The Anatomy of Anxiety, Part 14: More Than Conquerors Through Our Conqueror
Note: For previous posts in this blog mini-series, please visit: 1: http://bit.ly/aHstk, 2: http://bit.ly/20R01P, 3: http://bit.ly/HAoxI, 4: http://bit.ly/1I6XmF, 5: http://bit.ly/19Jdqt, 6: http://bit.ly/19vCXx, 7: http://bit.ly/21wPLg, 8: http://bit.ly/m50On, 9: http://bit.ly/4vhNIt, 10: http://bit.ly/1ClPr4, 11: http://bit.ly/2Sb2Ec, 12: http://bit.ly/2xv4BV, 13: http://bit.ly/baNuS.
Does worry, doubt, or fear get the best of you sometimes? Do you wonder where anxiety comes from and how to defeat it in your life and the lives of those you love? Then we need a biblical anatomy of anxiety. And, we need God’s prescription for victory over anxiety.
“Cure” Equals Caring for Others
The movement toward healing of anxiety is a relational movement toward Christ and the Body of Christ. Many people struggling with anxiety issues feel disconnected from others. Sometimes they can’t attend functions. Other times they do, but they feel so “different.” At times they feel shame in their relationship to Christ. They believe the lie that says, “If I only trusted Christ more, then I wouldn’t have any fear. He must be ashamed of me.”
As I noted in an earlier post, the “goal” of healing is not necessarily the absence of all feelings of anxiety and fearfulness. The goal is the experience of a peace that passes all understanding, even if the struggle with anxiety is not totally eliminate and defeated until heaven.
The goal is also to move from what we’ve called “stuck vigilance” to “healthy vigilance.” Vigilance, recall, is God’s gift to us to warn us of impending danger and to prompt us toward courageous response. When is a person “healed” from anxiety? When are you healed from anxiety? When you are tending and befriending others. When you are protecting others, not your self.
In the opening credit scenes to the TV show Monk, there’s a clip where Monk is racing frantically after an airplane. He’s risking his life, despite his many phobias, to rescue his assistant and friend, Natalie. Monk wasn’t “cured,” if cured means no more feelings of fear. But Monk was and is on his way toward “cure” if “cure” means caring for others.
“Cure” Equals Trusting Christ
When the alarm bells of vigilance go off, God designed us to enter sentry mode—to vigilantly tend, befriend, and defend. In the midst of overwhelming, terrifying fear, how in the world are we supposed to have that kind of courage?
It comes when we move from stuck vigilance to trusting vigilance when we see and experience Christ as our Sentry. Scripture after Scripture calls Christ our “Rock,” “Defender,” “Strong Tower,” “Fortress,” “Shield,” “Defender,” and so much more.
What’s your image of Christ?
When anxiety, fear, and phobia strikes, the battle plan involves seeing Christ as the One who battles for us. In anxiety, we scan, and scan, and scan—obsessively pondering every possible future negative eventuality. In victory over anxiety, we hear God’s story of scanning for us. “Cast your care on Him, for He cares for you.” “Do not fear (or give into fear), because He never slumbers or sleeps.”
In defeating anxiety, more than anything else we must ask, “What is our image of God?” Is He for us, or against us? Do we see Him as our Conqueror through Whom we become more than conquerors? Through Him who loves us so…so much that He empowers us to face every fear!
The Rest of the Story
In facing and fighting fear, we not only need to see Who Christ is; we also need to understand God’s plan for fear. What is God’s design for fear?
That’s our question (and answer) for our next post.