shows up as a constant concern or a full-blown panic attack, in the mighty name of Jesus, you can overcome.
So if you are ready to say goodbye to anxiety and hello to God’s peace, here are 4 ways to conquer anxiety.
1. Let go of trying to control.
You will never feel at peace if you have to be in control of everything. The only thing you should be seeking to control is your sinful nature. And even that should be fully surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Control is a character trait. It can also be a habit and survival mechanism. But it holds no place in your relationship with God.
You will need to choose in those moments to let go of the perceived notion of control. Let go of YOUR timing expectations and YOUR outcome expectations, for faith and control cannot coexist.
God will not take the control from you. If you want His perfect will for your life, you will need to surrender control.
The truth is, control is just an illusion. Psalm 115:3 reminds us that, “Our God is in the heavens; He does all that He pleases.” Let God be God.
2. Change your focus
When anxiety strikes, it’s easy to look at your circumstance and fear the worst. But it’s in those moments where the temptation to focus on the concern needs to be fought.
I’ve seen too many people give in to the feelings of anxiety instead of changing their focus. Changing your focus doesn’t mean that you simply think positive–that doesn’t work. Rather, you should focus on God’s goodness when anxiety hits.
I get it, it’s not easy. But it is possible.
There are many positive attributes of God that you can focus on instead of worrying. Romans 8:28 is one of my favorites: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
You may say, “That’s great Kris, but I don’t feel like all things will work out.” That’s my point. In that moment, will you choose to focus on your feelings or His truth?
3. Feed the spirit and starve the flesh.
It’s not reasonable to expect something to go away if you keep feeding it. If you keep venting about your feelings and frustrations, you’re feeding them more life.
Yes, there are going to be times where you need to seek wise counsel to get help for problems and emotions that you are having trouble processing, but oftentimes anxiety is fed simply by giving it attention. Or, perhaps you self-medicate, with food, shopping, constant entertainment, alcohol, or drugs in an effort to combat the discomfort. While they may distract, these things provide only temporary relief.
If it’s true peace you are looking for, then it’s spiritual growth you must attain. 1 Peter 2:2 reminds us “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation.”
4. Take charge
The good news is that there is one area of our lives that we are actually commanded to take control of, and that is our thoughts.
Romans 12:2 tells us, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
It is very much the pattern of the people of this world to give in to fears and ruminate over anxieties. But God’s desire is to transform your life, especially your thought life. Everything begins in the mind.
If you are battling with troublesome thoughts that keep you from the life God has for you, check out Renew—an online course that can help you manage your mind and rule your reactions.
God has given you a spirit of a sound mind. My friend, this is your mind. Take it back.