Wednesday, January 14, 2015

the agreement in a thought

I have always been an anxious person, and try to consciously focus on abiding in God’s peace.  In chapter 25 of “Experience the Impossible,” Bill Johnson put anxiety in terms I had not thought of before: “When we begin to live out of fear, we must return to wherever we left our peace. Losing our peace usually involves making a mental agreement with a lie until our emotions become captive to that lie. … The agreements made in those moments work against God’s purposes for our lives” (p. 86).
            Are we really making an agreement when we dwell in anxiety? Is it that willful? It sounds strange, but if we allow ourselves to dwell on a thought instead of casting it out, we “agree” with it. I always tell myself that I am anxious because God never promised that bad things would not happen. And yet, by dwelling in all of the possibilities, realistic or otherwise, how am I honoring God?  I’m fairly certain my anxiety (not common sense precaution like wearing seatbelts, but anxiety itself) has never prevented anything bad from happening. So why do I agree to rehearse tragedy in my head?
            I have a bit of a psychology background and I believe strongly in the power of thought. We have access to wonderful truths in the Bible and the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. But most of the time we really have to choose to believe these truths deeply enough to impact our thoughts. Johnson says “living conscious of God’s heart for us keeps us in a place of peace. And peace is more than the absence of something like war, noise or conflict. Our peace is the presence of Someone. It is the actual atmosphere of heaven” (p. 86).
            Mastering anxiety involves changing our thought process and abiding in God. The word “abide” is literally translated to mean “breathe hard.” Our thoughts are like breath. They are constant. We choose, we agree with, what we dwell on. The choice has consequences. Let’s dwell on heaven and peace.
Beth Kropf