How to Overcome the Strongholds of Stress and Anxiety

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God isn't human, so He doesn't have anxiety, stress, worry and fear. However, He is not oblivious to any of that because He sees us and knows everything about our lives. He knows that this is at the root of every addiction we have, especially a food addiction.

We stress and worry because we have taken all the problems in our corner of the world on our shoulders, even though we know God is the only one who can hold the whole world in the palm of His hand. We're stressing over issues that aren't ours to solve.

Every issue does not end in us. It ends in God.

Detach From the World

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We are too attached to this world and its cares, woes, victories and struggles. Jesus warns us about this very thing.

"The person who loves his life and pampers himself will miss true life! But the one who detaches his life from this world and abandons himself to Me, will find true life and enjoy it forever!" (John 12:25, TPT).

Attachment to this world really means that we are unwilling to submit completely to God. He's calling all of us to a deeper journey with Him, but first, we have to detach from everything we have become attached to in this world. We must willingly surrender what the Lord asks of us.

Attach to God

Attaching to God is the way to detach from the world. In order to do that, though, we first have to get rid of our pride and self-righteousness.

1 Peter 5:6-7 (AMP) says, "Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God [set aside self-righteous pride], so that He may exalt you [to a place of honor in His service] at the appropriate time, casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully]."

When we are stressing over how much we need to get done and trying to fix everything, we are trying to take the timing out of God's hands. When we do that, we reattach to the world and its problems and once again take on the prideful attitude that says this problem can't be solved without me. I, and I alone, have to fix it.

God's hand is mighty, but what is in His hand? It holds all power, provision and protection. If we had all we needed of these three things, we could solve every problem that needs to be solved in the world. But we don't hold power, provision and protection in our own hands; God does. So why do we try to carry the cares of the world on our shoulders instead of letting Him do what only He can do?

We must submit to the one who really can solve these problems. We must stay out of the way and let Him direct what needs to be done. We let Him tell us what to do instead of us demanding what we want Him to do.

Stand Firm in the Faith

After we give our problems to God, though, we aren't exactly finished. First Peter 5:8 gives us a warning about what comes next. We've detached from the world and submitted to God, so now the enemy isn't just sneaking around, trying to get us to believe lies; he's attacking us. He doesn't like the fact that we have given up stress and worry, so now He pounces with a roar. He's ready to take us on.

This isn't a time for us to run. It's a time for us to resist the devil and stand firm in the faith. I love that 1 Peter 5:9a (TPT) tells us to "Take a decisive stand against him and resist his every attack with strong, vigorous faith." Standing firm in the faith is the only way to victory.

God's promise comes in 1 Peter 5:10b: "The God of all loving grace, who has called you to share in His eternal glory in Christ, will personally and powerfully restore you and make you stronger than ever. Yes, He will set you firmly in place and build you up."

The Amplified version says God Himself will "complete, confirm, strengthen, and establish you [making you what you ought to be.]"

When I struggled with super morbid obesity, it didn't even occur to me to allow God to establish me, set me firmly in place, build me up and make me what He wanted me to be, what I ought to be. That's always God's desire, but first I had to surrender everything I was attached to in this world.

The biggest thing was sugar. I held on to it because I thought it was helping me get through life. It was what was hindering me from being able to stand in the faith totally attached to God! Surrendering it saved my life and changed the path I was on to the one God always desired for me.

How does God handle our anxiety and stress? He has all power and knows exactly how to deal with each care and worry we have because He also has all the peace we need. Casting our worries and cares on Him is the only way to deal with anything that plagues us.

For more on this topic, check out the Eating Stress course and listen to Episode 78 of Sweet Grace for Your Journey on the Charisma Podcast Network, titled Standing Firm In the Faith.

Teresa Shields Parker is the author of six books and two study guides, including her No. 1 bestseller, Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds. Her sixth book, Sweet Surrender: Breaking Strongholds, is live on Amazon. She blogs at teresashieldsparker.com. She is also a Christian weight loss coach (check out her coaching group at Overcomers Academy) and speaker. Don't miss her podcast, Sweet Grace for Your Journey, available on CPN.

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