We live in overdrive. Our lives are filled with anxiety. Threats all around bring fear into our lives. So much is out of our control, yet we allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by all that we hear, see and fear might happen. The reality is that bad things happen, life is challenging, the world is broken, and this isn’t a new situation. It was much the same in David’s time. David realized what his anxious thoughts were doing to him. He hadn’t learned about neural pathways or the psyche, but he knew the source of his problem. It’s not what’s out there, outside of us, that makes us anxious, it’s what we allow inside—into our minds and hearts. It’s within us! David prays for God to search his heart and know his thoughts and purify him so that he can move forward with peace and hope.
Scriptures – Ps 139: 9-10, 13-14, 17-24; 2 Co 10:5; Ph 4:6-7
How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me! O God, if only you would destroy the wicked! Get out of my life, you murderers! They blaspheme you, your enemies misuse your name. O Lord, shouldn’t I hate those who hate you? Shouldn’t I despise those who oppose you? Yes, I hate them with total hatred, for your enemies are my enemies. Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. Ps 139:17-24
Sincerely praying the prayer that David prayed takes courage, but if you truly ask God to search and reveal what is binding you up in anxiety, He will reveal the truth. (Intake) A healthy mind and spirit require nourishment. If your intake is full of media, negative people, ungodly activities and busyness, you will be anxious. You need to take in God’s Word, spend time with people who encourage you and participate in wholesome and godly activities. (Balance) The inability to order your priorities will cause you to spend time on what’s not important and fail to do what truly matters. Some things don’t really matter. What some people think doesn’t really matter. Make decisions that will move you forward and don’t waste time and energy on what doesn’t. Peace comes when you get your life in balance. (Integrity) You cannot be anxiety-free when you are hiding and worried that you’ll be found out because you are trying to be 3 different versions on you. Get real with God and with yourself. Make sure your behavior in all settings is consistent with the godly life God has called you to live. (Focus) Our imaginations are wonderful, creative tools that allow us to dream and plan and hope. However, Satan wants to cloud your imagination with bad scenarios and what ifs. Most of the worries that plague us are not real, they just steal our peace and our future. Worship can replace worry and yield an opposite result. Instead of thinking about how everything can go wrong, expect to see the goodness of the Lord. Focus on the positive. (Stay Connected) Satan wants to isolate you from everything and everyone that can strengthen you spiritually. If he can control your intake, keep your priorities off balance, bring your integrity into question, and keep you focused on fear, he has succeeded in isolating you from what you need to have peace. Ask God to search and reveal!
What is your anxiety level on a scale of 1-10? If you have high anxiety, to what do you attribute your stress? Is your anxiety based on something real or imagined? Do you have any control over the situation? How might you change your focus in order to have peace even in a situation that is a true concern? What are your priorities? Are they in line with God’s priorities for you? Are you the same person in all settings? Explain.
Pray the prayer that David prayed and be open to God’s revelation in your life. Then do something about it!
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. In Jesus Name I pray, amen.