Scripture: 2 Timothy 1:7
The promise: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
Observation: In this letter to Timothy, Paul encourages Timothy to allow the Holy Spirit to fill his life (verse 6) and reminds him that fear doesn’t come from God. Instead, God fills us with power, love, and self-discipline.
Application: I’m pretty familiar with fear. Maybe you are, too. My fears aren’t about spiders or heights or small spaces (although please don’t try to trap me in a small box full of spiders on the top of a building). My fears are more of the “not enough” variety – not good enough, rich enough, nice enough, honest enough, patient enough, enough enough.
So often, I call my fears “worry” because that feels less vulnerable, more acceptable. But I’ve started to learn that worry is, at its very core, constant fear. Our worries may not dramatically terrify us like our big, bold, dramatic fears, but rather they consume us. They slowly erode our trust in the Lord, allowing us to shift our eyes off of his provision and instead put them on to our problems.
Fear, worry, anxiety – whatever we call it, it all separates us from God.
Our God desires us to grow closer to him, not further away – it’s how we know that fear never comes from God. Fear is a weapon of the enemy.
Here’s how the apostle Paul puts it in Romans 8:15:
“So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him ‘Abba, Father.’”
Every fear you have – that you won’t be good enough, that your child will make the wrong decision, that you can never truly mend that relationship, that you won’t be able to make ends meet, that you’ll never get out of your addiction – doesn’t come from the God who made you. It comes from enemy who would love to destroy you.
Our God offers us something so, so much greater than fear. He fills us with:
- Power: The victory is already ours through Christ Jesus! All of our fears are temporary – a relationship with God and the security and peace it offers is forever. If our God is for us, who can be against us?
- Love: We don’t love because of who we are, but because of who God is in us. He is real love – deep and true and unconditional.
- Self-discipline: God fills us with the fruit of his Spirit, giving us the ability to overcome our fears, change our habits, and live with confidence and integrity, rather than the ways of this world.
So when you feel fear or that nagging feeling of not quite adding up? Give it to God. Allow him to replace every fear, every worry, every anxiety, every question mark with the certainty of who He is and what he’s give you: the power, love, and self-discipline to overcome it all.
Prayer: God, I confess my fears and worries to you, the things that separate me from truly trusting in you alone. I pray you’ll replace all of my anxieties with your power, love, and self-discipline. Amen.
Digging Deeper: Take a few minutes to memorize today's focus verse. Write it on a sticky note to put on your car dashboard or mirror, set it as the lock screen on your phone, say it aloud a few times throughout the day -- whatever will help make it stick.