Isn’t it amazing how quickly our thoughts can drift to worry, stress, and fear in various aspects of our lives?
We might be fine one moment and then, BAM!, seemingly out of nowhere our thoughts are catapulted to the land of “what ifs.”
Fear, worry, and anxiety are often spiritual battles that rage in our mind leading us to focus on hypotheticals that have not yet, and probably won’t come to pass. It is Satan, the world, or our own flesh enticing us to question God’s character, goodness, care, and power. This fear can be a manifestation of unbelief.
Capture Your Thoughts
Wayward thoughts pillage, plunder, and kill. It sometimes violently rips us from our sleep, creates all kinds of turmoil, multiplies in more fearful thoughts, steals joy, and weakens hope and faith. These thoughts must be taken captive because they are destructive and dangerous to our own faith and are contrary to the thoughts that God wants us to have.
It is easy to stand by and let these thoughts march through our minds leaving us worn out and devastated. Fighting against these thoughts is hard because these enemies are relentless and without mercy.
All too often we fight this war with the wrong weapons. Worldly advice, human wisdom, personal resourcefulness, and human-made plans are no match against this kind of war. Most of the time we are shooting ourselves in the foot because we entertain these thoughts that lead to fear and anxiety.
To take our thoughts captive means we must address this way of thinking and bring them into subjection. We must make them bow to God’s Word as we confess what is true over what we fear.
Renew Your Mind
To renew our minds we need strength that does not originate with us. We need God’s strength at work in us.
The Holy Spirit uses the Scriptures to “dismantles our arguments, excuses and wayward thoughts and shows us what is right.” (Sam Storms). Therefore, we need to view our Bibles as our most precious treasure. It is an arsenal of divine weaponry. It is a double-edged sword that is living and active, cutting away the thoughts that drag us away from truth, and towards the black hole of lies and fear.
Challenge all of your thoughts and test them according to the truth that is in God’s Word.
Pray and ask the Lord daily to be your strength in this battle, to change your thinking, to replace anxious thoughts with what is good and true. Ask Him to solidify your faith so that your hope is found in who God is and what He has said and not on your own perceived wisdom and power.
Looking To Jesus,
WEEK 4 – Challenge
What fear or worry plagues you the most?
Are these fears certainties, probabilities, or possibilities?
Use your Bible to work through these questions:
1. What aspect of God’s character is my fear causing me to disbelieve?
2. What sin is the underlying cause of my fear or worry?
3. What promises of God speak directly to what I am dealing with?
4. How, specifically, should I respond to these thoughts?
Week 4 Reading Plan