Distraction: Stress, Worry, Anxiety, & Fear Part 1

But the Lord answered and said to her “Martha, Martha, you are
worried and bothered about so many things

Luke 10:41

Where do the feelings of inner anxiety, worry, and fear come from? I’ve learned so much about how stress, worry, and anxiety distracts me from walking in my calling, it’s humbling actually. I’m sure you’ve felt and seen some similar side effects as I have with fear, anxiety, and worry as I have – a rushed mentality, a tight chest, hard to take a full breath or a simple yet overwhelming feeling of an internal lack of peace. No matter how these feelings impact you, each one of these feelings are a distraction that impacts our Kingdom’s purpose, and typically each one has a common root, fear.

Fear is the number one thing holding us back from truly living and abiding in our God-given purpose.

I was Trusting Fear as a security

I lived in a state of fear and anxiety for so long I thought it was normal. I actually began to trust my stress response as proof that I was doing enough, that I was enough. stress as a security, what?! This way of living was quickly leading me into sickness and depression. I was stressed over food, exercise, perfectly completing things on my to-do list, money, supplements, being on time, if people were going to like me, if I was going to upset someone, and worried constantly that I was going to fail.

I tried to live carefully with hopes I’d never mess up – but of course I always would, and I’d allow every mistake, big or small, to crush me. In my mind it was proof that I was a failure and that’s why I’d have to live so careful and ridged. (doing all things in my own strength).

The smallest mistakes would put me into a downward spiral of self-loathing that took me out of any form of productive growth I had started to see. I’d take two steps forward and fall 10 steps backward. After crying and shaming myself, however, I’d get ‘tough’ and go after life again promising myself, I’d do better and work harder. This cycle would go on and on, until I begin to learn and still am trying to learn that God is my source of strength and that I need to be clay in His hands and not a ridged and fearful vessel that is so fragile and breakable.

So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do. Then the word of the Lord came to me: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the Lord. Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel

Jeremiah 18:3-6

How to be freed from fear, worry, and anxiety

Ladies, this is not what a relationship with God looks like and definitely not how He wants us to treat ourselves. Maybe your stress and anxiety and fear come from different
area in your life than mine do but, regardless, they are holding you back. It’s important you know exactly what your fears and worries are by asking the Holy Spirit to reveal them to you and teach you how your healing journey should begin.

When we have a relationship with God, He teaches us what His perfect love is and as we abide in it, His perfect love casts out our fear. A lack of fear rooted in God’s love keeps us aligned with God’s character and perfect will for our lives. It gives us discernment, understanding and wisdom as we abide in Him. He reveals His character to us day in and day out and it sinks into the deepest parts of our spirit, mind, and body!

I hope you’ve learned in our time together already – God is Love and through Jesus we are approved of for sanctification; which is a journey not a destination. Without living in the truth of God’s love, we are living in fear. (1 John 4:18) Scripture says that perfect love casts out fear -so fear is not from God’s Kingdom it’s from the enemies. And if we don’t put love and truth in the place of our fears, we will be sick and tired. Knowing God is the key to being anxious and fearful of nothing.

Healing Requires Love

The topic of love has kept me hung up for a long time. I know that my parent and family love me, but beyond that it has been hard for me to understand what love was. I had been heartbroken by others, my myself, and by things, that it created a barrier in my life to receiving a real deep level of love within myself and from God.

It seemed that love always had strings attached or something I had to prove I was worthy of receiving. In the midst of our broken world, its so obvious that most people are also struggling to understand agape love because of this lack of understanding, it’s no wonder that love is something that holds many of us back when it comes to stepping out in faith to love others, to love our enemies, to die to self, and live fully obedient to God.

How can we possibly love others fully when we don’t have a clue what that looks like, or when we are so afraid of not being loved ourselves that we hold onto all that we have left in our metaphorical ‘tank’ that we don’t give to anyone else?

It’s time we figure it out and learn about what perfect love looks like. The only way to heal is to learn more about love and the love that our heavenly Father has for us, because without this root deeply established our whole life will be off balance.

Our whole life off balance without love.

This may seem a bit extreme, but if we are the children of God, we also have the characteristics of Him within us. Since this is true, He is love, therefore, we are love. When we are so filled by His love that we don’t ever have a want or need for anything because we trust and have faith that He will fill everything we need with all of who He is.

We need to learn how to receive love and give love freely without fear of being empty or hurt. We need to trust God so much that we trust other people (or at least put our heart out there knowing that God defines our worth). We need to live in the truth that whatever we face, God is there and is going to restore us and heal us. We are called to love others at all costs, because He first loved us. That means we live with our guard down; we live brave and bold with no fear of heartbreak. Wow, how powerful and terrifying right!? But I want to live in the powerful love and protection of God without need for anyone or anything else’s provisions. God’s our provider and He wants to be our one and only!

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.”

1 John 4:7

Where does love come from? God! How does love come? By knowing God.

We have 3 purposes in life and our ability to fulfil them depends on our choice to live under this truth. They are to 1. know God 2. to allow Him to transform us into His likeness and for us 3. to make Him known to others through an overflow of Him in us. That overflow comes from knowing and living in the love of God.

One of the biggest things that keeps us from fulfilling His purpose is fear. We talked about love being a must, and that’s because the opposite of love is not hate, it’s fear.

Fear of not having enough, fear of not doing enough, fear of missing something or dropping the ball’. Fear leads to anxiety, stress, worry – love leads to trust, peace, and gentleness. The root of our fears comes from a lack of knowledge of who God is, and so the more we increase in knowing Him, the more we trust and the less we fear!

Fear leads to anxiety, stress, worry – love leads to trust, peace, and gentleness

As women of God we are called to be in such an intimate relationship with Him that people see Him through the way we love. Our job is to love, and love comes through obedience and obedience comes when we know God and His love transforms us into doers of the Word.

As we are filled by God we live by the law, as we abide in Christ are filled and able to love others. Through our set apart way of living we help people draw closer to God and then they testify and bring others through love to God. It’s a cycle of Love that brings each one of us closer to God, the first step is to allow His love to fill us by stepping into His presence daily, praying for His wisdom and understanding to see life, others, and yourself through His eyes.

Let’s get back to stress and anxiety now that we know the root cause is fear. Scripture tells us not to have worry or fear often and it’s no surprise that when we disobey the Word of God, and we aren’t in step with the Spirit and God’s will that a breakdown in our bodies happens. And that’s what we’ll talk about next time.

Scriptures to begin your mind renewal

Psalm 94:19 – When I am filled with cares, your comfort brings me joy.

1 John 4:18 – there is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.

Isaiah 64:6 – We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away..

Psalm 34:4 – I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears

One response to “Distraction: Stress, Worry, Anxiety, & Fear Part 1”

  1. […] Freedom from stress, worry, anxiety & fear (3) […]

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