In Bible class the other night, our pastor spoke of the goals and deceptions of the kingdom of darkness. How we often imagine the demons primarily trying to put things into our minds, when in reality their objective is more to keep things out of them -- ie, the things of God.
They want to separate us from being occupied with Christ and concentrating on the Father's Plan for our lives. Those believers who get committed and serious about learning His word and living in His plan, will be attacked. And the demons know that one of the best ways to pull us away from thinking about God is to get us thinking about ourselves and our circumstances.
And too often we are complete suckers for their ploys, especially the one of anxiety. Having dealt with our kind for thousands of years, they know how effective simple anxiety is at cutting our minds off from the things of God. And it's so easy to get us there...
Just send in some in people to put fear, worry or anxiety into our souls. Or bring in some situation of suspense. Our enemies know how much we hate not knowing what's going to happen, how automatic it is for us to fall into contemplating all the aspects of the "problem", thinking about all the bad ways things might go, then getting caught up in trying to solve them with our own power and ways.
Proverbs 12:25 Anxiety in the heart of a man weighs it down.
I've been weighed down lately, without really knowing why. For some time (a week? A couple? I'm not sure) I've awakened to a downer feeling each morning whose source I could not identify. Sometimes it would continue intermittantly throughout the day. I especially noticed it when I'd think about working on the book. I thought I was probably tired, and worried a little that if I was already starting to be tired now, what was I going to be like in a month?
Last night I finally realized that I've fallen into fear and anxiety again, though because it's been more in my emotions than in my thoughts, I didn't recognize what I was doing. Now I do. There is so much left to put into this book and I have no idea how I'm going to do it in the chapters I have remaining. I see all the things that still need to be done, fixed, added, thought of, even in the work I've already done. How will I ever have the time to do it all? What about the "cool" scenes I'd envisioned for the end? Are they really going to be that cool, or am I going to flub it up and turn what I thought would be moving and golden all flat and gray? The storyline has not gone at all in the direction I thought it would and it's turning out to be a very different book than I'd anticipated. I fear that maybe I made a wrong turn, that I've written the wrong stuff and that it's going to be a boring book. Instead of pleasing readers, moving them and making them feel glad to have read it all, I fear they will be let down and disappointed.
Those thoughts have not been at the forefront of my mind by any means, but they have drifted in and out at times and I didn't realize how much I needed to nab them and confront them. I am seeing how the kingdom of darkness does bring in people and situations and even my own stupidity (I went glory hunting again the other day, despite knowing that is a bad idea) to reinforce all these doubts...
Still, the solution is easy: confess the fear, turn away from it and concentrate on what is true. For me, that means to recall that God has chosen me for this, and not rejected me (Is 41:9,10). That He promised to help me and guide me. I have asked repeatedly, in fact, for His guidance and for Him to make this book what He wants it to be. (And, please Lord, can you make it so I'll like it too?) I believe He has answered, even if sometimes I can't see the answer. I know He will do the work he has called me to, because He's said he would (I Th 5:24). Likewise He's assured me He will help me and that I will not be ashamed.(Is 50:7) From all this I know the book is on the right track. I know that it will all fall into place at the right time, even if I can't see it from where I stand right now. He is going to do it. It's his work, not mine and if I concentrate on that and believe that, the anxiety is gone and the freedom returns.
Balloon photo by Hyku