I was feeling oppressed for about two weeks or more. No matter how much I prayed, I couldn’t take away that ‘blanket’ that seemed to have enveloped my mind. Once or twice, that blanket seemed to lift up a bit and some light would come in. But that was it. My mind continued to be cluttered, I continued to feel oppressed and almost separated from the presence of God.
At one moment, I began to think “demonic oppression”. You know how easy that is to do. I think there was actually some demonic oppression, though, because I’d basically let my mind run wild, with little to no discipline.
I then determined to pray through until the veil gets off me.
I began a fast. But before I went into prayer, an idea popped into my mind to make a list of all that was troubling me at the time. AND THEN, to go to Scriptures and find out what God says about those issues.
I wrote down everything that was a problem to my relationship with the Lord. Among the list were
- Worry, anxiety, and impatience
- Bitterness, resentment and grumbling
- Indiscipline in seeking God as I know I should
- And a host of ‘petty’ sins that I had let loose in my life.
I then took one at a time and began searching Scriptures for God’s perspective.
And I was delivered. I didn’t pray the way I’d earlier planned. I didn’t rebuke any evil spirit. God’s Word clearly showed me I was in sin for the kind of mindset I’d allowed to run wild.
What does God’s Word say about what is causing anxiety in me?
At the end of the day I discovered something that was going to greatly influence my relationship with the Lord for the positive. I realized that what I just did was one valid way of casting my cares on the Lord, which basically is believing God’s Word and acting in accordance, no matter the situation.
Whether we realize it or not, cares, anxieties, panic, confusion arise when we do not believe God’s Word. When we believe what we see and feel more than what God has promised us.
And the solution is not prayer alone. It is faith in God’s Word. That faith may or may not require prayer, depending on the individual situation. It may only involve a gritted-teeth kind of standing firm on what you believe from God’s Word, and refusing to be overwhelmed by the physical situation, refusing to let what you see or fear trump the goodness and faithfulness of God.
The Bible has commands for us. But many times Christians are lost as to the practical way of living out those commands. That is why I felt the need to write this blog based on my experience above.
Casting your cares on the Lord is not ignoring the situation causing the fear and panic in your heart. It means looking at it from God’s perspective.
This is very important because sometimes the solution doesn’t always come through God intervening to take care of the problem. It may sometimes only involve a change of attitude from you. That means, your reaction to the problem is the cause of the anxiety, and not the problem itself.
That is why prayer alone may not be appropriate in every situation where you’re panicky. You need to go to God’s Word and let Him shed light on your situation. And if God’s Word rebukes you, you need to repent and start aligning your mind and actions to God’s perspective.
Have faith in God. He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7)
It would be taken for granted that a Christian should have faith in God. But that isn’t always the case. Else the Bible wouldn’t have given the command to, ‘not be anxious’ and we wouldn’t be here talking about how to deal with worries and anxieties.
What should be emphasized here is what that faith should look to. Have faith in the goodness and faithfulness of God. Those are the attributes of God mostly attacked when negative situations overwhelm us.
We doubt His love, we doubt His word, and we question His goodness. Yet He never changes.
To cast your cares on the Lord, you must begin from a place of faith in Him.
Make your requests known to God. (Philippians 4:6)
This is where the difference between concern and worry is seen. The former leads you to take the issue to God, while the latter doesn’t, or even when you do go to God in worry, what you’d most likely do is complain, instead of praying in faith.
Make your request in faith, in view of God’s faithfulness. Expect to see the answers manifest.
To know you’ve prayed in faith, God’s peace must reign in your heart over that situation, even before you see the physical manifestation of the answer. That’s what God promises in verse 7 of Philippians chapter 4.
If you’re still anxious after making your request known to God, it is a result of doubt and unbelief, which you need to deal with by meditating on God’s Word.
However, a genuine concern may persist. In such a case, it is good to continue praying for a situation if the burden or concern persists.
Keep casting the care on the Lord!
Just because you made your request known to God, asking in faith for His intervention, doesn’t mean the tendency to worry is over. Not all answers to prayer are evident immediately. So before the answer comes, you may be tempted to get anxious again.
This is where you demonstrate your faith in God for the answer. You believed He answered when you prayed (Mark 11:24) and you continue to stand in faith until you see the resolution of whatever challenge might have occasioned fear and anxiety in you.
Refuse to take back the anxiety upon you.
If you truly cast a care on the Lord, stop focusing on the problem. You believe God’s working, so don’t even imagine how He’s going to make it happen. It is yours to believe, and God’s to answer.
1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Yes, He does! He wants you to live free of anxiety.