Fear can cripple you
2 Timothy 1:7 Amplified Bible (AMP)
7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control].
Jesus recognized that His disciples had times where they battled with fear, as we all do! Fear is a powerful emotion that the devil can take advantage of in our lives. Fear is an emotion that makes us extremely vulnerable to spiritual attack.
Luke 12:4-7 New International Version (NIV)
4 “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. 5 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. 7 Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Fear is linked with a lack of both faith and the fear of the Lord. When we are afraid, we are not trusting God and often, fearing something or someone other than God! Fear is one of the main weapons that the enemy uses to torment us and to dictate feelings and behavior to us. God wants to deliver everyone who struggles with fear. When God’s people are free from fear, they can walk in power, authority, and victory!
Multiple fears begin with lies that the enemy has told us, which shows why the devil is called the “father of lies.” He tries to handicap us with fear because he knows that the truth will both set and make us free. The devil uses the natural emotion of fear against us to make us feel helpless in resisting him. He wants us to doubt the Lord and ourselves because it makes him appear stronger than he really is! The devil discredits God in every way he can, whispering lying accusations to us about God, as he did to Adam and Eve.
One of the ways that the devil instills fear is by telling us lies about who we are and what we are facing: He whispers, “Look at your ﬁnances! You will not make it! You didn’t give enough to God, so He is punishing you!” LIE! Another lie that the enemy commonly whispers is “God will never forgive you for that sin!” LIE!
Fear has been deﬁned as False Evidence Appearing Real. Fear makes you think that the worst will happen! He holds up a magnifying glass to make things appear larger than they may actually be.
Fears are real feelings that we cannot deny. All of us have felt “butterﬂies” in our stomachs at time – the nervousness that comes when we may have to give a speech or compete in an event, or public speaking! The adrenaline our bodies produce helps us deal with stressful situations, but it also makes us feel sick! But this is a kind of “good” fear that helps us be more alert and to perform better.
However, if we allow the enemy to deceive us with lies and we do not submit our fears to the fear of God, we can be open to a “spirit of fear.” In 2 Timothy 1:7, this spirit intimidates us. It keeps us from being bold and courageous.
A person with a sound mind makes good judgments, has discipled thought patterns, and has the ability to make right decisions. This person does not expect the worst, but the best because his hope is in God! The Lord wants us to be completely secure in His love, protection and in His provision.
Read the wisdom stated in Proverbs 14:26. We are to revere and fear God and see Him as our constant refuge. But it is completely different to be in bondage to a spirit of fear! The only fear we are to have is the fear of offending God! When we fear God, He will be our refuge in times of temptation and we will begin to hate sin as He does; and by God’s grace, it will be removed from our lives.
A key to overcoming fear is ﬁnding the root of where it began! If you are tormented by fear, ask the Holy Spirit to show you the root reason. Get completely alone with God for a time of letting Him search your entire life concerning any and every fear.
A tormenting fear could be due to traumatic experiences you may have gone through or because of horror movies you may have watched. Watching horror movies can affect a person deeply, leaving wounds that can only be healed by praying for the Lord to heal those memories.
Some fears have generational roots that may be broken through prayer of generational transference. Through prayer, each of us can sever our natural bloodline inheritance by declaring out loud that we are a new creation, old things are passed away and behold all things have become new. Are you ready to break that generational curse? When the Lord shows you a root cause of a fear, take that to Him in prayer and even ask Him how to pray!
Do you remember what God told us in Isaiah 43 to enable us to overcome the fear of uncertainty? “Fear not … I have redeemed You; you are mine.” The second Christ steps into your life … you become His purchased possession. And He tells us that He purchased us in order to release us from the burden and bondage of sin.
“Fear not … I am with you.” Isaiah 41.10, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
What a promise! What a presence! And to know that through Him … we can have assurance and peace during those times of uncertainty. And we all have them … don’t we?
Keep in mind that God never intended for His children to live with unholy, unhealthy, and unhelpful fear. That’s why He reminds us over and over in His word to “fear not.” I was reading recently through Jeremiah’s book of Lamentations where he cried out to God in chapter 3.55-58, “I called on Your name, O LORD, from the lowest pit. You have heard my voice; do not hide Your ear from my sighing, from the cry for help.’ You drew near to the day I called on You and said, ‘Do not fear!” O Lord, you have pleaded the case for my soul; You have redeemed my life.”
So how do you Face your Fears? Well … according to 2 Timothy 1 … apparently Timothy had allowed his fears to prevent him from serving God. Perhaps it was the fear of failure … fear of rejection … fear of persecution … fear of people. Perhaps it was a combination of several fears. At any rate, his fears had crippled and paralyzed the fellowship and Paul attempts to encourage him.
That is why it is very important that we have someone to hold us accountable, some we can pray with, and tell us the truth.
2 Timothy 1:6-7
“Therefore, I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
Verse 6 begins with the word “therefore” which ties it to what Paul had just finished talking about. So, let’s keep this in the context. If you back up a few verses, you will find that Paul had been thinking back over his relationship with Timothy. He tells him in verse 3 how he had remembered to pray for him. And then in verse 5 he tells him how he had remembered the genuine faith that was in them.
Now having said all of that … he then says in verse 6, “Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you …” Now here’s the good news: God had given him a gift that was in him. The bad news was that it was in need of being stirred up.
To phrase “stir up” was used to describe the stoking of a fire. When the flames of a fire settle down no longer giving off much heat … you take the poker and poke at the logs to reignite the flames. Let me ask you a question: does the gift God has given you need stoking? I am talking about that spiritual gift He’s given you! That gift! That gift you once used to help build up the body of Christ. That gift!
Have you neglected your spiritual gift? By the way, the longer you neglect using your spiritual gift … the harder it is to rekindle it. Just like a fire! It’s time to stir up your gift! I know at New Life we are in expectation of our new building. We have made sacrifices and I know that all of the sacrifice is about to pay off real soon!
Some of you are sitting in the congregation who ought to be singing in the choir. Some of you are sitting in a Sunday School class who ought to be teaching a Sunday School class. Some of you are remaining silent every week rather than sharing Jesus because of Fear. You’ve been crippled by fear.
The fear of failure. The fear of rejection. The fear of persecution. The fear of letting somebody down. You can be so afraid of making a mistake that your entire life will be a mistake. Hey … you don’t have to always succeed. Paul had failed on certain times.
Walt Disney got a job as a cartoonist for a newspaper and they fired him. Did you know that Napoleon Bonaparte, that great general, went to a military school and out of 43 students, he was next to last? You’re going to fail if you try anything. But God deliver us from a spirit of failure because Satan uses that spirit of failure in us to cripple and paralyze the fellowship.
Perhaps like Timothy … it’s time for you to “stir up the gift of God which is in you …” Look what he says in verse 7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear …”
That fear you have concerning using that gift God has given you is not from God. God didn’t put that in your heart. Now if God has not given you a spirit of unhealthy, unholy, unhelpful fear then who has? Satan has … that’s who. And it’s time that you face your fears.
Verse 7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
Here is what God has given us: He has given us POWER … He has given us LOVE …and He has given us A SOUND MIND. In other words, … God has given us everything we need to overcome every fear that Satan has put in us keeping us on the sidelines rather than in the game.
He has given us POWER … He has given us LOVE … and He has given us A SOUND MIND.