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2 Tim 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.
This passage shares two things with us. One comes from God and the other doesn’t. Fear doesn’t come from God, but the other category, power, love and a sound mind does. So, if you are bound with fear, it is not from God.
The thought that goes along with this, is that if fear is not from God, then where does it come from? Where does the spirit of fear come from, if it doesn’t come from God?
The answer is simple. It’s from Satan, our foremost enemy. How does it sit with you, to think of fear as something that is demonic? Yet, we entertain fear and allow it to have free reign in our affairs. You see, if we think of fear as just part of our normal course of affairs, we will let it stay there. But when we think of it as stemming from the pit of hell, we can go to God for deliverance.
Fear, if allowed to fester in our lives, stops God from moving in us as he wills, and I can think of a few ways it does that:
1. Fear robs us of the power of God
When Peter saw Christ, he called out to him and Jesus encouraged him to step out of the boat. Fearlessly, without thinking, Peter did. He hopped out of the boat, and experienced what was a one of a kind miracle. He walked on water. But then, fear began to creep into his heart. One moment he was full of faith and walking on water, the next he was sinking and calling to Jesus for help. All it took was for him to take his eyes off Christ, and focus on the problem at hand, the stormy waves, and then immediately he began to sink.
In today’s environment, problems abound, yet God is telling us not to fear, but to believe (Luke 8:50). And surely the impossible can be made possible.
2. Fear forces us out of love
There is no fear in love… 1 John 5:18 tells us. This means that when we are in God’s love we do not have to fear. For when I know that God loves me, and his embracing hands of protection are on me, then what do I have to fear?
The scripture continues, But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. This tells us that fear derives its power from punishment. And when there is no longer a threat of punishment there is no need to fear.
As God’s children, we have been saved, reconciled and made righteous. No longer in line to face God’s wrath, there is absolutely no punishment awaiting us. This is the love of God demonstrated, and this love can set you free from the binding grip of fear today.
3. Fear causes us to not have self control
As our society undergoes the Corona Virus pandemic, many people, indeed some of us, feel like we are out of control. What with scenes of national lockdown, hoarding of toilet paper, and bare store shelves, it feels like the world may be coming to an end. When we think about these things, at best it is hard to be in control, while at worst, we even participate in the frenzy that society is in.
Paul challenges Timothy to be in control, and not allow fear to rob him of the joy and peace that come only from God. Today that challenge to not fear but have self control is also given to us.
One thing I like to do when facing times of serious challenge is play the “what’s the worst that could happen to me as a child of God “ game. Join with me for a moment. So what if we run out of toilet paper, what’s the worst that could happen to me? So what if we are forced to stay home for weeks, what’s the worst that could happen to me? And what if the economy crashes, and so forth? As I play this game, I answer each question from the reference of being God’s child, and somehow that calms me enough to listen to his voice, focus on his truth as spelt in his word, and regain control.
Maybe it will work for you as well, but the point is, fear causes us to be out of control, while a mind focused on God and his love doesn’t.
May God help us not to succumb to the spirit of fear, but to look up to him, from where our help comes from.
– Pastor Olu Jegede