“For God gave us a spirit not of fear, but of power and love and self-control.”
(2 Timothy 1:7)
When we have just taken spiritual surveys among the people in the church I pastor, McLean Bible Church here in metro Washington, D.C., one of the things that constantly comes up, it’s at the top of the list of struggles for both men and women, is fear, fear in so many different ways and so many different forms, fear, worry, anxiety. And as I talk with all kinds of people, these are prevalent feelings, prevalent struggles in so many Christians’ lives, fear, worry, and anxiety.
What causes you to be anxious? What causes you to worry or be filled with fear? See that God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-control. Lord deliver us from anxiety and worry.
God is saying in his Word, even to us right now… Just think about in your life, where are you prone to fear or worry or anxiety? What makes you anxious? What makes you afraid? What worries you? Honestly answer that question, and then hear God’s Word.
God gave us a spirit, not a fear. Fear is not from the Lord, obviously talking about fear of circumstances, fear of things around us, fear of what might happen. There’s a biblical sense in which we, obviously, fear God, and that’s good because when we fear God, we see His supremacy, we see His sovereignty, then we realize we don’t have to be afraid of anything else.
The whole picture in Second Timothy 1:7 is not talking about a fear of God, but a fear of man, a fear of what could happen to us in this world, a fear of things going this way or that way around us, fear of circumstances, and all kinds of ways like that. God has not given us a spirit of fear like that. He has given us a spirit of power and love and self-control. The whole picture here is of boldness, a humble confidence and power to love in the middle of a world of uncertainty, self-control when you can’t control the things around you.
God, we pray for these things. God, I just pray over every single person who’s listening to this right now. I know this is the case in the church you’ve entrusted me to pastor and care for, so, God, I pray for the members of the church I’m a part of, McLean Bible Church, but then, God, beyond that to every follower of Jesus who is listening to this right now. I just pray that you would deliver them from fear, us from fear, in any way. Lord, we pray that you would deliver us from anxiety and worry.
Lord, help us. Help us to trust in you. Help us to see you. Help us to know your provision. We don’t have to worry when you are our provider. We don’t have to be anxious when you are our peace. We don’t have to be afraid when you are our courage.
Our confidence is not in ourselves. Our confidence is not in our circumstances. Our confidence is in you, and you are always faithful. You are all-powerful, you are all good, you are all-wise, you are all-loving, so we have no reason to fear.
God, we praise you that you’ve not given us a spirit of fear, that we don’t have to live in it, so help us, God, we pray, not to live in it. I just pray that over every single person who’s listening to this right now. God, please deliver us from a spirit of fear and help us to live in the spirit you’ve given us, of power and love and self-control.
God, may it be so, we pray, in Jesus’s name, in the name of the one who has conquered death, in the name of the one who has all authority in heaven and earth, in the name of the one whose spirit lives inside of us. In Jesus’s name, we pray. Amen.
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