“…Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
A few weeks ago- out of nowhere- I started having mini panic attacks. I’ve never had a problem with them before, but oh my gosh– if you have, I am so sorry. I never knew how hard they were to contend with. On a tiny level today— I want to say that I understand what you’re going through. They are ROUGH. It was a battle to shut them down.
After some reflection (once I caught my breath…)I realized that I’d been slowly opening the door to a spirit of fear since my baby was born. The preeclampsia complications and being hospitalized away from my newborn for a week tested me in ways I’d never fathomed before. And as a result I started entertaining thoughts that were rooted in fear and anxiety. It’s no wonder Jesus commanded us not to worry (Matthew 6:25, Philippians 4:6). It creates a deadly cycle!
It’s no wonder Jesus commanded us not to worry! It creates a deadly cycle!
At first my anxious thoughts were directly related to my health and I easily rationalized that I needed to prepare for the worst. I began to wonder if God’s plan was for me to die young since my blood pressure was so dangerously high and wasn’t recovering. Then once I finally went home from the hospital, the anxiety compounded when I began to worry that my baby might die of SIDS– and I checked her bassinet constantly. (It didn’t help that during that time a family we knew had a baby one week older than ours who did die of SIDS.) The enemy would try anything to keep me in a cycle of fear—- even giving me visions of falling violently down the stairs with the baby in my arms. It was relentless. All of these worries became like a movie reel playing in my head and eventually the spirit of fear took over and the result was panic attacks.
That’s the enemy’s goal: to completely paralyze us and remove us from the presence of God. He wants to steal our hope and our faith.
As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. (Proverbs 23:7)
Praise the Lord that once I caught on to the schemes of the enemy (it’s simply amazing how dense I can be at times…) I knew exactly how to shut him down. It’s not easy once you let it get as far as I managed to—but it’s possible. The great news is— once you show the enemy that you’re going to fight back and be persistent, he eventually lets up on the attack.
The FIRST thing I had to do was tell someone who could partner with me spiritually—and that person was my husband. It’s harder than you’d think to do this because, if you’re anything like me, you feel foolish admitting that the enemy got the best of you. But seriously, the best thing you can do is humble yourself and confess the fear.
It is a sin afterall… for whatever is not from faith is sin –Romans 14:23b) Just that single step takes power away from the enemy! It’s simply amazing. And something else to chew on—there’s a hundred ways he keeps people in bondage by placing a gag order on them. It’s a good rule of thumb to find someone you can trust to share anything you privately struggle with. Feel free to private message me on Facebook if you’re not sure who else you can talk to! Just tell someone.
Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. (Matthew 12:34)
SECOND— I confessed the sin before God and asked His forgiveness. It sounded something like this: “Lord I’m so sorry. I realize now that I’ve been sinning against you by worrying and living in constant fear when I should have had faith in you. Please forgive me. Please restore my faith. Please heal my body and help me to come against the enemy. I love you Jesus, and I choose you… I choose life. I ask these things of the Father in Jesus’ name.”
Almost immediately I felt a peace fall in my spirit. The enemy was still railing against me on the outside, but I could sense that heaven was now backing me up and that I could take on the battle. What a blessed relief.
THIRD—- I took authority over the devil and the spirit of fear. Yes, I already asked for God’s help in step 2– which was in order, but the Word says “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” –James 4:7
It’s OUR job to fend him off. The key to this is that you have to say it out loud. The enemy can’t hear our thoughts (praise Jesus) AND our words carry the authority. This one can be hard for some people too, because again, you feel a little silly saying it—but trust me and just do it. My command sounded something like: “Satan, I command you to release my thinking. You spirit of fear, I command you to come off of me right now by the authority of Jesus Christ. You no longer have any power over me. I choose faith. I choose Jesus. I am submitted to Him, I am right with Him, and that means you have to leave.”
It doesn’t always happen this way, but in this instance, I physically felt a weight come off of me. It was a bit jarring—but in a good way. Even my husband witnessed it. If you don’t have the same experience though, don’t worry! Your words still carry the same authority and the spirits causing the trouble still have to leave. ALSO, if you want to get really fired up, watch the movie “War Room!” It goes hand in hand with the truths I’m sharing here!
FINALLY—- Anytime the enemy tries to come back with taunting thoughts, I remind the him that he has no authority or right to bother me. I command him to leave and remind him that I belong to Jesus and I choose faith and peace. If I don’t notice immediate peace, I start confessing scriptures out loud until I do. No, it’s not necessarily easy or convenient. But it works if you remain persistent.
I am grateful to say that several weeks later I’m no longer walking in any fear or worry. The battle has been won, Praise Jesus. My cares have been cast upon the Lord.
I will add this word of caution for those who may try these steps and not experience victory. Sometimes fear is so deep-seated in a person that the enemy has permission to stay and torment them even if they command the spirit(s) to leave. The permission was granted long ago, maybe even beyond their memory, and it will take additional work to reveal the root of fear. If that’s you— it’s OK. There’s so much hope for you! I work closely with a ministry that can help. If you’d like, you can learn more and read my story.
Until next time, be blessed. Keep pursuing peace!