Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Waging War Against Anxiety, Depression, and Other Strongholds

Note: Just finished walking and the last words I heard were these: "Every high thing must come down, every stronghold shall be broken. You wear the victor's crown; You overcome, You overcome; Jesus, you have overcome the world!" (Victor's Crown, I'm Living Proof album, Travis Cottrell)

2 Corinthians 10:4-5New International Version (NIV)

2 Corinthians 10:4-5, NIV
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
The Lord reminded me that my cooperation with Him is required if anxiety (or anger, lust, feeling unloved, rejected, defeated, or depressed ) is getting a stronghold. I cannot defeat strongholds unless I put them to death by the Spirit. 
How do I do that? By setting my mind on the Spirit which is life and peace. (Ro. 8:6)  
How do I set my mind on the Spirit? By making the effort--and it is a very real effort-- to refocus my mind on Jesus who conquered sin and death, who is my glorious Lord, my good Shepherd, who sustains all things by His life-giving word, and who now lives in me; by believing in the power of the cross and in the love of God for me. By reading and meditating and applying the promises in His Word to every situation I face.
This is strenuous warfare--spiritual warfare--and it is necessary so that God can work in me His incomparably great power. Paul tells us to live by the Spirit, walk in the Spirit, be filled with the Spirit, to not grieve the Holy Spirit. It's going to take all I have and all I am to defeat the strongholds in my life. But the amazing thing is that I won't be battling alone. God is with me and He is for me. He has promised to help me, strengthen me as I lean on Him,  and to deliver me.
I feel as if God is asking me, "How much do you want to be free? Because where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom."
I believe I am ready to once more engage in the battle through Christ who strengthens me. To set my mind on Christ and fight to keep it there.

3 comments:

Dawn M. Hamsher said...

Joni, Keep up the good fight! You will overcome through Jesus! There is depression and anxiety in my family too and I continue to pray.
The Write Soil

Joni said...

Thank you, Dawn. The Lord is faithful.

J said...

Thank you for this message, Joni. It is so relevant to all of us, whatever struggles we may be facing. It hits close to home for me right now as I am in the middle of several challenges that all seem to take turns overwhelming me. I need to trust that the words you spoke here and the Word you quoted here is true.