Anxiety & Confidence
Your Own Personal Goliath – Lesson 6 of the Overcome Recovery Study Guide
Worry, doubt, panic, distress. Quite often these symptoms are brought on by stress and are motivating factors that can actually have physical effects on our bodies, not just our minds. Thoughts do in fact have power and many times come in the form of debilitating paralysis that can many times end in cardiac arrest or the need to self-medicate. But the bigger question is… what do you gain from all of this worry? Follow along in this lesson of the “Overcome” recovery study guide, to find out.
What is anxiety, in your words? Throughout this topic, I will use the words anxiety, worry and doubt interchangeably. This is a difficult topic to define in origin and the many avenues it travels, so let’s get a fill in the blank out on the floor you can be thinking about during an analogy we are going to use in a minute.
I trust God the least with_____________
Anxiety is my imagination running wild, fearing the outcome, fearing the punishment and repercussions from past decisions. But in the mind of the anxious person, anything and everything bad is possible. Many times we are vulnerable to it just by waking up. We don’t typically look for anything good to happen. And when we worry, we lose any form of peace we had and we lose assurance because we have ceased to trust God. Those of us who suffer from anxiety are not only damaging to ourselves, but become infectious to others, by unintendedly stealing their joy and confidence by planting seeds of doubt.
Anxiety, loss of control, holding our breath, waiting for the other shoe to drop, Weight of the world on your shoulders, sink or swim, study long study wrong, crack under the pressure. It is urgent and requires immediate attention. And the only way we know how to deal with it is to escape and find something to take the edge off. This comes in the form of various distractions. Not really dealing with it when it eclipses our acceptable level of worry. It no longer becomes manageable and starts to manifest physically within us.
Open your bibles to 1 Samuel 17. We are going to look at one of the more famous accounts in the bible. In this story we have a scene that is developing, and I want to draw a parallel to a few points of it as it relates to our topic for this post.
Goliath was a Philistine champion, who was a monstrous man. In other words, he was a massive problem for the Israelites. He intimidated them and challenged them. In his challenge he even gave them a reward for victory and a penalty for failure. For forty days he continued to taunt and challenge them, but the Israelites were afraid and paralytic. Until a little boy named David approached the king with a proposition. Keep this in mind, we will return to it a little later.
In a section (Matthew 6:25-34) of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus teaches about anger, lust, prayer, money, criticizing others and worry. This sermon would be the first mass teaching Jesus engaged in. So many nuggets can be found in this sermon for daily living, which affects not only our spiritual lives but also our eternity.
And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?Matt 6:27
For this verse of scripture, I want to do a word study on the word anxious. In the KJV, the phrase taking thought is used instead of anxious. If we go to Strong’s Concordance and trace back the phrase taking thought to its origin, you get many words that all point to the idea of distraction and doubt. The way I interpret this is simply worry will not produce anything useful.
Anxiety and confidence are rhythms or cadences we get into. Doubt and confidence are questions of trust and responsibility. And I would be remiss, if I didn’t at least acknowledge there is a measure of anxiety bred into us from our original parents.
And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.”Genesis 3:8-10
“Overcome” Recovery Study Guide
Application – Appraise and Assign
For our application, I want you to draw a simple graph, like the one below. We are going to use this as a visual layout for a logical assessment. In the graphic below, I have started you off with somewhat of a head-start just to get the ball rolling.
To diagnose anxiety, we have 4 questions that must be asked:
- Is this something I am responsible for? Am I doing things that are actively increasing my level of anxiety; poor financial choices, known and habitual sin?
- Or is this something I am not responsible for? Is this a question of another’s decisions or something outside of my control?
- Is this a possible concern? This is typically considered invalid in the world of logic. I could win the lottery…
- Or is this a probable concern? These are considered valid. …but it’s not probable that I would win the lottery.
Do you trust God in all things? Do you trust God to keep the sun shining, to keep the earth spinning, to wake you in the morning, to place breath in your lungs? Do you trust Jesus when he said he was leaving for a period of time to prepare a place for us? Do you trust him with the big stuff and the little stuff? If you do, then have confidence that he is looking out for you in all things. We have to give up ownership of what we are worrying about.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:6-7
We will close out this post by finishing up the beginning story in Samuel. Ask yourself, what is your goliath? Is it probable and valid? Is it something you have created and need to take some steps to reconcile? Do you need to confess and repent from those decisions? If you have answered yes to any of these questions, then take action as David did in the below verses: step with a singularity of purpose with no hesitation, but instead confidence.
When the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. And David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone and slung it and struck the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground.1 Samuel 17:48-49
The “Overcome” Recovery Study Guide is part of the discipleship program at First Contact Ministries in Hendersonville, NC.
Did you miss the other lessons in this series? Click see the entire Overcome Recovery Study Guide series.
We always look forward to meeting new people at our Tuesday night support group meetings at 6:30 pm, located at Mud Creek Church in Hendersonville, NC. Our classes are designed to teach biblical principles for addiction recovery through discipleship. Our goal is to show the love of Jesus by supporting those who need it most.
For more information or to purchase “The Resistance” by Josh Staton to use as a Christian leadership book, or curriculum for an addiction recovery class, please visit: The Resistance: Becoming A Servant Leader Through the Beatitudes Christian Leadership Book