21 Aug Overcoming a Spirit of Fear
Wooooosah. Now, say it with me, but slower.
How are you managing all the things?
In the last month, I’ve lost an uncle and an aunt, had to make decisions about homeschooling, felt pressure at my job to outperform myself due to lays off’s and furloughs – and don’t forget the simple things like preparing dinner, washing clothes or spending time with family. While dealing with things like this, things with much uncertainty and unpredictability, it’s important to remember to breathe deep and have quiet moments.
Each one of our lives is experiencing many changes, and with those changes come many fears. More than we (I) have ever felt. Crises of all kinds – homeschool included, and ample half-truths from our media and politicians. The mental load for a lot of us has reached its peak, and study after study shows us what we already know – that this burden falls heavier on women.
When I think about fear, I am reminded of Paul’s statement to Timothy (2 Timothy 1:7): “God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind.”
Paul’s word here for “fear” in Greek is delia, which means “cowardice” or “timidity.” Timidity is defined as a lack of courage or confidence. To that, it is better translated in the NIV, as, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.
In this text, Timothy is facing significant opposition in his ministry and to himself as a leader. Paul is giving Timothy the pep talk of his life by reminding him of his faith and gift he had received through the laying on of hands. He urges him to be bold, for God did not create us to be timid, but as powerful, loving, and disciplined beings.
It has been said that the referenced scripture talks about two spirits, the spirit of fear and the Holy Spirit. But the word “spirit” is used only once, here. So, I believe the spirit that Paul is reminding us of, is the same spirit and the spirit that already lives in us – The HOLY Spirit.
The Holy Spirit brings three things in place of timidity: power, love, and a sound mind. Here is the fundamental lesson: Timidity comes in when we lack power, lack love, and lack self-discipline (sound mind).
Timidity comes in when we lack power.
What is power?
Power is, in essence, authority. I read that it can also indicate someone’s nature. It means that this person has some inner strength that does not depend on outward things.
Read that again! Power indicates that a person has an inner strength that does NOT depend on outward things.
When it comes to the Bible, dunamis (the Greek word for power) distinctly describes the power of God. Christ said in Matthew 22:29, “You are mistaken because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.”
Our power is our God-given authority. There is power in His promises. There is power in His dominion. We have power with our words and power in our positions.
We have the power. But, not in ourselves alone, but in God, who lives within us by His spirit. Sis, don’t disconnect from Him, it is when this power is missing, that our timidity begins to creep in.
Timidity comes in when we lack love
The Greek word for “love” in our text is agape. Agape love, in the Bible, is love that comes from God. 1 John 4:8 states, that “God is love.” Love is also the greatest commandment. That means love is the most significant action and emotion to God.
He wants us to love our neighbors as ourselves, and he wants us to love Him with all our might, mind, and ability (Matthew 22:36-40).
And so, the sequence goes, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us:
power – the authority
love – the largest commandment and himself, and
self-discipline (sound mind).
Timidity comes in when we lack self-discipline (sound mind).
A lack of self-discipline only comes when we do not renew our minds by the Word of God. Our word says,” create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me (Psalm 51:10).”
Because our behavior begins in our mind, and our mind is where we are reborn, are you shocked that the enemy wants to mess with our thinking? It’s when we let other things creep in that are outside of His Word and renewing, that our minds shift from being sound to uncertain.
Women of Judah, breathe deep, and find quiet moments. Quiet moments with your Father and ones alone. It is in these breaths and moments that you will be reminded of your faith and your gifts.
Our kids and sisters are watching.
What will we show them? Timidity? Or power, love, and self-discipline?