By Pastor Steven Furtick
There are seasons in our lives when we feel like we are under attack. Sometimes we are under attack with words of worthlessness and feelings of anxiety.
The attack of the enemy often manifests itself in an overwhelming sense of anxiety.
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. – 1 Peter 5:8
The devil is after you, he is waiting to kill, divide, destroy, and he is busy and active. The devil is like a roaring lion, meaning he gives you a warning before the attacks. Sometimes we act surprised at a situation almost like we were not warned, but the devil roars LOUDLY and lets you know he’s coming.
Then, you find yourself in a season of attack from a roaring lion, and Peter says RESIST HIM (1 Peter 5:9) the hand of God reigns over our lives. We can’t see Gods hand, but we can feel the effects of it. The believer has the upper hand because the hand of God is over us!
- The plans of God will prosper;
- The hand of God will bring water out of a rock;
- Anything you put in the hand of God will multiply!
- The hand of God is a hand of provision and protection.
Sometimes it is right when you’re on the verge of a breakthrough that you start to sink. In Matthew 14:25-32 (Jesus walks on water) Peter cries out to Jesus before He sinks fully, immediately Jesus reached out his hand and grabs him. The problem with someone who feels like they are sinking, is not that they are sinking, is that they don’t stay close enough for God to grab them. Although Peter was sinking, he was close enough for Jesus to grab him.
At times He will let you go down low enough to show you that you need him, and then pull you high to show the world He’s with you. Sometimes the only way for you to find your foundation is to hit rock bottom. Sometimes that’s the best place to build from, to lead from, and to become a better person. Cry out, Lord save me! And his hand can come and save you.
Once you have gone very high, as a leader, or at your job, or with your family, you feel a pressure to go higher, and then YOU feel YOU have gone as high as YOU can go. The thoughts and feelings of “I don’t have what it takes” can overwhelm you.
When anxiety attacks, it will drive you to seek God, to seek his hand.
Sometimes anxiety in our lives is a result of our unwillingness to be obedient when we try to do things in our own strength.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. – 1 Peter 5:6-7
To understand the essence of this bible verse and the profundity of the connection you need to see a literal translation. Humble yourself FIRST, and THEN you can cast your fears aside, you CAN’T cast your anxiety AND keep your pride. Pride and anxiety are connected, when you try to do things your way, you will feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders because it is.
At the center of your anxiety, if you really trace it, spiritually speaking is your PRIDE, you have yourself at the center. You are taking on the weight you were never supposed to carry.
The anxiety is the fruit, and the pride is the root. If you pluck the root it can’t bear fruit, take yourself off the center. This is a time for resistance, and although the lion might be roaring, after you have suffered a little while, God will reach down! The devil can’t keep you down forever!
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power forever and ever. Amen. – 1 Peter 5:10-11