Wednesday, August 6, 2014

For God Gave Us a Spirit...

"For God gave us a spirit, not of fear but of power and love and self-control." 2 Timothy 1:7

Most of us probably know this verse, so maybe it feels pat, but I've been meditating on this one verse all summer. It started when I read a book by Jackie Mize last May that used this acronym:
F - false
E - evidence
A - against
R - reality

Fear. False evidence against reality. Jackie writes, "Fear motivates Satan as faith motivates God. Fear is Satan's tool as faith is God's" (p. 100).

Satan's number one tool is fear; it is the antithesis of faith. Yet, we so rarely recognize fear. We mask it as stress, worry, insecurity, busyness. But at the root--it is all fear.

  • Fear of the future, that something won't be accomplished
  • Fear of the unknown, that something won't work out the way we want or need
  • Fear of failure, that something will fail and/or that we will be failures
  • Fear of insufficiency, that the "work" we do (i.e., at our jobs, in our marriage, with our kids, in our friendships) won't be enough 
  • Fear of lack, that He won't provide, that He isn't enough

  • Fear of lack, that we aren't enough, that we aren't sufficient (i.e., body size, hair color, personality, what we do, where we live, how much we make, etc.)
  • Fear of rejection, that again, we won't measure up, that others will reject us

  • Fear of feeling, that if we stop, if we slow down, if we feel, we'll be vulnerable; we'll have to be real and get to the root and deal with our heart, and isn't it just easier to be busy? 

For the last two months, I have prayed against a spirit of fear almost daily. And I've found that Step One is just praying to see the evidence of fear, to recognize it, to call it what it is. It's more than stress: it's fear. It's more than insecurity: it's fear. 

And we have to see it from the seemingly insignificant worries to the major events that keep us up at night. For weeks, almost every time I left the house, I was convinced I had not unplugged my straightener. This, naturally, led me to believe that the house would burn down, that my dogs (my babies!), who are inside, would die, that I would lose all my possessions, my journals, my writing. Life itself would be over. That is fear, my friends. Did I unplug my straightener? Did I close the garage door? Did I lock my car? These obsessions are Satan's tools, insignificant as they seem. 

If we never identify fear's strongholds in our life, we cannot break the spirit of fear over us. 

God gave us a spirit. 

It is not a spirit of fear.

It is a spirit of power and love and self-control. 

I want to look at each of these traits of our spirit individually in the next few posts. But today, remember that you are filled with a spirit of power. God's grace--His ability--fills you. I believe Paul lists power first because it's believing that the power of God dwells in us that enables us to overcome fear, and it's believing that the power of God dwells in us that equips us to love and to have self-control. 

You are a powerful person. Don't walk in fear today. 

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