How do we reject anxious thoughts?
Because temptations are built on lies or half lies, they are false. Jesus said that the truth shall set us free.
We are able to reject anxious thoughts (temptations) by rejecting falsehood and deliberately accepting the truth. These disciples renew their minds by the Word of God. Below are three categories that we need to retrain ourselves in order to counter and overcome temptations.
1) Declare the truth of God.
God's greatness and power is not dependent upon my feelings. He is loving even when I don't feel He loves me. This is the truth. Truth is irrespective to our feelings about the matter. God simply doesn't change. God is our wise Creator. Always. If I am a Christian, then God is my Father.
No matter what difficulty we might face, it is always tremendously important just to state aloud the truths of God. We see the psalmists doing this again and again. It is modeled for us in the Lord's prayer. Declare the attributes and works of God!
2) Admit the truth of our weaknesses.
We could only do those things because of God's great work in our lives. Just yesterday I was pondering what I was like before I became a Christian at around the age of twelve. I realized that if God had left me alone, I would be a totally messed up person. God has worked so patiently worked in my life.
Our weaknesses are always present.
We are dependent upon food, air and many other things. When we state the truth about our lives, we must face our own inadequacies. This is not easy but very important. The side benefit of stating the truth about ourselves is that we fight against our pride which keeps us from relying on God. God uses our difficult circumstances to expose areas in our lives in which we need to further trust Him.
We should mention that we are not asking us to reject what good we have done. That would be to reject truth, if in fact we did it. We are not asking us to deny the great things God has done through us. They themselves are true too. But put them in light of God's grace. This is the true picture.
For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6).
The earlier we pray this truth about ourselves to God about any particular day or situation, the quicker we will be humbled and be able to draw on God's wonderful love and strength.
3) Detect the truth of our situation.
Finding the truth about our situations is usually most difficult. This is because there is often the mixture of truth and lie. Our perception of our situations are not always accurate. This is the reason the topic "Finding God's Will" has been so popular over the years. Although this is a topic in itself, let us briefly note three possibilities.
a) God initiated plan
God started it; He will help me through this situation. He promised to provide for all my needs.
An example is life. God gave life to us and promises to care for our needs (Matthew 6:33). Another is our spiritual life. God has promised to give us everything that we would ever need to live as a valiant and faithful Christian.
... His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. (2 Peter 1:2,3).
b) Selfinitiated plan
I started it. I need to repent before help will come.
An example of this is going into debt. Joe liked the new and flashy car with all the features. Now he is stuck with high monthly installments. This worked out okay when Joe's job was stable, but now he is filled with worries because he might lose his job - and probably his car! Joe needs to repent of his covetousness. This does not mean that he will lose his job and the car, but because he has humbled himself, he is able to trust God in case he does lose everything.
c) Combination of God and self
Satan's clever tactics include mixing both truth and falsehood together. God might have said one thing, but we are tempted to slightly alter the plans. When trouble occurs, we get confused and usually blame God. In fact, we need to scrutinize our circumstances to see if our personal decisions have twisted God's original design. The evil one twisted the scriptures and asked Jesus to do something. If Jesus jumped down as the evil one said, Jesus would have gone beyond the promise of God. Jesus would have tested God rather than trusted Him.
An example might be of Sally who was led of God to go to Chicago for that new job. But only after two months, she felt as if God has forsook her. In fact, Sally was right to go to Chicago with that job but wrong in trying to make new friends in an unbiblical way. Her new friends at work invited her to go with them to eat at this lounge. She didn't sense it was right but still went. After just 6 weeks, she found herself compromising God's Word on several points and never felt so far from God.
She needed to come back to the Lord by seeing what wrongs she did, confess them, reject them and choose God's way. She needed to place the need of friendship into God's hands.
Never be afraid of truth. Embrace the truth and facts as they are. Accept them. Follow them. Truth helps us gain God's perspective which always brings help to us. Without truth, we will be bound to operate by our feelings and situations.
Let us see how our mind works along with our emotions. Next page