"Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world." 1 John 4:1
As a teacher in a foreign country, commanding the class can sometimes be difficult. Language barriers and cultural differences always make finesse a necessary component of classroom management. My expectations may not be in line with what is normal to their culture.
During exam season, I allow study time for their final class before the test. I tell students to study quietly, and raise their hand if they need to get up and ask their friend a question. This is an effortless feat for my girls' classes, but my boys...Oh my boys... They love to test the waters.
One boy will talk, then another, and another. Usually their class leader tells them to be quiet a few times. However, pretty soon I feel like I am in a bee hive with all the buzzing. I give my boys a little leeway for my sanity, but there comes a time when "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH." I shut it down. I square up, put on my "Are you kidding me" face, and say "Shut Up!!!"...Just kidding.
I don't normally have to say anything. They see my disposition and immediately know "If we don't quiet down, it's about to go down." See my students know from experience, that I love to have fun with them. But, when I mean business, I mean business. I tell you this story to illustrate how we should feel when we are battling anxiety, but the voices become too loud. You must get to the point where enough is enough.
When we become anxious, we become weak. That is why things become overwhelming. In your weakness, the enemy tries to take advantage of your mind. He begins to plant seeds in your mind. Maybe it starts little, "I can't do this", or "I don't have enough money." But then your worry begins to spiral into "I can't ever do anything right." or "I can't ever get a good enough job." to "Why even try" or "I'm not enough." These little seeds can grow into big oaks because we allowed them to be watered by this little doubt or that little worry. We pruned it by meditating on it. We gave it sunshine by accepting it. You have to quiet the voices in order to see victory.
In order to see the victory over the voices, you must tell the enemy "Enough is Enough." We have been given authority through Jesus Christ. We have power to destroy the voices. We just have to step into it. We can't stop thoughts from coming, but we can choose what to do with them.
1. WE CAN BATTLE IT WITH TRUTH
Study your bible. This is one of the reasons memorizing scripture is so important. It is a weapon we can use against the enemy. Identify the lie the enemy tells you the most and memorize scripture to speak truth over it. Make a ring of scripture note cards and put them in your car, bag, office, wherever you think you need a weapon.
2. RESIST THE DEVIL
The bible says that if we resist the devil he will flee. That means that when a voice tries to take advantage of your weakness, you quickly think of something life giving. Don't let that seed be planted. Instead, let it go in one ear and out the other.
3. FILL YOUR MIND WITH HIGHER THINGS
The bible commands us to think on higher things. This is what will help strengthen your mind. Study God's word. Listen to music that praises him. Read books and poems that will elevate you. Stay away from music, movies, and other things that are not feeding you spiritually,
4. TELL A FRIEND
The enemy wants you to be isolated, drowning in your anxiety. However, God gave us a body of believers to support us. Don't be ashamed to tell someone that you are struggling with anxiety. In this time, you need other believers praying for you, speaking truth to you, and doing life with you. Even telling just one person can help tremendously because you are no longer isolated. You have a physical life line who can help you in this struggle.
5. REMEMBER WHO GOD IS
Remember that the overwhelming power of God can overwhelm anything that overwhelms you. Let me say that again and this time take a few moments to meditate on that truth. God can overwhelm anything that overwhelms you.
You don't have to be afraid, ashamed, or in angst in trying to overcome your anxiety. The truth is that as a believer, you have already overcome it. Romans 8:28 says, " We are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ." This is truth. Overcoming anxiety is apart of God's plan for your life. However, sometimes he needs you to experience the journey to glorify Him. Sometimes He needs you to experience the journey to help someone. Sometimes, He needs you to experience the journey to learn more about how to overcome in other areas of your life. So begin to tell your self I'm overcoming anxiety.
Are you ready to quiet the voices? Spend time alone with God. Ask Him to guard your mind and test the things that come into. Ask Him to give you strength to continue to fight when you are weak. Meditate on His word throughout the day so that you are constantly being encouraged. Shower others with the truths that you discover in God's word so that you can bless someone else. Go in Peace.
Loving Father, Help us to think only on things that are going to help us to grow closer to you. Let every thought from the enemy be destroyed. Guard our minds, our eyes, our ears. Help us to become disciplined in our thoughts. In Jesus' Name Amen.
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