This is episode 11 of the Overcoming Anxiety Through Faith podcast. It is titled Identifying Strongholds That Anxiety has Created in Your Life.
So today wanted to share with you a story about a sort of revelation that I recently had, and this is what inspired this episode of the podcast. So I recently took a trip with my children and after returning home from the trip, uh, noticed things um, about myself and my home that I knew about myself, but had previously just sort of swept under the rug, no pun intended.
So I wanted to do some improving to our home. And so I began to do some cleaning, some deep cleaning and things like that, that I’d not done in a while and began to think, you know, cleaning is a great time to think. And so, as I was doing this cleaning, I was thinking, and I was thinking about how in the past things that I have done were as a result of anxiety that I’d had in the past.
So for a crazy example, I recently purchased a new cleaning product and I was using it to clean off the front of my refrigerator. And I shared with one of my children that, Hey, this product really works. And I wasn’t, it wasn’t that I was surprised that the product worked. It was the fact that I had in the past, not purchase the product based on the fact that it was more expensive than I normally would buy. And if you’ve listened to previous episodes of my podcast, you know, that finances are a trigger for me and my anxiety.
I avoid things that cost more due to the fact that it has caused me anxiety in the past. So sometimes I believe that our triggers become and the things that cause our triggers become strongholds in our life. So I was telling my child that I’d never purchased this product before because it gave me anxiety about spending too much money because the product was a little more than the normal costs that I would spend on that type of product.
And I related a story to him about a time that I had such anxiety over money, that when I was diagnosed with some skin issues back, probably I would say at least, okay, nine or 10 years ago, maybe even longer than that. I was diagnosed with this issue with my skin. And so I had to use a soap that was milder. So, the doctor told me to go and get like a Dove soap or something along those lines. And in my mind that soap costs more than I normally would spend on a soap. So, when I was at the store and I picked up the Dove soap, I went to check out, my card would not work that day. And I was not able to purchase my groceries in my items by myself. Luckily I was with my mom and my grandmother that day and that one of them paid for my items and I paid them back.
But this incident caused me such anxiety that it created within me, a stronghold where I identified that situation with that particular soap. And I never wanted to buy it again because of the anxiety that it caused me. So there are likely strongholds that you have in your life based on the fact that anxiety has been created from that situation or that item or that or that thing. You just never know what it might be. And if you can identify them, it is a way that you can begin to break the cycle and you have to identify those, and scripture talks about strongholds and how they take root in our lives. And so I wanted to share that with you and also share with you an activity that you can do that I think would help you to identify those strongholds, and to break through from them as I have done in my own life. And didn’t even realize honestly, that I was doing it until I was spending some time, um, cleaning and thinking, and it, God identified that to me in my own heart.
So I wanted to share a quick verse with you before I share this activity. The verse is Ephesians 6:12, which says “for our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers against the powers against the world forces of this darkness against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
And the thing is, is that many times these are just thoughts in our mind that are often planted in our minds by Satan, that we give into and we keep, and we hold on to, and that creates what I’m identifying here as a strong cold. And so the activity is to look back over your life and create a timeline. And you want to create a timeline with dates and things that have happened. So you would write out the timeline with the dates and you would think of significant events and even insignificant events.
Because if you think about it, buying a bar of Dove soap at the store is very insignificant, but you have to identify the feelings that the situation gives you and why those caused anxiety. So you think back over your life and you think about situations that cause extreme anxiety for you or panic attacks, and these significant events will help you to identify the triggers that we talked about before, but also the strong colds. And that is only, you cannot break through strongholds until you know what they are. And so if you don’t know what they are and you haven’t identified them, it is very difficult to break them. Correct. So think about those, um, significant and insignificant situations and see if there are any repetitive situations. So, maybe this has happened multiple times about situations that are similar to each other, and that’s how you can begin to identify what is causing your anxiety, the triggers, but also what the strongholds are so that you can identify them and break through them.
And so I hope that you will sit down and spend some time doing this because I think that it is a helpful activity, but also this may take some time for it to all just come to you all at once. You’ve got to spend some time thinking and praying about it and ask God to identify these things in your life and how you can overcome them. Because that’s why this podcast is called Overcoming Anxiety Through Faith is because you have to invite God into this situation and you have to ask him for his help and you have to actually be willing and open to accept his help.
Because if you are holding onto your anxiety in your situation with a clenched fist, then it’s not going to work. It’s going to be difficult to allow him in. It’s kind of like inviting a guest over and then not opening the door for them it’s the same thing with God. When you are wanting him to help you with something, if you don’t unclench your fist and allow him to take that thing out of your hands, then it’s impossible for him to help you. So I just want to leave that thought with you today, open your hands and your heart and allow God to work and move and break the strongholds of anxiety in your life.