“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”2 Timothy 1:7 KJV
Boy oh boy. Do you know how many times I’ve recited this scripture to myself growing up and even as an adult?
- Every time I heard the house creak at night ✔️
- Every time I saw a preview for a scary movie on TV ✔️
- Every time I would have to run through a dark hallway to get to my room before I could turn on the light ✔️
- Now at the age of 37 when my family coaxes me onto an amusement park ride ✔️
It is normal to feel afraid at times. It’s part of being human. And in facing that part of humanity we actually have the opportunity to draw closer to God. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28 KJV.
But the really amazing thing to keep in mind is that God didn’t create us to live our lives in fear. He didn’t put us on this earth and send His only son to die for our sins so that we could spend our days cowering in the corner afraid to go out and live our lives.
He created us in His image. Which means we cannot stand in fear. But we stand in God’s power. We stand in God’s love. We stand in God’s clarity that He has given to us.
Adopting a Spirit of Power
Here’s why this passage is so powerful.
It comes from Paul’s second letter to Timothy. Paul was nearing the end of his life; expecting execution from the Romans. He’s stressed (and who wouldn’t be), and knowing that even when he is gone, the gospel has to continue. He’s looking for someone strong enough to carry on where he leaves off, and he knows that Timothy is the guy for the job.
(Imagine the stress that Timothy must have been feeling!)
See, Timothy was like a son to Paul. Paul was his mentor. He taught Timothy about godly wisdom and how to lead others; how to build a church. Can you believe how stressful both of them must have felt? The government was on Paul’s tail, and Timothy is losing this man who had been like a father to him; who had taught him everything he knew, and Timothy had some big shoes to fill.
They could have both easily given into the fear. They both could have easily ran and tried to hide from what was coming. Saying that it was too difficult, too scary. That they were ill-equipped.
But Paul and Timothy both knew that fear was not from God. They understood that the enemy will stop at no expense to keep us from doing God’s works; to prevent us from reaching our highest potential through God. He will instill fear in us any chance he can if it means holding us back.
Fear isn’t from God. But what does come from God is the tools we need to overcome fear. The tools of power, love, and sound judgement.
You see, God doesn’t cower when He’s walking down the golden streets, afraid of what might be lurking behind Him. He doesn’t pull the covers back over His head because He’s too overwhelmed with what the day might bring. He doesn’t back down from a big situation because He’s afraid He might fail – or worried about what people might think.
He doesn’t get lost. He doesn’t buy into the lies. He doesn’t run from darkness.
He doesn’t do any of these things because He IS the way. He IS the truth. He IS the light. And He shines through us – meaning we can do the same. We can accept the big moments. We can get through the scary times. Because we have a spirit of power. A spirit of love. A sound mind.
What is a fear in your life you feel that is holding you back?
What is it in your life that you allow to bring you feelings of anxiety or overwhelm?
How can you stand up to those feelings today and adopt a spirit of power?
I ask today that you remove my spirit of fear. That you fill my heart with your love, your light, your goodness, and your clarity. I ask that you give me the strength to face the things for which I am afraid. I pray that you give me the courage to stand up and do your works, to follow through on decisions that will make you proud, and to guide everything I do in love. In your name I pray, amen.