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The other day as I was half awake in the morning, still dwelling on some thoughts that could have turned into real worries sooner or later, I suddenly heard a voice that emphatically told me, “Panic is satanic!” Although I knew it was the Holy Spirit speaking to me, I wondered why His voice was not as still and subtle as it often is when God nudges me tenderly to open my ears toward Him. It dawned on me that God wanted to teach me something. Therefore, I would not be that surprised later that day as a black truck passed me by when I was on a prayer walk in the afternoon. On this truck you could read a big-lettered yellow label that said, “Don’t panic!” Aha!  🙂

However, my first thought afterwards, alas, was a worried one. “Did God try to warn me that a bad thing might happen to me and that I should not react panic-stricken?  🙄 Many of us might know how panic works. At first you have a tiny, seemingly innocent thought about something you fear. If you dwell on it long enough, this thought produces frightening emotions that are related to fear like trepidations and anxieties. For fear of what might happen to you soon(er or later) your heartbeat is getting faster and breathing is getting harder and harder as… all of a sudden another bad thought is offered to you. Then it is getting VERY hard to NOT dwell on this one, either. Actually, the power that is hidden in this mere mental race to the bottom increases as long as we allow these spirits to keep working in us. Thus they begin to rule our thought life. Although nothing seems to have happened on the outside in the visible realm, there is a real war going on in the spiritual realm of our minds as our soul suffers from these strong negative emotions and our physical being is forced to endure an ever-increasing stress-induced weakening of our body’s defenses. This is anything but fun, right?  🙁

We may theoretically know that we should have rather turned to the Lord with all our heart, mind, and strength at once, but alas, it seems to be too late as all our strength has disappeared. I do know how both threatening and weakening these false spirits tend to be whether I meet them in my dreams (nightmares), in what I read or watch, or whether I have an encounter with people who are driven by these spirits. If I dwell long enough on what I have experienced, I am always back at square one regarding a restful spiritual state of mind as I described further above. Instead, another panic attack is approaching…  😦

But STOP!!! Isn’t there a way out of this mental confusion or is it our inevitable fate to cave in to these wrong spirits?  🙄 Even if we know what to do, that is, to turn to the Lord for help, it is sometimes helpful to see how biblical persons dealt with fear in the past as they had often experienced Gods help in their trials. Here is a short excerpt from the Old Testament. The psalmist said,

Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? The Lord is on my side as my helper; I shall look in triumph on those who hate me. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. (Ps 118:5-8 ESV)

These are only a few verses that have just touched my heart in a particular though indescribable way. Whatever might be floating around in our heads, isn’t it more often about other people, i.e. human beings, than about God? Trusting in man is not wrong, esp. when the other one is a Christian of whom we know we can rely on them. However, we need to have learned to rely on God before. If we do not know that God answers our prayers and our cries for help, how could we ever trust other people and discern the good (ones) from the bad (ones), too?  🙄

Dear reader, I dare to share another but pretty long part of Scripture with you on here. What has helped me from this first chapter of Proverbs is particularly the last verse 33. I know I wrote an article about this verse before, yet now I want to include the whole context as well.

Wisdom cries aloud in the street, in the markets she raises her voice; at the head of the noisy streets she cries out; at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:

“How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge? If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you. Because I have called and you refused to listen, have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded, because you have ignored all my counsel and would have none of my reproof, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when terror strikes you, when terror strikes you like a storm and your calamity comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you. Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently but will not find me.

Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord, would have none of my counsel and despised all my reproof, therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way, and have their fill of their own devices. For the simple are killed by their turning away, and the complacency of fools destroys them; but whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.” (Proverbs 1:20-33 ESV)

I believe if we seek out God for wisdom (see James 1:5), which is Christ who has been made God’s wisdom for us (cf. 1 Cor 1:30), we should never be troubled in our minds by ANYTHING any more. May God help us to get there.

…but whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster. (Proverbs 1:33 ESV)

All images © 2018 Susanne Schuberth