Anxious thoughts and strongholds – The lies and how to overcome them

The Bible tells us not to be anxious. This seven letter word, what does it really mean? Some equate it to worry or fretting. Some equate it to fear. It could be something that robs you of peace; something that halts you in your tracks and prevents you from moving forward or taking the next step(s). For faith to exist, there must initially be an element of uncertainty or doubt. Anxiety could then be the feelings you have when you’re unable to control the outcome of a situation or when you struggle to exercise complete faith in God. Anxiety starts in the mind and could exist for legitimate or illegitimate reasons. Whatever it may mean to you, I believe we can at least agree that anxiety is a stronghold, a powerful attack on the human mind that is so negative that God tells us in Philipians 4:6-7: “Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].”

Taking anxious thoughts captive

So, if being anxious or having anxious thoughts is something that God doesn’t want us to do or have, then it means that behind every anxious thought is a lie or deception. As I was studying my Bible in preparation to write this post, I was reading 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 AMP which tells us that for the children of God in this life, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal/worldly, but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds (of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments)…casting down arguments and everything that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of God. Basically, strongholds are false arguments, wrong ideas and thoughts we have formed in our minds which must taken captive and cast down e.g. fear, doubt, anxiety, trauma, depression, discouragement, self-doubt etc.

To explain this segment, my Bible column says this: “Strongholds are first established in the mind; that is why we are to take every thought captive. Behind every stronghold is also a lie – a place of personal bondage where God’s word has been subjugated to any unscriptural idea or personally confused belief that is held to be true. Behind every lie is a fear; and behind every fear is an idol. Idols are established wherever there exists a failure to trust in the provisions of God that are ours through Jesus Christ. Some of the weapons that pull down these strongholds are God’s word (Hebrews 4:12-13), the blood of the Cross (Rev 12:11), and the name of Jesus (Mark 16:17). Strongholds are pulled down, and confronted bondage is broken as these spiritual weapons of our warfare are employed (Eph 6:13-18).”

What I would like to add is that being in the mind, strongholds must first be identified. We must first acknowledge that we have certain thoughts and beliefs about certain things or situations. Sometimes we work ourselves up into distorted beliefs about ourselves or our lives or our future. Other times, we are in bondage because of our past lives or the lives our parents or grand parents lived. So why do I say that we must first see clearly our bonded state before we can make any progress? Because Jesus said so in John 8:32 – “And you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” When light/truth is shone into the dark areas of our minds, darkness flees and can only return in the absence of light. This is what Jesus warns us of in Matthew 12:43-45, that if the demon that was chased out returns to find emptiness, it will return with even greater force than before.

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