What are you afraid of?
Rejection? Injury? Death? Being alone? Losing someone you love? We are afraid of so many different things. Avoiding dangerous situations like not standing on the beach in a hurricane or riding with someone who drives like a maniac is just reasonable and not what we are talking about here.
2 Timothy 1:6-7
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us not a spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
Timothy had some fear to deal with as he led the church at Ephesus because he was encountering false teachers in the church. He was young but he knew that God had called him to do this. The false teachers were trying to divide this young body of believers and it was Timothy’s responsibility to adhere to the truth of God’s Word and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Like Timothy, we have things we are called to do and fear can stop us in our tracks.
Our fears may or may not be reasonable. I spent much of my life as a young mom terrified of losing one or both of my children. As parents, we do see so many young families touched by tragedy and some of you have experienced this unthinkable loss first hand.(I am praying for you as I write this.)
One of My Fearful Times
My son, Joseph – the adrenaline junkie – forced me to leave my children at the Foot of the Cross of Christ when he was 17 years old. He prefers the term, “dedicated civil servant” which he is but he is also an adrenaline junkie!! He began running fire and other 911 calls with our tiny town volunteer department in northern Vermont. This volunteer department was all we had and they were a dynamite group of people. The first frosty night he rolled out of our driveway in his own vehicle at 1 am, I realized that if I was ever going to sleep again, I was going to have to release my children to God in a very real way. He helped me to release them and entrust them to HIm. More on this particular subject another day. I will say that old fear will still rise up every so often and I have to keep releasing them to Him. God is so good and I rarely lose sleep over them these days. They are in His hands. His will for them and my will for them may not line up, but that is His call. They are His.
Let’s Look at the Verses now:
“For this reason I remind you… “
Of course, Paul is referring to the previous verses here. Please read verses 1-5 to see the context. This letter is to the young Timothy, with whom Paul had a father/son type relationship. He referred to him as his spiritual son. Paul had put Timothy in the position as the leader in the church in Ephesus. Paul was giving Timothy encouragement at this time as the end of his(Paul’s) life approached.
“…to fan into flame the gift of God… “
We see in the previous verses that Timothy had faith in God and was a Christian believer. In 1 Timothy, Paul speaks of God gifting Timothy to preach and teach the Gospel of Christ. This is what Paul was directing him to “fan into flame.”
“…which is in you through the laying on of my hands… “
Paul had put his hands on Timothy and prayed for him when he left him to lead in Ephesus. God had definitely used Paul mightily in Timothy’s life, and Timothy in Paul’s. There is a lot of historical information on the letters to Timothy but now we need to focus the next verse, so we are going to keep moving.
Most Fear is Not From God
“…for God gave us a spirit not of fear but… “
There is only One we should fear and that is God Himself. Everything else is under His dominion so – subject to Him. According to Psalm 111:10, we are to fear Him and that fear is the beginning of wisdom. We will talk about that tomorrow.
“…of power and love and self-control.”
As believers in Christ, we are empowered by the Holy Spirit to trust God and be obedient to Him. We are to be filled with His love so that it spills out on those around us but primarily to be filled with love for our Savior. In John 14:15, Jesus tells us that if we love Him we will do what He has told us to do.
Stop Fear Instead of Fear Stopping You
The enemy of our souls will do everything he can to keep us from fulfilling God’s will for our lives. Fear is one of his favorite tools. Fear is distracting and debilitating. It can freeze us in our very steps if we let it. It can keep us out of God’s will. In my fear as a mom, I could have kept Joseph from doing what he was called to do – I could have pulled the “No! Because I’m the MOM!” card. By the way, he has been in emergency services almost all of his adult life. Now he is a fulltime EMT and firefighter. He has impacted many, many lives since that frosty night in Vermont. I am so thankful that God helped me not to keep him from his calling.
Our love for God and focus on Him is absolutely necessary to live a life free from fear of all but Him. We will see His huge blessing if we trust Him with the things that we ultimately have no control over anyway, and that are not ours to control. They are His. More on this tomorrow.
I pray that you and I will be obedient above all and not allow ourselves to be distracted or debilitated by fear. May we focus on Him who is able to keep us and carry us.
Go Deeper Today: