My last post was titled “Perfect Love Casts Out Fear!” In it we learned that God’s love perfected in Christians tosses fear out of our lives. What a marvelous thing that is!
Now, we need to take a good look at another scripture dealing with fear:
The Apostle Paul wrote this letter to his spiritual son Timothy from prison when he knew he was toward the end of his own ministry. Timothy would have to carry on where Paul left off and Paul exhorted him not to be intimidated by the false teachers, the Romans, all the other hostile forces that would come against him. He told Timothy to be of good courage and not fear those who came against him, because God had equipped Timothy with a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind.
“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 (NKJV)
Do you have a spirit of fear? Are you a believer? If you realize what God teaches us in the Bible you will know that you should not live in fear. In fact, it is sinful. It is not only sinful, but it is selfish. You may not like that, they are strong words, but it makes complete sense. If our thoughts are constantly about ourselves, the way we feel, and our symptoms, then we cannot think about others. Those unhealthy thoughts crowd out everything else. That is not how God wants us to live. He wants us to think of other people as more important than ourselves.
Php 2:3 NASB Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;
But, you might think, “That sounds good, but I just can’t help how I feel. It’s just the way I am! I can’t do anything about it!” I’m here to tell you there is something you can do about it. You can be free from fear! You can think of others as more important than yourself!
However, if you are not a Christian, then, it is perfectly natural for you to live a life full of fear, anxiety, and worry. You do have a spirit of fear, and I can’t help you. That spirit of fear comes from our natural man.
You see, fear, anxiety, and worry are a part of our old personalities that we had before we became Christians. Remember, when we were saved we became a new creation and old ways became new.
2Co 5:17 NASB Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
I think many Christians still live in fear because they do not know what happened when they were saved. No one told them. Or, they haven’t studied the Bible enough yet to have discovered this wonderful truth. So, I will tell you right now.
When you were saved you did not receive a spirit of fear because you already had that in your old self. Instead, God renewed you and gave you a spirit of power, a spirit of love, and a spirit of a sound mind. What does this all mean in a practical sense?
The spirit of power
The spirit of power is the Holy Spirit. When we are made new in Christ the Holy Spirit comes to indwell us.
2Ti 1:14 NASB Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.
Rom 8:9 KJV But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
What kind of power does the Holy Spirit have available to us? The kind of power that raised Jesus from the grave. That’s dynamic power!
Rom 8:11 KJV But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
You have that kind of power in you. You do not have to live in fear any longer. Be of good courage!
The spirit of love
The opposite of fear is love. God also gave you a spirit of love. Now you can love in a whole new way. People of the world know nothing of this kind of love. The Bible calls it agape love. It is a God kind of love. It is the very highest love there is. God through the Holy Spirit in us gives us the power to love with agape love and we can reach out to others in a way we never could before.
We are not to stay to ourselves. We don’t have to any more. We can reach out to others in love. God gives us that ability. Step out in faith and try it.
I remember shortly after I was saved how I actually looked at people differently. I saw everyone as one of God’s creations that needed to know Him. My eyes were opened and I began to have urgings to tell others about Christ. It was hard for me too at the time because I was so inundated with fear. Slowly I reached out to others in love. But, at first in very small ways. I would send someone a card. I would call and talk to an elderly shut-in on the phone. After doing that a bit I began to visit people who were shut-ins, and another woman and I went to the hospital and visited sick people from church. Little by little God grew the spirit of love in my life.
The spirit of a sound mind
God also gave us a spirit of a sound mind. What does that mean for us? Well, a sound mind is a rational mind. We do not have to think all the “what if” thoughts, and worry about the future. We do not have to fear man, and we do not have to fear God. Fear has been broken. Alleluia!
Once you discover these truths you will see how you need to change. If you are still living in fear then you are still living in the old flesh. You need to take advantage of the Holy Spirit living in you and walk in the Spirit. You will have to work on changing your thought patterns as you renew your mind with the Word. Old unhealthy thought habits can be replaced with new healthy godly thoughts.
I suffered with panic attacks for many years and I did not know this teaching right away. So, I continued on even after I became a Christian thinking sinful fear filled thoughts. I would blow things way out of proportion. If it started to snow, I’d think we were going to get a blizzard. If I had to drive somewhere that day I would obsess about the weather until I would have a panic attack. If it was raining and the sky looked ominous I would be sure we were going to get a tornado, and I didn’t even live in a section of the country that gets tornados very often.
My panic attacks became so bad I became Agoraphobic. I was afraid to leave my home. I actually gave up driving for several years. If I needed something from the store it was a major problem to get up the nerve to step out the door, get into the car, and go to the store. Once there, it was a major effort to go into the store and get my groceries. If I managed to get that far, then I still had to conquer the walk through the crowed isles, find my items, stand in the scary line as my legs shook, pay, and get back home. It was exhausting! Surely, that was no way to live, and certainly God didn’t want me to live like that. I wasn’t much use to him at that point.
The only way I conquered my fears was when I discovered that I had God’s power within me. I realized somewhere along the way that “I” could not do this in myself. I needed help! All the courage I tried to muster up in myself would not do it. I had to rely on God. I turned to God and I would pray. I’d ask God for the strength through the Holy Spirit, to go and do whatever it was I had to do. I prayed before I went, I would go and pray all the way, and I would get back home and pray again to praise and thank God for how He got me through my fearful situation. It did become easier. I prayed a lot!
I don’t even have panic attacks any more. I drive, I’m free to do whatever I want. God gave me back my freedom as I grew in Him. I discovered scripture promises and applied them to my own life. I now have a spirit power, of love, and of a sound mind. It is a disciplined mind. I’m careful what I think about. If I find myself going in the direction of worry, I check myself, and ask the Lord to help me think on godly things. It does take practice and I urge you to start today.
Where are you today? Are you bogged down with worry, fear, and anxiety? My friend, if that is you and you are a Christian, you are living in sin. You need to realize that and confess your sin to God, then repent of it and learn to fill you mind with godly things. Keep in the Word, study it, memorize good scripture promises, pray for others, and yourself.
God has provided everything we need to live a godly, holy life.
2Pe 1:3 KJV According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
He will help you. Go to Him in prayer. Pour out your heart. Get right with God and then claim your benefits of the spirit of love, power, and a sound mind.
Please stop fearing the future, step out in faith and find your freedom today. You can be sure that you do not have a spirit of fear anymore.
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