Fear? Not Me!

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV
Fear may be the most destructive and demoralizing weapon in our enemy’s arsenal.  The deceiver uses fear to discourage, to demean, to distract and to detour.
Author J. Ruth Glender tells us, “Fear has a large shadow, but he himself is small.”
Fear stops our steps of faith.  
Fear influences our choices.  
Fear can change direction.  
Fear can eat away our confidence.  
Fear can tear apart relationships.
Paul, as an early church statesman needed to encourage a younger church servant.  He emphatically tells Timothy that fear is not from God.  That needs repeating . . . FEAR IS NOT FROM GOD.
In every attacking instance of fear (not from God), there is available immediate faith (from God).  The enemy wants to tear us down with fear while God wants to build us up with faith.
Ralph Waldo Emerson writes, “Fear defeats more people than any other thing in the world.”
Fear says you can’t, faith says you can.  
Fear is doubt, faith is belief.  
Fear declares it’s impossible, faith does the impossible.  
Fear says God is not with you, faith says God is always with you.
God gives us His Spirit . . .  and His spirit is power, passion (love) and a new perspective (sound mind).
We Have His Presence.  Can you picture a young boy being intimidated by a playground bully?  The boy is fearful and frantic.  The bully’s intimidation is intense.  At just the right moment, the boy’s older brother walks up behind him and doesn’t say a word . . . the threat is over, the bully leaves, and young boy understands that his older brother’s “got his back”.  God always has our back.  In every encounter, His presence is evident.  Isaiah reminds us, “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” (‭Is‬ ‭41‬:‭10‬ NLT)
We Have His Power.  The psalmist writes, “The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Ps 27:1 NKJV).  David knows about the strength and power of God.  God’s power provides him with courage and confidence as he faces Goliath.  It’s the same power we receive and that resides in each of us as we face our giants.  Paul reminds us, “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.” (‭Eph‬ ‭3‬:‭20‬ ESV)
We Have His Passion.  Paul records, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18 NIV)  Punishment thrives on fear . . . perfect love drives fear away.  God loves us and that will never change.  The apostle reminds us of the permanence of God’s passion, “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.” (‭Rom‬ ‭8‬:‭38‬ NLT)
We Have His Perspective.  Fear attacks our feelings.  Feelings attack our faith.  When we stand in paralyzingly fear, we fail to walk in powerful faith.  There are times when we need to change our sight, not our surroundings.  We need a realignment in our perception, not a relocation of our place.  We want to run in fear; God wants us to rest in faith.  Our sound mind is found in our Savior’s model.  Paul tells us the importance of emptying self and embracing serving.  “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage; rather, He made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” (‭Phil‬ ‭2‬:‭5-7‬ NIV)
We Have His Provision.  The looming of tomorrow is often due to the lack of today.  Resources are low.  Extra is extinguished.  We’re living on empty . . . empty accounts, empty tanks, empty pantries.  The enemy tells us we can’t make it, we can’t survive, we can’t provide.  Jesus reminds us, “. . . your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.” (Matt 6:32-33‬ ‭NLT) ‬‬  He will guide and He will provide.
Neal A. Maxwell writes, “Don’t fear, just live right.”
No Fear.  Only Faith.  No Fear.  Only Follow.
Be bold.  Be brave.  Your God’s got your back.

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