TD Jakes — When Anxiety Attacks
Hello, everybody. I'm excited to have this opportunity to share the Word of the Lord with you. The message today is "When Anxiety Attacks". It is so important, because many of you are going through anxious moments and times. You can't talk to anybody about it. You're there at work, you're stressed out, you're overwhelmed, you're in the house, you're ready to pull your hair out, I've got a Word for you. Take a look at this.
What good is all the things you've attained if you can't enjoy them for worrying about losing them? You prayed that somebody will come in your life that loves you, but you can't enjoy the love 'cause you're worried about losing 'em. You don't trust what God has done. You tried to keep it yourself. You don't think that the God who was God enough to give it is God enough to keep it, so you're worried about... I don't know who I'm preaching to, but I'm gonna keep walking till I nail it down. "Be careful for nothing; but in everything..." He says you got three weapons you can use against it, three weapons you can use against anxiety. He says anxiety wins when you shut up. All three weapons require that you speak, so as long as you suffer in silence, the enemy wins.
He said, "I'll give you three weapons, and all of them require your mouth for them to materialize. I'll give you prayer to fight it off with. I'll give you what you stopped doing". You're still dancing, but you don't pray. You dance 'cause the music is good. You dance 'cause you're part of the excitement and the atmosphere, but you got a better praise life than you do a prayer life, and therefore you don't have peace because... oh, y'all don't hear what I'm saying. You can't dance in the peace. You can dance in the joy, but you can't dance in the peace.
I'm a little old-school. I don't mind it. I like it. I'm not afraid when you call me old-school. I'm proud of it. I wear it as a badge of honor. I was old-school when I was young. Hey, I was old-school when I was in my 20s, baby, because old folk knew how to pray. The old folk knew how to plead the blood. "Satan, the blood is against you". You don't even hear it anymore, but we used to have prayer meetings. Nobody was preaching. Everybody was praying, and they'd come to church to pray. "If my people who are called by my name..." Slap your neighbor and say, "Open your mouth". When all hell is breaking loose, open your mouth. When the enemy comes in like a flood, open your mouth. When you wake up in a cold sweat, open your mouth. I give you prayer.
Look at your neighbor, look at 'em boldly in the face, say, "You need to pray". You're worried, you're stressed out, you're hypertensive, you're nervous, you're shaking, you're getting the sweats, you're slapping the dog, and you're kicking the cat. You need to pray. I know it's old-school. I know you want deep revelation. I don't care what you want. You need to pray. "I need to see the Bishop". You don't need to see the bishop. You need to see him alone. He said, "The second weapon I'm gonna give you is supplication". Supplication is in the prayer family, but it is a unique kind of prayer. When you supplicate, you lay prostrate. It's the act of getting down with it. It's the act of lowering yourself. It's the act of prostrating yourself in the presence of God. In other words, it is the act of humility.
"This is too much for me. I'm turning this over to you. I love Johnny, but I'm turning Johnny over. I'm turning this over to you". I admit my limitations when I supplicate. I'm not smart enough for the situation I'm in. I'm outta ideas. I'm outta tricks. I'm outta options. I'm gonna supplicate. I'm gonna turn it over to a higher power. I bow my knee. I humble myself. I lower myself. In other words, if you get rid of your pride, you'll get rid of your problem. Humble yourself. "If my people..." Supplication says, "This battle is not mine. It belongs to the Lord". The enemy may be moving the pieces on my chessboard, but his opponent is not me. The guy sitting on the other side of the chessboard is God. The battle is not mine. It belongs to God. You may move me this way or that way, but the battle is not mine. It belongs to God.
I don't have to think about it, because God has got a strategy. I humble myself. I humble myself to the strategy and the wisdom of God, who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will, and if he don't get me out of it, then he's gonna bless me through it. Brother Brian, I was going through a terrible time, a personal hell. My emotions were crushed. My nerves were fried. All hell was breaking loose in my life. Thought I'd lose everything, everything I worked all my life to build. Thought it was falling apart. I walked down in the field behind my house, and I told God, "I don't like this. I don't like this one bit. I hate this. This is that which I feared has come upon me. It is painful, it's difficult, and it is disruptive, but if you allowed it to happen, I know that you love me too much to hurt me. And if you allowed me to go through it, even though it's not something I would pick for myself, if you allowed me to suffer it..."
Oh, y'all don't hear what I said. "I know you are for me. If it got through your fence, if it climbed over your wall, I know you're gonna use it in some way for my good. I supplicate myself. I throw myself on the mercy of the court. All that I have below..." Y'all don't know how to pray. You could only pray like that when you know who God is in you. "And if it were to my detriment, you would not allow it. So, even if you hurt my feelings and even if you break my heart and even if you redirect my life and even if you reorder my steps, though he slay me, yet shall I trust him". You gotta have a rock in you, that I can only dig down so far before I start scraping your rock, that place of resistance that says, "I don't care what you do. I'm not going no lower than this. The most you can do is knock me to my knees".
And he said, "The third thing I'm gonna give you to fight with, the third thing I'm gonna give you to fight with, the third thing I'm gonna give you to fight with is thankfulness". "Anytime the terrorist attacks you, start counting your blessings. Start rehearsing how many things I did for you. Start recognizing and remembering everything that he's threatening you with, I already gave it to you. He couldn't threaten to steal it if it wasn't yours in the first place, so stand right in the middle of what he's trying to steal and thanking me for it". I know it don't look like much, it may only be two fish and five loaves of bread, but lift it up and say, "Father, I thank you". "Thank me for the job you don't like. Thank me for the people that get on your nerves".
You see, my brothers and sisters, he's using the people because he wants your attitude. He wants you to be miserable. He can't stop you from being blessed. The Bible teaches that he cannot curse what God has blessed. He can't stop you from being blessed. He wants to stop you from enjoying the blessing that God have you. When anxiety attacks... anybody getting something out of what I'm teaching? He said with prayer and supplication and add to your supplication thanksgiving, he said, "Now that your attitude is right and you're not frantic and you're not fearful and you're not distressed and you're not approaching me in a state of panic," he said, "now we can talk about it.
Make your request made known. I can't talk to you while you're hysterical, so we're gonna use prayer, we're gonna use supplication, we're gonna use thanksgiving". And he says, "Now make your request made known. I don't want you talking to me out of a place of anxiety. I don't want you to approach me in a panic like you're about to go down. I want you to come to me with confidence that I'm enough. Get in my face and tell them, 'I know you're enough. You're enough for cancer. You're enough for diabetes. You're enough for this stress.'" I know, and then he says the peace of God.
Now, I want you to get this real good. This is not your peace. The big word here is the little word. The big word here isn't "peace". The big word here is "of". The big word is "of". It is not your peace. It is the peace of God. That means this peace originates from God. This peace comes from hanging around God. This is not your natural order. This is not your natural personality. This is not the way you would normally handle it. This peace that you have, the world didn't give it to you, and the world can't take it away.
I wanna go to another Scripture. Can I show another Scripture? I wanna show you this Scripture 'cause I love this Scripture. I like it. I think it really epitomizes what we're talking about. 1 Kings 19:1-8. Take a look at it real quick, 1 Kings 19:1-8. My God, my God, we're gonna kill some anxiety today. So, Ahab has talked to Jezebel about Elijah, and Elijah was nowhere around, but terrorism doesn't work if you don't hear about it, so the next verse says, "And Ahab told Jezebel all that he'd done". The next verse says: "Then Jezebel sent a messenger". Underline "messenger". "Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, 'So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time".
I'm gonna do to you what you did to the prophets of Baal by tomorrow about this time. I'm gonna tear you up. I'm gonna get you. I'm gonna bankrupt you. I'm gonna leave you homeless. You're gonna die a terrible death. You're never gonna live past 48. You're never, you're never. By tomorrow at this time, I got a clock on it. I'm gonna kill you in the next 24 hours, but the threat doesn't work if Elijah doesn't hear about it, because the threat is nothing without a messenger. So, there will always be somebody who makes sure you hear about what could have happened and what would happen and what might happen. "Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, 'So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time". Come on, "And when he saw that, he arose, and started running for his life, and he came to Beersheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there".
Now, he's running for his life, and when he comes to Beersheba, he leaves his servant there, because anxiety always will place you in isolation. "Nobody know the trouble I see. Nobody knows but Jesus". In order for anxiety to be effective, it must have privacy with you, so he has now put his servant out at Beersheba, and he goes on out a little further into the wilderness. Put my text back up. "And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there". Go on, "But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die". "Let me just die so I don't have to see it. She gonna kill me, so let me die".
Excuse me, Elijah, that don't make any sense. If you're praying to die, go to Jezebel. "It's enough; now, Lord, take my life". If you want your life over, go to Jezebel. "I'm not better than my fathers". I accept my generational curses. Kill me, too. The problem I have with this verse is not so much with him wanting to die. I understand that. I don't condone it, but I understand it. "It is enough. I've had enough, too. Lord Jesus, it's enough. I've had enough. This is enough. Enough is enough. Take away my life. I don't like my life".
Excuse me, man, there is nothing wrong with your life, dude. The only thing that happened in your life is she threatened you. Everything else in your life is still normal. You don't throw away all of your life over anxiety. You don't go into a catatonic state of complete depression over a threat, but that's not the thing that gets me the most. The thing that gets me the most about this verse is when it says, "He himself went a day's journey into the wilderness". It is that day that arrests me. He went a day's journey into the wilderness and said, "It is enough. Take my life". It is that day against the other day. You remember the other day? The other day, Jezebel said, "By this time tomorrow..." Look, the clock had run out on the threat. The clock had run out on the threat and, boo, still running.
He's all depressed. He doesn't even notice that the Lord kept him through the whole duration of her threat. He doesn't even stop to say, "Thank you. The threat is over". I don't know who I came to preach to, but the Lord said, "The threat is over". This is the time in the service that everybody is shouting over something different, because everybody's threat is something different, but the Lord said whatever was set up against you, the threat is over!
I am so glad I could share this Word with you today. Anxiety is a tool that Satan uses to keep us from resting in the promises of God. The enemy will have you imagining every possible negative outcome to destroy your peace and abort God's plan for your life. Don't give in to his terrorism. When anxiety attacks, seek God in prayer, hold on to his promise, and praise him for the victory, even if it's in advance. God will give you supernatural peace and deliver on every one of his promises.