“When my fears, like Jericho, build their walls around my soul; when my heart is overthrown, Your love is my battle cry, the anthem for all my life.” (Every Giant Will Fall – Rend Collective)
I struggle with anxiety. It’s been a lifelong struggle, but it has really come to light in the past few years. In the past, I’ve struggled with anxiety attacks, sleepless nights, and physical pain caused by anxiety. By the sheer and utter grace of God, I have overcome that severity, but the devil still wants in, so he attacks me in little ways.
Caleb and I have several young married friends who have suffered miscarriages recently. It is painful beyond words to watch our friends go through this, and to imagine ourselves in their shoes is unbearable. We’re a young married couple, and we may start a family soon, so the devil thought he could sneak in and attack me here. Yesterday at church, during altar call, our pastor was praying over his 9 year old little girl who is fighting an infection in her finger. Something about praying over kids always brings me to tears, but before I even knew what hit me, I was down the trail of what ifs. What if that’s us here in a few years? What if our baby was sick, or I had a difficult pregnancy, or we lost a baby?
Fear was attacking me from every angle. Ridiculous fear of hypothetical scenarios, but fear nonetheless. The instant that last thought passed through my mind, my chest tightened. You see, a few years back, I struggled with severe anxiety and depression, and I had such intense chest pain that I saw a cardiologist and we began to search for problems with my heart. Little did I know, the devil was just wreaking havoc in my soul. There have been only a few times the chest pain has come back in the last two years, and yesterday’s surprised me.
So what did I do? I prayed, and it left, because the devil has no power when the Spirit of God is near.
How do I fight anxiety? I pray, and it leaves, because the devil has no power when the Spirit of God is near.
What do I do when my fear feels bigger than my faith? I pray, and it leaves, because the devil has no power when the Spirit of God is near.
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The way I fight my anxiety is the same way the Israelites fought at Jericho.
When Joshua and the Israelites arrived at Jericho, there was a king, an army of men, and a huge wall standing between them and the Promised Land. While the Bible doesn’t speak directly to it, I believe that they might have been just a little afraid of what God was going to have them do to get through this city. But God, the very same God who spoke “do not be afraid” to David time and time again, gave them a way. Joshua prayed, and God told him what to do. The Israelites would march around the city once every day for six days. On the seventh day, they would march around it seven times, while the seven priests blew their trumpets. At the end, they would give a loud shout, and the walls would fall to the ground. The Israelites followed God’s directions, and you know what? Jericho fell. It was just a wall. Jericho wasn’t magical, it wasn’t powerful, it was just a wall. It was never anything to be afraid of, and when they followed God’s will, it fell at their feet.
When my fear feels like Jericho, like this huge wall that’s in front of me, like something that I can’t climb over or go around, I follow the example of the Israelites. I pray, and God tells me what to do. Maybe it’s facing the fear, praying it out of my life, or leaving something behind. Whatever it may be, I have to do it. I follow God’s directions, and you know what? My Jericho falls. It’s just a wall. It’s just fear. It isn’t magical, it isn’t powerful, it’s just a wall. It was never anything to be afraid of, and when I follow God’s will, it falls at my feet.
The devil is a liar.
He wants us to think that Jericho can defeat us. But it can’t. It’s a wall. And my God is bigger than a wall. Pray. Seek God. And Jericho will fall.
“When the trumpets sounded, the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, THE WALL COLLAPSED; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city.” – Joshua 6:20 (emphasis added)