“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
2 Timothy 1:7
I have so much to say about this verse. We live in a culture and economy that trades on fear, on scarcity, on the glass-half-empty what-ifs. Our politics, what we spend our money on, and our plans for the future are so often motivated by fear.
What if this or that horrible thing happens? What if people hate me? Or even just dislike me a little bit? What if we run out of money? What if I don’t have what I need to be happy? What if someone commits violence against me? What if someone younger and smarter “steals” my job?
All of this is fear. And as people of faith, we know that our God is not a God of fear. Satan though. Satan trades in fear and lies. That is his sweet spot. In my opinion, Satan has too many people, that I know and don’t know, and some of them whom I love more I am able to tell you here, enslaved and crippled by fear. Fear paralyzes us when we are called to courageous Kingdom-building work. Fear is a horrible motivator.
Fear is quickly becoming one of the four-letter words I consider most one of the most profane and offensive in my vocabulary.
Not because it is so vulgar or uncommon, but because of the very real and lasting effect it has on people. If anything, fear is offensive because it is so common, so pervasive and so paralyzing.
My husband would like to start a nonprofit that helps people in need. I have wanted to write for a long time. When we honestly look at our lives and ask ourselves why we aren’t pursuing these dreams and goals, the answer is fear. These dreams and passions feel too precious and close to our hearts that risking failure puts us in a perpetual state of limbo- Dreaming but not doing. Fear.
The verse that I have been holding on to recently is this verse from 2 Timothy 1:7. Fear is not from God. He does not desire us to live in fear, paralyzed, unable to move in the mighty task and passion He has called us towards. Fear is not God’s plan for his beloved creation.
The opposite is. God’s dream for us is to go out boldly. It may be cliché- but the old question fits well here: If God is for us, who can be against us? The answer is only and ever Satan- whose power has already been broken in the world and will only continue to diminish as the Holy Spirit breaks through more and more in God’s already here, but not-yet-fully-realized kingdom.
God has given us a spirit of power, love and a sound mind. My prayer is that we would see the chains of fear as they already are- broken by Christ- and that we would be able to shed any last shards that still cling to our skin and step out into bright morning sun- embracing what is true, but has been hidden from us for so long.
Truth declares this: fear will no longer be my motivator.
Rather- truth, love, power and God’s presence will be what I let influence me. If we allowed this to happen, think of the impact it could have on just one life- your own? But what if…just what if this throwing off of fear and living in the light of God’s power, presence and love could become more than just a personal thing, but also a communal thing?
God only knows what that might look like. I am willing to bet that is would be powerful and beautiful and that the world would never be the same.
How are you fighting fear today? Please share with us how you move forward despite fear.