All of us struggle with fear. On Tuesday night this week, I spoke at a large gathering of people deeply concerned about shot mandates coming down from Governor Polis. I spoke about conquering fear in our lives. As I spoke, I could literally feel fear leaving the room.
The Apostle Paul, while a prisoner in Rome, knowing that he was about to be killed, wrote about fear. This just might be the most potent formula for combatting fear ever written.
“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)
The Nature of Fear
Fear is a natural emotion when, used rightly, enables and empowers us to fight or flight when danger is near. Experiencing fear during a dangerous situation is not a bad thing. If fear leads to positive action, one can turn a potential catastrophe into a victory.
But Paul is speaking of a “spirit of fear.” God doesn’t give us a spirit of fear; Satan does. This is the kind of fear that enslaves and binds one to negative emotions. These emotions take over one’s thoughts and feelings and oppress and subjugate one’s life. The spirit of fear produces all kinds of negative results: loss of joy, broken relationships, reduced immune system, depression, and anxiety.
Freedom from the Spirit of Fear
Paul gives us three key challenges to withstanding and defeating the spirit of fear. The first is power, the next is love, and the last is a sound mind. Power, love, and a sound mind—spiritual, emotional, and mental. Like concentric circles in our lives, we walk out of fear through a wholehearted commitment to each of these areas of our life.
Spiritual power from the Holy Spirit is the only way to begin a journey in Christ. The Holy Spirit provides us with supernatural courage and boldness. We must be filled with the Holy Spirit daily to overcome fear in our lives.
Love for God and people is next. We put on love when we take seriously the greatest commandment of loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and our neighbor as ourselves. Love covers a multitude of sins and mistakes. Love transforms fear into compassion.
The hardest thing to get people to do is think. To critically think and get past one’s own stuff is difficult to train into people. When we are overwhelmed by fear, learning to renew our mind and take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ is the key to victory and peace.
Defeat the spirit of fear in your life by taking the trinitarian challenge—power, love, and a sound mind!
Walk in Peace,