For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear) but (He has given us a spirit) of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7
Fear, we have all experienced it and had it affect our lives. There are many types of fear. To name a few, there is the fear of abandonment, death, people, being unloved, heights, spiders, germs and the list goes on. Doctors spend hours a week with patients helping them overcome their fears.
There is a healthy fear that triggers and gives our bodies a signal to take flight and flee, when there is danger near. Our creator designed our bodies to react quickly to protect us from danger, however, when our imaginations and fears are left out of control, Satan uses them to keep us bound, in terror and not able to enjoy our lives.
John 10:10 says ‘The thief comes not, but to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ God’s plan for our lives is that we would live a life of joy, freedom and abundance.
Fear lives and feeds on poor self-image, failure, and my past. Because it is a spirit, it has constant movement.
Fear can be debilitating if it is not brought under subjection and under control. Fears abound everywhere in all of us. That is not going to change, fear will always be here. The place that we allow it in our lives is what matters. We are not denying the existence of fear, but we must put it in its proper place. Whatever we give a place of influence in our lives, rules us. If we give fear an elevated position in our lives we will live in terror incapacitated to fulfill our life’s assignments. This is why it is so important to have the Word of God firmly rooted in us, knowing what His Word says about life, my circumstances and situations. We must elevate His Word above all. We must believe what His Word says and not be dictated to by fear. The power is found in aligning ourselves with the Word!
When we function from a position of: my identity in Christ and what is the destiny assignment that I have been given, we begin to place our emotions, fears and circumstances in their proper place. We must not give them an elevated position in our lives.
When fear dominates our lives we are ruled by it. It controls us and it dictates our actions. We should not be ruled by fear. If we are not to be ruled by fear, then we must ask ourselves the questions, what should we be ‘ruled’ by?
There are two Kingdoms in the Bible – the Kingdom of God/Heaven and the Kingdom of Darkness. These two kingdoms have very distinguishing differences, and are ruled by different kings. You were in the Kingdom of Darkness and now you are in the Kingdom of God. He took you into His kingdom and wants you to let it rule you. But your flesh doesn’t like that and it wars against your mind and uses your weaknesses, failures, and your past to terrorize you and paralyze you.
Why is this important for us to understand?
Kingdom of God is the rule and reign of God in my life. The word king is used for a reason, because many believe in God but are not ruled by Him. A King is the one who rules His domain in my life. This is what we should be ruled by. What does that look like?
The Bible tells us that ‘For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.’ Romans 14:17
When His Kingdom is ruling our lives our fears are dealt with in the way that our King has set out.
This brings us to our position in Christ. To function at our fullest capabilities, freedom, and authority, we MUST understand what our position is. We MUST know what our identity is.
When we fully understand our position in Christ, we move into our rightful authority. All that Jesus took possession of He shares with us. All the victories of the cross, He shares with us. This is an amazing position to be in. We are His sons, His heirs.
In Romans 8:15 we read ‘For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” ‘
Paul is bringing out the reality of our position in Christ Jesus. We are no longer slaves but sons and we qualify for all that is available to sons. Sons do not function from a position of fear and cowering, rather they are dressed in royal garments and the have full access to all that the father has and the authority to execute it.
We need to realize that we don’t need to remain in states of fear and panic.
Spirit of Fear:
For a moment let’s dig a little deeper into the spirit of fear. The word spirit is defined as the movement of wind. So the spirit of fear is the constant movement of terror, torment, intimidation, cowardice, and dread in our lives.
He wants us to function with the principal of replacement.
So now as we read 2 Timothy 1:7, let’s expound on the words and pull out the original meanings. It says, He has not given us the spirit of fear – He has replaced it with….power (dunamis of the Holy Spirit) This is the constant movement of the Holy Spirit in our life. His power is working in us.
Power: dunamis of the Holy Spirit.
It is from this word that we get our word dynamite. When we read the definition of dunamis we begin to get a fuller picture of power that God has given us. It enables us to understand what our authority is. We have enough power in us to blow up the terror. In the Holy Ghost is where you find strength, power, and ability.
Ability of dunamus: inherent nature in which a person can be exerted or put forth. Who we really are can be put forth. Excellency of soul, moral power, ability to perform miracles.
The power and influence that belongs to riches and wealth. They have the ability to buy anything, go anywhere they want, and do what they want. Dunamis is this power.
Its classed as a power consisting or resting upon armies, forces and hosts….its overwhelming power. It cannot be stopped. It has all the weapons you need.
Let’s look at the definitions we find for sound mind. It’s an admonishing or calling to soundness of mind, to moderation and self-control. It is to moderate, control, curb, disciple, to hold to one’s duty.
To admonish, to exhort earnestly. It is to be of a sound mind, sane. It means to save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction. To deliver from the penalties of Christ’s judgement. To save from the evils which obstruct the reception of Christ’s deliverance.
When we read the definitions of sound mind we begin to understand the fullness of we have exchanged the spirit of fear for. We have traded up! We have given up terror and fear and it has been replaced the provision of being safe and sound, being rescued from danger, injury, disease, saved from evils which obstruct the reception of Christ’s deliverance. We have been given the provision of healing and health. We have the ability to think sanely and be in our right senses. We can curb our desires and impulses.
The sound mind operates on the Word, what does the Word say? Get to KNOW the Word. Power comes from aligning with the Word!
By virtue of its inherent nature – the new creation (which you are) has a sound mind.
Love – brotherly affection, good will, benevolence, celebration (celebrate love).
The negatives effects of an abusive past are not greater in power than dunamis, love, power and sound mind and they should never keep you from living a free, abundant, full life that Christ has paid the price for.
Know Your Resources.
We have studied the importance of knowing our identity in Christ and we have seen in I Timothy what God has replaced the spirit of fear with. These are very important for us to understand. But I would like to address a few other areas regarding combating fear.
Let’s look at I Samuel 30:6 first. The background of this story is, David and his army had been out fighting. (They were on their assignment. They were doing good.) They returned home from war to find that all of their wives, children, and possession had been taken. David’s men were very angry with him and ready to stone him. David was distressed and I am sure he was experiencing some fear.
Read 1 Samuel 30:6-20
We can learn from David’s example of what he did during times of distress. We discover a few interesting principles in this passage.
- His condition.
- What was David’s condition? v. 6
David was in great distress.
- He had to put up with others distress. Everyone wanted to stone him – he had no friends. He had no one to support him, build him up, encourage him, instruct him.
- He encouraged himself.
- It is interesting to note that he commands the Ephod be brought to him. ‘Bring me the thing God communicates with me.’ V.7
- David knew that he needed to hear from God. He didn’t want to hear from others, he needed to talk to God. He knew the avenue from which God spoke to him. He recognized it. Before he spoke or gave direction, he enquired of God.
- He enquired of God v.8
Enquire means – to ask a favour. To borrow. To consult. To seek, desire, require, salute, demand earnestly. It is a strong word. He was enquiring for a result. God, You’ve got them, and I need to hear from You. He wanted direction, but he also wanted to know what the result would be.
- He followed the instructions.
- He followed the word. You can never encourage yourself outside the Word. The Power is found in aligning yourself with the Word.
It is vital for us to learn to encourage ourselves in the Lord. We cannot depend upon others to do this for us, to prop us up, wind us up and send us on our way. We must learn the art of encouraging ourselves in the Lord.
Elisha & his Servant
The next area I would like to briefly discuss, is knowing what is going on in the spiritual realm. The story that comes to my mind is the story of Elisha and his servant. The background for this story is, king of Aram was at war with Israel. They were continually trying to raid Israel and he was frustrated because every time he moved the Israelites knew he was coming. So his people told him, that the prophet Elisha was telling the king of the Israelites what was going on even in his bedchambers. So king Aram sent out his army to find Elisha and capture him. Here is where we will pick up the story, with Elisha’s servant opening the door and discovering the army
Again, we see a powerful principle in play. Elisha’s servant was afraid because he only saw what was going on in the natural. He did not have the discernment to know what was going on in the spiritual. Maybe he was not skilled in hearing from God. When Elisha asked God to open his servant’s eyes, the servant’s fear dissipated because he could now see things clearly, the whole picture. He then recognized that he did not need to fear because God was with them. The enemy was trying to steal and raid in Israeli territory and by only seeing in the natural the servant let fear and terror rule him, but when his eyes were opened and he saw what Elisha saw (and what God was up to) his fear left.
We need to remember that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:12.
Sometimes the enemy is trying to steal our territory. Sometimes he is running raid parties into our territory. We do not have to tremble and fear, nor do we have to tolerate it. Rather, we can like David and Elisha did:
- Enquire of the Lord.
- Ask the Lord to show us what is really going on.
- Ask Him for instructions and a game plan.
- Ask Him what the outcome is going to be.
Then base your decision on what God reveals to you. If I cower and run in fear, I will give up my territory and I will never receive the help that the Father has made available to me, but if I seek His face I will recover and protect the territory He has for me.
Do not let the past dictate your present or plan your future. Remember that you are a child of God, He is your Father and He has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, of love and of a sound mind. The thief comes for destruction, but our Father does not. Change the way you look at situations, ask God to open your eyes to see His hand behind the circumstance.
You do not need to live in fear anymore.