“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
Fear may be the most destructive and demoralizing weapon in our enemy’s arsenal. The deceiver uses fear to discourage, to demean, to distract and to detour. Fear stops our steps of faith. Fear influences our choices. Fear can change direction. Fear can eat away our confidence. Fear can tear apart relationships.
An early church statesman needed to encourage a younger church servant. Paul emphatically tells Timothy that fear is not from God. That needs repeating . . . FEAR IS NOT FROM GOD.
In every attacking instance of fear (not from God), there is available immediate faith (from God). The enemy will tear us down with fear while God will build us up with faith. Fear says you can’t, faith says you can. Fear is doubt, faith is belief. Fear declares it’s impossible, faith does the impossible. Fear says God is not with you, faith says God is always with you.
Paul’s advice? God gives us His Spirit . . . and His spirit is power, passion (love) and a new perspective (sound mind).
We Have His Presence. Can you picture a young boy being intimidated by a playground bully? The boy is fearful and frantic. The bully’s intimidation is intense. At just the right moment, the boy’s older brother walks up behind him and doesn’t say a word. At that point, the threat is over, the bully leaves, and young boy knows that is older brother has “got his back”. God always has your back. In ever encounter, His presence is evident. Isaiah reminds us, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Is 41:10)
We Have His Power. “The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Ps. 27:1). David knew about the strength and power of God. God’s power provided courage and confidence. It’s the same power we receive and that resides in each of us. Paul wrote, “Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen” (Eph. 3:20-21)
We Have His Passion. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18) Punishment thrives on fear . . . perfected love drives fear away. God loves us and nothing will ever change that. Paul reminds us of the permanence of God’s passion, “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom 8:38-39)
We Have His Perspective. Fear attacks our feelings. Feelings attack our faith. When we stand in paralyzing fear, we fail to walk in powerful faith. At times we need to change our sight, not our surroundings. We need a realignment in our perception, not our place. We don’t run in fear, we rest in faith. Paul tells us the importance of empting self and embracing serving. “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” (Phil 2:5-7)
No Fear. Only Faith. No Fear. Only Follow.
Be bold. Be brave. The Lord your God is with you. He’s got your back.