How Satan Uses Anxiety to Distract Me from my Faith

Anxiety has affected my physical, emotional, and spiritual health. It has negatively impacted relationships and interfered with my connection with God. For the longest time, I thought it was all my fault. Then the blame game started.

With some of the “well-intended” advice I’ve heard, it’s not hard to start blaming yourself. Statements like these always haunt me:

  • “Relax, don’t worry so much.”
  • “You can’t have a good relationship with God if you are anxious.”
  • “You should just trust God more.”

Misguided Efforts to Reduce Our Anxiety

In attempts to reduce anxiety, we actually combine our anxiety with guilt and shame. Anxious questions turn into doubt. Doubt turns into fear of the unknown or unexpected. This fear allows negative, emotional statements to develop that we then internalize. This twisted sense of reality can create a treacherous mindset about ourselves and the world around us.

Over the past three years, multiple changes happened in my life. Job changes, adopting our son, becoming a mother….all of these changes are blessings, but they can also invite anxiety. I’ll admit, I’m tired of fighting this battle within my mind and heart. So, I started to reflect on why anxiety is so interwoven in my life, no matter how hard I try to “get rid of it.” I realized that my anxiety, at any time, distracts me from being the woman of God that I need to be. It keeps me from pursuing the fruits of the Spirit to engage with God, my family, and my community.

Satan is Behind Anxiety

What is the best way to get to women? Get them to doubt (or question) their role. Get them to shame themselves and lose sight of who and what is really important. Here is the key reflection. Who truly benefits from my disconnection from God? Satan.

One of my faith mentors reminded me that Satan is among us, trying to intervene in our family’s walk with the Lord. Ladies, let’s stop trying to fight the internal battle of shame, anxiety, and doubt. Let’s call anxiety out for what it is: one of the best ways for Satan to distract us in our faith. I want to be clear. There are things that I know I should do to work on my anxious behaviors. I should reflect on our lives, identifying ways in which I can deflect the Enemy. For far too long, I (and other women) have owned our anxiety a little bit too much. We have made it so much about ourselves that Satan is rejoicing in our negative emotions and distractions from God.

Do you recognize these verses?

All of these verses focus on worry, anxiety, and/or trusting God. For someone who has struggled with anxiety for years, these verses always shamed me. I felt like I was living a good Christian life, then these verses hit me like a sack of bricks. They knocked me down right to the starting line again. Anyone else feel this way? No matter how much you try to connect with God, these verses shackle you in shame?

A New Way of Thinking

Let me invite you into a new way of thinking. Don’t be shackled. Be set free. Remove your current lens on your anxiety and replace it with the lens that sees anxiety in its proper focus. It’s just another way for Satan to win a battle. It’s another way for him to get you thinking more about your bills, your relationship, your children, etc. more than your relationship with God. Anxiety is another way for him to interfere with the life journey you are on with the One who gives you peace.

During our first adoptionRomans 15:13 encouraged us so much. It says,

“May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace as you trust in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Let’s be women who overflow with hope and be filled with joy and peace. Be set free. Connect with other sisters in Christ. Lean on them for support. Go to counseling, as your anxiety may be stemming from other unresolved adverse events and/or trauma. Talk with your significant other, as dealing with someone with anxiety is extremely challenging. And most important of all, pray for God to fill you with peace as both of you work to prevent Satan from infiltrating your life.

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  • Alice

    Hurray for no blame or shame. I learned a long time ago that those two things kept me afraid and anxious.

    • Lori S

      Yes! I’ve always known this, but I have never lived from it. It has just been a vicious cycle wheee I haven’t lived from my lessons I’ve learned. No more!

  • SArah Althouse

    This was an amazing piece! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “You just gotta worry less” or “You just gotta trust God more.” I love how you pointed out what is really going on – satan distracting us from our faith. I think it’s wonderful to call it out for what it is and ask God to get our attention again!

    • Lori S

      I am sure that you understand how defeating it feels when you struggle in your faith, then told it’s your fault. I’m not saying we shouldn’t own what’s ours. I’m saying there is a bigger picture, and Satan’s attempts to interfere in our lives is very much a part of that bigger picture!!

  • erin

    Being a “depression & anxiety overcomer” since the age of about 12, I know how this is a daily battle between me and Satan. I’m often reminded of “Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest?” Luke‬ ‭12:24… That whole passage reminds me that I’m far more to God than plants and animals and He has my best interests in mind at all times. It removes a lot of my anxiety when I know that I can lean on Him. Thank you for this article. I pray that all sufferers become battlers!

    • Lori S

      Thank you so much for your comment! You encouraged me this morning!

  • Charly300589

    I fully understand where you are coming from. And it’s true sometimes you need to seek help from a counselor to assess and deal with where the anxiety stemmed from. I myself battle with anxiety from time to time and those scripture verses do the same for me. We have to trust God in all things and rest in his peace.

    • Lori S

      Yes! Resting is something I need some more practice on!

  • Char

    Anxiety is a big stumbling block. Thanks for reminding us to keep our eyes on the ball.

    • Lori S

      Yes! In an earlier reply, I made a comment about the big picture. Anxiety tends to keep us from doing that!

  • Heather Hart

    Satan loves it when we focus on our fears instead of on our Heavenly Father. Just like Peter didn’t start to sink until he let the waves distract him, that’s where life finds us. We simply have to focus on Jesus and trust in Him.

    • Lori S

      Thank you for commenting!

  • Chelsea Bolks

    Agree with this post 100%! Anxiety has been the biggest struggle in my life that has held me back. I am so thankful for a godly husband who continually encourages me and pushes me forward. He reminds me daily of my worth in Christ. It is so important to have other christians we can lean on when we get distracted by our own internal warfare!

    • Lori S

      Thank you for sharing! It’s so important to have a supportive spouse!

  • Marya

    Anxiety has been a lifelong struggle. It’s so important to stay spiritually fit…the enemy is prowling like a lion for sure.

    • Lori S

      Yes! I feel like people need to recognize how subtle Satan can work in spiritual warfare.

  • Heather

    I’ve struggled with severe anxiety on and off for twelve years. About a year ago I started getting into God’s word more and actually writing down verses relevant to my situation or verses I felt God was speaking to me. My anxiety and general worrying has decreased significantly since I started getting close with God. I can look back through my verse and find hope and peace in them. It really such a hard thing to overcome, but as you said, surround yourself with fellow sisters in Christ and lean on our Father.

    • Lori S

      Thank you for sharing your story!

  • Lo @ Mrs. Lo Tanner

    YES! You hit it on the mark! And you did it pretty gracefully too. Anxiety is an attack of the enemy on the peace that God has promised us. It creates a disconnect between what we know and what we believe. Satan uses this tool so effectively. I love how you expose that and offer sound biblical perspective and encouragement too.

    • Lori S

      Thank you so much! What sweet encouragement to hear today!

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