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September 21

2 Timothy 1:6-7

6 Therefore, I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment. — 2 Timothy 1:6-7

God Gives Power, Not Fear

by Amy Keys

What was your biggest fear as a child? What is something you fear now?

Fear can be paralyzing. We all know how it feels when fear strikes. It doesn’t matter if it’s rational or not—it can wreak havoc on our minds and emotions, and we all too often let it get the best of us. Reason is no match for the powerful surges of emotion fear brings out in us.

Sometimes, we even let fear keep us from doing that thing we know God wants us to do. Perhaps we’re afraid of the unknown. Afraid of failure. Afraid of rejection. Giving fear the upper hand, we say no to that mission trip. We avoid the co-worker we know God wants us to witness to. We turn down the ministry opportunity at church. We choose not to give sacrificially.

It feels so much safer to stay away from those things we fear, but when we choose fear over obedience to Christ, isn’t that really a lack of trust in Him? In 2 Timothy 1:7, Paul tells Timothy, a younger believer, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.”

When we choose fear, which is not from God, over the power, love, and sound judgment He has given us, we are not walking in the way He is leading us.

You may think this must be pretty easy to type up when I don’t really know how paralyzing your fears are or how impossible it is to shake them when they get a grip on you. You are right—I don’t know your situation, but I know mine, and I know how hard it is to fight past my own fears, especially when I know God is asking me to walk right back into a situation where I have experienced hurt before. It’s really tough to choose faith over fear.

Timothy must have also had his own fears, or Paul wouldn’t have needed to remind him that those fears didn’t come from God. Power, love, and sound judgment—those come from God.

Praxis

  1. How have you seen God’s spirit of power working in and/or around you?
  2. How have you experienced God’s love this week?
  3. When have you exercised sound judgment that you know came from God?
  4. We know that power, love, and sound judgment come from God. Today, ask Him to help you experience these gifts from Him instead of being overcome by fear. 
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