How Most Stress Begins

Jan 02, 2020

“Close before you doze!”

Have you heard this fun little expression about closing your bedroom door before going to sleep for safety reasons in the event of a house fire?

Well, I want to suggest to you today that you need to close some other doors in your life for spiritual and mental health reasons too.

Satan and his evil helpers have absolutely no power to destroy your life unless they can find an open door into your mind. Oh, they can bring about trouble in your life, but they can’t win unless you give them entrance into your life.

Jesus told us “In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration;” (John 16:33 AMPC) I call that pressure. Some call it stress. It’s the pressure to allow that junk inside your mind and heart. If you let it in, you have anxiety, fear, unrest, and depression.

If you don’t let it in, if you push back, you can keep toxic thinking out. You can keep thinking that goes against what the Bible tells you out and you can have peace, joy and rest. Don’t forget the rest of that verse in John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]

It starts by not giving Satan a foothold in our minds. How does he get in our minds and our lives if Jesus defeated Him? By us leaving a door open.

Holy Spirit is faithful to bring to our attention areas of our lives that need to be addressed so that we won’t be vulnerable to demonic attack. But we really don’t like to hear the hard stuff He tells us about our wrong motives, our less than pure thoughts, or our desire for revenge. He urges us to repent (change direction and go a different way...His way), to shut that door but it is up to us to slam that door shut. How much of our stress could have been avoided if we’d just shut that door?!

When we ignore those subtle prompts from Holy Spirit and allow sin to continue, willfully permit temptation or persist in our wrong attitudes, we leave a gaping hole for the enemy to operate in our lives. A lot of our stress is avoidable by simply closing the doors.

That’s going to take some quiet time with God. We need to give Him permission to point out any blockages in our spirit or soul that are keeping us from deeper intimacy with Him, from hearing His voice, from walking in complete obedience. That’s when life will get really sweet. Complete surrender to Him and His ways will close the door where stress, worry and fear have been creeping in.

Paul faced trials and harassment from demonic forces. “And to keep me from being puffed up and too much elated by the exceeding greatness (preeminence) of these revelations, there was given me a thorn (a splinter) in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to rack and buffet and harass me, to keep me from being excessively exalted.” (2 Corinthians 12:7).

In today’s language, you might say a demon was being a real pain in the butt to Paul. You can clearly see in this verse that the thorn in the flesh was not a sickness or disease put upon Paul, but a demon that kept beating him up (spiritually and mentally) and harassing him. Yet the demon could not destroy Paul. Paul left no open door for the demon to latch onto and twist to his destruction.

God responded to Paul’s request to have this demon off his back, or this trouble removed, with, “My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully].”  With God on our side, we are able to push back against that pressure that trials and troubles bring and keep the stress out of our minds and hearts so that we can remain joyful and at peace and rest.

In order for a demonic attack to work effectively in your life, you have to leave a door open. You had to cooperate in some way.

You can’t say you are under spiritual attack of your finances and claim no responsibility when you overspent, didn’t balance your checkbook, didn’t live within your means. You left the door open for natural consequences and financial attacks. You let stress in.

You shouldn’t be surprised when you get sick if you have been overeating, working too long of hours and never making time for rest or play. You left a door open.

Yes, your marriage will be under attack, if you speak poorly to or about each other, never spend time with each other or don't make your marriage a priority.

Yes, there are surprise attacks in our life that don’t come due to sin or toxic thinking, or a door being left open. The devil does comes to steal, kill and destroy. But those attacks will fail because the power of the Cross will overcome them.

In verse after verse, the Bible tells us that God delivers us out of all our distress. Here’s just one example, “‘If you’ll hold on to me for dear life,’ says God, ‘I’ll get you out of any trouble. I’ll give you the best of care if you’ll only get to know and trust me. Call me and I’ll answer, be at your side in bad times; I’ll rescue you, then throw you a party. I’ll give you a long life, give you a long drink of salvation!’” (Psalm 91:15 MSG)  That's either true or it's not! :)

So, we can’t avoid all the troubles of life and we will have to go through some spiritual attacks. We need to build up our spirits to be strong in preparation. Strong enough to push back, close doors and flow in the grace of God. You can’t stop all the pressures of life from coming, but you can stop a lot of it by simply closing the door, living fully surrendered and walking in obedience.

Father, I thank you that You have made a way for me to come into your presence
By faith, I step into the realm of Your presence
and ask you to forgive me for not fully surrendering
to your grace in my life.
I willfully surrender and choose to obey you fully.
Show me any open doors that need to be closed to keep me safe.
May your grace surround me like a shield
delivering me from all my troubles.
I choose to rest in your peace today
knowing that in Jesus nothing can harm me.

If you could use some help with finding those open doors that are allowing Satan in to wreak havoc in your life and causing you stress, you might be interested in joining the brand new group coaching experience - 90 Day Detox.  Click here to interview for a spot in this brand new group.