God's Answer for Anxiety

Philippians 4:6-7
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Anxiety Defined
Anxiety is the sense or feeling that results when core fear has not been confronted with God and His Love and Promises but rather pushed down, down into the lower sub-consciousness and treated with things to relieve the symptom of fear but not the cause.

Anxiety is similar to my medical symptoms. It is not something to get rid of as quickly as possible; it is something to define, to look beneath. It is not a problem to solve; it is a doorway into a deeper region of the human heart and soul  where God waits to meet you. And when you rest in the Father's embrace, unexplainable peace fills the center of your soul - Ps 23 "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for thou art with me."

Think of anxiety as the red light flashing on your dashboard. It is telling you something is wrong under the hood. Ignore it at your peril. Medication has its place, but when you use medication simply to feel better without exploring the deeper roots of your anxiety, a spiritual malignancy might remain unexposed that threatens your quality of life.

How Women experience anxiety:
Probe deeply into the inner world of women, and a profound fear of invisibility will be felt. Will people never see beauty to cherish? Does anyone see the beauty of secure femininity as God created her to be - the wonder of anchored, unthreatened wholeness that warmly invites others into the love of God? Or do people see a woman and desire only external beauty, competence, or fun sociability, things that can be used or violated?

The core terror of invisibility is most acutely felt when a woman takes the risk to be intimate - to invite a husband, a daughter, a father, or a friend to know her. Will anyone be drawn? Will they be curious? Will someone see the beauty of a feminine soul that draws the observer to God?

How Men experience anxiety:
Men are no less afraid; they are terrified by something just as personal but a little different - weightlessness. Do I have what it takes to impact people in a way that restores them to their God-designed wholeness? Will anyone value me as a weighty person in whose courage and strength people can rest?

The core terror of weightlessness is experienced when a man moves toward a wife, a child, a parent, or a friend to impact that person for good. Will anyone be impacted? Will she be grateful? Will someone respect the strength of a masculine soul that allows her to relax in the strength of God?

4 Things that are surface symptoms of a lies a core terror, a consuming fear that lives in secrecy:
1. nervousness
2. panic attacks and phobias; 
3. worries about health, money, and children
4. anxiety disorders 
Core Fears: The core terror in each person is deeply personal. People fear 
1. loneliness, 
2. inadequacy, 
3. rejection, 
4. isolation, 
5. dismissal, 
6. criticism, 
7. judgment. 
8. terror of exposure. Will I be seen for who I really am and not be wanted as I long to be?

Go Deeper - Stillness - Psychic noise.
Psalms 46:10 - Be still, and know that I am God
Getting quiet before an all powerful loving God. Practicing the Presence of God.

Only when these core identity terrors are defined can the reality of God be experienced. Until it is brought into the light of consciousness where the reality of God can strip its power, that core terror will continue to reign as a hidden tyrant. 

3 Quick fixes that don't work:
1. Live to soothe anxiety and you will miss out on the affirming, empowering experience of God. 
2. Live to feel less worry and you will depend on sources of relief that never bring peace. 
3. Live to never feel the terror of invisibility or weightlessness and you will never get close enough to people to enjoy intimacy and impact.

Do not live to solve the problem of anxiety. Live to walk through the doorway of anxiety into the core terror that will reveal the glory of a God who lavishes you with beauty and weightiness that no separation, betrayal, or experience of loneliness can destroy. Only then will you know the peace that passes understanding that anchors you in God through all the storms of life.

*Credit to Larry Crabb for some of the content in this article