47 As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice,
I will show you what they are like. 48 They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete. ” Luke 6:47-49 NIV
We are continuing to add to our collection of “tools” to help us get and stay free from the stronghold of anxiety. Previously, we discussed our strategy of renewing the mind and the importance of a good strong foundation of truth on which to build. Being a very visual person, I think the verses from Luke describing the building of a house are very appropriate and provide us with a simple, yet profound illustration of what we are about. To put it bluntly, we want…we NEED…to build our lives on a strong foundation of truth. It’s not a question IF the floods will come, but only a matter of WHEN. If our lives are built on even the slightest deviation from truth, we are in danger of verse 49 being a painful reality…our lives being collapsed with destruction being complete.
As we learned earlier, renewing our mind begins with realizing where the lies are. We simply sit down and explore our belief system. We ask ourselves, “What do I believe to be true about God?” “How do I view Him?” “What do I believe to be true about myself?” “How do I see myself?” Where fear and anxiety are concerned, we ask ourselves, “What am I afraid of?” We begin listing out our current beliefs. We are not editing. We are not giving what I call the “Sunday School answer,” where we “know” what the right answer SHOULD be but that’s not what we really believe for ourselves. We are not trying to talk ourselves out of any particular belief we have. We are not worried about what God might think. Spoiler alert: He already knows! We are not worried what someone might think about our list of beliefs. If we are going to facilitate lasting change in our lives, this is where we have to be boldly, and even harshly, honest with ourselves.
Once you have your list of things you believe, you then set about the task of proving or disproving. Two tests will greatly aid in this process. First and foremost, in order for your belief to be true and solid, it has to line up with God’s Word. Second, you can’t have two sets of truth—one set for yourself, and another set for everyone else. If your statement of belief is something you would speak to someone else as truth, then most likely its valid for you to keep as a foundational truth for yourself, keeping in mind it also has to line up with God’s Word. Far too often, we have things we believe about or speak to ourselves but would never dream of saying to another person. Let’s take a few practice runs.
I believed I had to take care of myself. Truth, God is my help (Psalm 121:1) and my provider (Philippians 4:9). I believed I could never have a true intimate relationship with God like others do. Truth, I can come boldly before His throne (Hebrews 4:16). God could never forgive me for my sin. Truth, God can and will (1 John 1:9) AND He chooses to remember them no more (Hebrews 8:12). I don’t know how to pray and I’ll never be a Bible scholar so I can’t be a real Christian. Truth, Jesus simplified prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) and Jesus said we are to actually humble ourselves and come as little children (Matthew 18:3) not as a wise scholar.
As for the second “test” of truth, I believed I was at fault for having been abused as a small child, I deserved to be miserable, I would never be a person of worth or value, I could never do enough good for God to really love and accept me, I could never change, no one would ever love me for who I was so I had to become who and what they needed me to be…and the list goes on and on and on! Now for the test: Would I ever say those things to another person? Would I ever endorse these statements as truth for someone else? The real test for me: Would I ever want or accept these statements as truth for or from my daughter??? NEVER!!!! NEVER, EVER!!! Therefore, they must not be true for me either.
I literally made a list of my faulty beliefs and then countered each one with statements of truth that I discovered from my testing process as just explained. Then to get them to “stick,” I rehearsed them…over and over and over and over. Back in the day before the convenience of smart phones, I had my truth statements written on index cards and stuck in my purse. I even had business cards with holes punched in them and kept them on a keyring in my pocket or purse that I would flip through whenever I had a few minutes to spare. Eventually, these new truths became so familiar, I could rehearse them throughout the day without a prompt. Today, many of those core truth statements are at the forefront of my mind and on the tip of my tongue, ready for when the “floods” come. I’m also continually in the process of learning and adding to my truth statements. We will never run out of new truths to learn about God and Who He is or who I am or what I have in Christ!!!
Do you want to be free from the stronghold of anxiety? (Or any other stronghold for that matter.) It’s all in the foundation. I lived far too long on a foundation of “sand” and, quite honestly, I got tired of my life going “splat.” (In the children’s song about these verses, the house built on the sand went SPLAT with a loud hand clap!) I want to live the rest of my days with a life that stands firm on Jesus, the Rock of our truth.