You know that vague, unsettled feeling that sometimes comes to hang over your inner space like an ominous cloud… seemingly for no reason? It sneaks up on you unawares. It creeps subtly into the corners of your mind. Then you find yourself feeling uneasy but not knowing why.
This is one of the adversary’s favorite tricks. Both out of sheer spitefulness… and because he is desperate to try anything that might hinder the terrifying threat you represent to his kingdom… he comes back time and again to try to steal your peace. The way he does this is by way of thought darts. Thought darts are negative thoughts cleverly disguised as your own, that actually didn’t come from you. They are directly from the enemy.
I have found that, whenever that haze of disquiet begins to roll in over my emotions, it always has a source. In each and every case, my foe has targeted me with a carefully crafted untruth. The Lord has trained me to pause when this happens. With His help, you and I can identify the origin of the unrest, address it, and stamp it out. Then voila… sunshine breaks out once again!
Here are the steps He has taught me to effectively deal with these attacks:
- Stop. Rather than just putting up with the emotional fog, pause and become aware. Hold your finger to the wind. Take notice that something is off. “Be sober and alert. Your enemy the devil, like a roaring lion, is on the prowl looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8, NET).
- Ask the Lord to show you the source. Usually, the enemy has quietly introduced some lie or threat into your mind without you even realizing it. As you listen to Holy Spirit, He will bring to mind exactly what that thought dart was. The Light of the World is one with your spirit. Through your spirit, His lamp will search out your inmost being. He will show you the answer. “The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all the inner depths of his heart” (Prov. 20:27, NKJV).
- Extinguish the attack. Once He reveals to you what the specific lie or threat is, put it out. Ephesians tells us that we do this by faith. “In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one” (Eph. 6:16, ESV). Notice it says we can extinguish all of them. There is not a single fiery dart the devil can come up with, that can get through your shield. Use it. Flex your faith muscle. Take hold of a specific promise from the Bible that addresses the lie attacking you. Declare it. Get violent with it. And put out that dart!!
- Nestle back into Daddy’s arms. Move right back into peace. This is your home. This is what you were created for. You can always have peace in Him! “For the kingdom of God is… righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 14:17, NKJV).
Living in this way takes practice. Don’t be discouraged by how long it takes you to grow into your fighting skills. You will get the hang of it if you don’t give up. The Bible unambiguously tells us that we are called to peace (Col. 3:15). If God has called us to peace, He will faithfully teach us to live in it. Let’s not settle for anything less!
When disquiet tries to sit on your emotions, how do you find your way back to joy and peace? What has worked for you? I’d love to hear your insights!