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Casting down imaginations can be an all day activity for people with anxiety.
Those of us with anxiety have a brain that is like an author of fiction. It wakes up in the morning and writes its own novel with situations and scenarios, plots and plot twists for the reader (us) to become engrossed in.
It imagines things that have no basis in reality. I know this because this has been part of my life for some time. How can we approach 2020, a new year and a new decade, and turn our attention toward God and His Word instead of the lies our own mind tells us? Read on!
People with anxiety have a brain that is like a fiction writer. It wakes up in the morning and writes its own novel; situations and scenarios for the reader (us) to become engrossed in.
Casting Down Imaginations – Recognizing This Tool of the Devil
I was not always a victim of anxiety, that I recognized at least. It began or emerged later in my life. It worsened over time due to what I believe to be PTSD.
My brain is oh so creative in its imaginings and I had virtually no knowledge of, or experience with, casting down imaginations. When this all began I was a new Christian. That was a foreign concept to me!
So my brain went unchecked for a long time; entering a state of panic in an instant by hearing a noise that it instantly convinces me is something dreadful. If a car I didn’t recognize pulled into my driveway, it must be something devious or I must be in trouble (even though I have never had so much as a parking ticket in my life).
This kind of worry (imaginations) is a tool of the devil that he uses to get us to step away from faith and trust, into a spiral of fear and worry with no basis in reality as we feed the scenario by getting into agreement with it, always allowing it to take root.
2 Corinthians 1:5 says:
“casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,” NKJV
According to Strong’s Concordance, “imaginations” here means “a reckoning, a reasoning: such as is hostile to the Christian faith“
The definition of “reckoning” is “the action or process of calculating or estimating something.”
So in a nutshell, it is basically what we would expect imaginations to be, but here it’s with regard for the Christian faith since it makes reference to those that set themselves up against God and are hostile to the faith .
But why? What difference does it make if I am worrying about something that is not faith related? How is that against God?
Because worry is actually faith in the wrong thing!
Casting Down Imaginations- Your Faith in God
We have faith in God!
When we put our faith and our trust in God we know that He will work things out for our good and for His glory!
He has a plan and purpose for my life and I can trust Him to bring that to pass when I get in line with His will and I allow Him to lead me.
Worry is the opposite of that!
Worry is when I have my own plan and my own desired outcome in a situation and so I experience worry because I fear God won’t align with MY will!
It is failing to submit my thoughts to Him and rather allow them to run amock.
It is faith in reverse.
Those little “imaginings” that creep in? Those are the enemy working in us to tell us that God can’t possibly have it under control or worse, that He is setting us up for a huge fall. He is busy writing that work of fiction for our minds to read.
Casting down imaginations and taking every thought captive takes that novel off the best sellers list!
Casting Down Imaginations & Tearing Down Strongholds
What is a stronghold?
Lexico.com defines it as “place that has been fortified so as to protect it against attack.” “a place where a particular cause or belief is strongly defended or upheld”.
I feel like these two definitions combined make up a fairly reasonable definition of stronghold as we are using it with regards to faith.
A spiritual stronghold is a habitual thought process built into your thought life. It is believing and repeating the same old tapes people have played to you that you now embrace as your own.
It is when the enemy can make you take a thought, a lie, and make you digest it and absorb it so much that it becomes who you see yourself as.
Strongholds are tougher to tear down than imaginations are to stop because strongholds are the result of imaginations.
Prayer and studying the Word, having God’s Word seep into every fiber of your being and redefine for you who you are is the best way to tear down strongholds!
When the enemy comes at you and tries to plant those lies in you that grow into strongholds, shake it off! He wants to ruin your day! Shake it off! He is trying to make you say oh…2019 was SO bad for me. Shake it off!! What great things happened in 2019 and think on those!!
Shake off the tendency to believe what he tells you about you!! Be like Paul and shake it off!!
2 Corinthians 10:3-5
For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ (ESV)
2 Corinthians 10:4
For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. (ESV)
And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. (ESV)
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (ESV)
1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. (NIV)
He will bring down your high fortified walls and lay them low; he will bring them down to the ground, to the very dust. (NIV)
The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble.He cares for those who trust in him (NIV)
Casting Down Imaginations – He is a Liar
The enemy likes to make me feel I have to take action on my own to fix this situation that hasn’t even happened! He is a liar and the father of lies.
“You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do.” NKJV
So then, as a result, we don’t turn a situation over to God as we should and so we feel we have to control it ourselves.
When something happens that takes that control away from us (another person or situation is a trigger for something to happen) we start to formulate scenarios in our mind.
Proverbs 28:26 says:
“Those who trust in themselves are fools,
but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe.” NIV
Worrying about something that is of our own imagining is trusting in your own mind and what it concocts, rather than having the wisdom of trusting in God.
Casting down imaginations and, thereby taking every thought captive, involves getting in line with what God and His Word says about us or our situation versus believing the lies the enemy wants you to believe.
Seeking God in Prayer
It involves seeking God in prayer! You do not have to struggle through these false worries alone. God is there to take your cares from you and give you peace!
1 Peter 5:6-7:
“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.” NIV
If we just glance away from that “novel” long enough to look at God’s book, taking captive every thought that has no place in our lives, we could escape the trappings of our mind and the enemy who seeks to control it.
Let God be the author of your story, casting down imaginations and filling you with a faith that allows you to rest in the knowledge that no matter what happens, God has you!
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Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™