Anxiety Series Part 3 of 13

How I became free of Anxiety Series

Part​​ 3​​ of 13

  • Learning to police my thought life and​​ remove​​ ungodly thinking.

I learned in an anxiety program I bought years ago that I can choose my thinking. ​​ I also learned I did not have to think every thought that presented itself. ​​ I​​ learned​​ my catastrophic, negative and scary thinking was the source of the anxiety I felt and the panic attacks I was experiencing. ​​ I​​ had​​ learned​​ as a child to​​ believe​​ I was NOT going to be okay. ​​ This was taking place in the thought life of my brain. ​​ The​​ mixture of cynical negative thinking,​​ suppressed ungodly emotions​​ and a mistrust of God had led to an internalized toxic thinking habit where my future was​​ expected​​ to be worse rather than better.

Biblical instruction on our mind’s activity can be found in Philippians 4:8 AMPC. ​​ “For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them] (emphasis mine). There are​​ plenty of​​ Bible verses which instruct on how to think. ​​ I won’t go into an exhaustive list here except for the one that had a​​ lasting​​ impact on me for​​ the​​ changing​​ of​​ my thinking and led to the policing analogy.

2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV in the latter part of the verse I read. ​​ “we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ”.

In this chapter​​ Saint Paul is describing a war and how we fight. He writes “we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” so for me this supposes there are “disobedient” thoughts. ​​ The instruction I read​​ here​​ is for ME to, BY FORCE​​ and CHOICE,​​ compel​​ my THOUGHTS​​ to agree with​​ Jesus, the Truth.

To correct this toxic thought​​ life,​​ I learned the power of policing my thoughts. ​​ Over time I developed a mental analogy to describe what I was doing to change my thinking. ​​ The following is a fun and communicative picture or analogy of how this worked for me.

Arresting disobedient thoughts. ​​ Picture a police officer​​ along the side of the road​​ on a busy multilane​​ freeway​​ with his radar gun. ​​ The police officer is looking for lawbreakers. ​​ Picture fast moving nearly bumper to bumper traffic whizzing by. ​​ The vehicles going by are not all pulled over, only those going over the speed limit, and likely quite a bit over the speed limit. ​​ When a speeding car is identified the policeman​​ turns on his lights and takes off after the vehicle, pulls it over​​ and begins to investigate the driver. ​​ (arrests​​ him, restrains​​ him – throws him in handcuffs if resisting arrest). ​​ The police officer has the authority to do this. ​​ In much the same way I learned to arrest thoughts not conforming to the way Father God instructs me to think. ​​ The thought must be identified, arrested and if not in agreement with the truth, required to conform to the truth. ​​ God’s word will judge the thought as obedient or disobedient. ​​​​ I have a responsibility to know what is going through my mind and “surveilling”​​ my​​ thinking.

Here is an example​​ of a thought: ​​ I’m all alone, on my own and nobody cares. ​​ At a point in my life I​​ noticed that this thought is driving by​​ often. ​​ Doesn’t seem​​ to agree with​​ my reading of​​ God’s word. ​​ Long story short after arresting the thought and investigating it I learned I didn’t mean “alone” (nobody around me) I really meant “I’m feeling​​ unloved” (nobody cares). The core of this thought was being​​ unloved​​ and was from my childhood experience. ​​ What does my​​ Heavenly​​ Father have to​​ say​​ about me being loved? ​​​​ A lot! ​​ The​​ thinking on this​​ must conform to the truth. ​​ I am loved by God! ​​ He cares for me, He cares for my story​​ (my accumulated life experience).

The analogy of a policeman patrolling my thought highway gave me a​​ practical method​​ of taking authority over my thought life. ​​ I​​ comprehended​​ I had authority​​ over my thoughts​​ to conform my thinking to God’s word. ​​ I did not have to let my thought life race and be chaotic​​ and go wherever it wanted.​​ Of course,​​ I had to learn to process through thinking that was very resistant to change. ​​ Sometimes I found it took monumental struggle to choose to conform ungodly thinking to the truth, especially in areas tied to deep wounding as a child.

The journey to freedom​​ was a process. ​​ Trusting God's​​ word over my interpretation of my experiences​​ was difficult for me.​​ I was faced with the​​ decision​​ to give up my ways of understanding​​ life (relying on my own understanding) and​​ trusting what God says is true. ​​​​ Studying the Truth and daring to live in intimacy (trust and confident expectation) with God was the answer​​ to anxiety. ​​ I will elaborate in my testimony series on each of the 13 areas I had to learn/change. ​​ We are not meant to travel the road to freedom alone. ​​ Invite the Holy Spirit to help with your anxiousness, go get ministry (be a seeker), ask for prayer, fellowship with other believers regularly and KNOW that God has a plan for your life and that plan is a GOOD plan. ​​ Is Romans 8:28 true? ​​ And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those are called according to his purpose.​​ Romans 8:28 NKJV. ​​ Agree​​ with His work in your life and ask for help when you need it. ​​ LITS would love to walk with you on your journey to freedom. ​​ See our website​​ www.lifeinthesprings.org

 

 

 

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