from FEAR to FAITH
All of us have been afraid of something. I’ve been afraid of a lot of things in my lifetime. I remember one certain fearful situation that happened many times when I was a kid. It would happen while I was in my room sleeping. All of a sudden, I would wake up and there would be a dark figure standing in my room. It looked like a man staring at me. As a child that completely freaked me out.
So I did what every child would do in this situation: I pulled the covers over my face like they were some kind of shield against evil. After a while I would peek out and the dark figure would still be there. Not knowing what else to do, I started calling on the name of Jesus and rebuking this demon (I was definitely a Pentecostal kid). Somehow I would finally get tired enough to fall back asleep. When I woke up in the morning, I would look over to see if he was still there. To my astonishment, he was. But it wasn’t a he, it was a jacket on a hanger.
Has that ever happen to you? Have you ever realized that the thing you are afraid of didn’t even exist. Usually the things we fear are a lie. Fears of failure and fear of people usually start as a lie within our mind. Fear tries to stop us from doing what we’ve been called to do. Fear is the wall between you and everything God has for you. Many believers have become paralyzed by their fear.
In this passage that we just read, the Apostle Paul is writing to a guy named Timothy. Timothy at this point was a young man, and has no doubt been called by God. Yet, Timothy hasn’t yet been able to move from living in fear to living in faith.
-2 Timothy 1:5-7 (NLT)
5 I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you. 6 This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
I think that many of us can relate to Timothy. Maybe you might struggle with the fear of man. So you over commit because it’s too hard to say no to people. Some people lie to make themselves look better because they fear what others may think about who they really are. Still, many people struggle with the fear that God won’t really do what He’s promised He will do. Whatever the fear is in your life, it is important to know that this kind of fear keeps you from walking into God’s destiny for your life.
God doesn’t give us fear. Fear comes from the enemy. However, there are some things that God did give us so that we would be able to move from fear to faith. I want to spend the next three blogs talking about those things.
2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT)
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power…
I worry that as believers we don’t really walk in the power that we have been given. The Gospel message is full of power. The Gospel is the most powerful message in the world. It’s a message that says that Jesus came to earth, OVERPOWERED death, OVERPOWERED sin, and OVERPOWERED Hell. The Bible also says that the same power that raised Christ from the dead has been given to us. That means that, as believers, when we walk into a fearful situation all of heaven walks with us.
Ephesians 1:19-23 (NLT)
19 I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power 20 that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. 21 Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. 22 God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. 23 And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.
The coolest part of this passage is the knowledge of where the power we need comes from. The power doesn’t come from us, it comes as a result of who is with us.
For example, when I was in a ministry program called Master’s Commission, I lived with the biggest Jamaican man I have ever met named JJ.. This guy was HUGE! After we got to know each other, we became good friends. As we began to do ministry in scarier parts of town, I realized that I would feel afraid. But if JJ was walking with me I knew that no one would think twice about messing with me. It wasn’t because I was powerful, it was because the one I walked with was.
Just like that, we need to know that the power we need to overcome fear doesn’t come from within us. It comes to us when we start to believe that Jesus is who He says He is. If we can walk in that kind of faith, then we will have the confidence to know that nothing can harm us because of who is in us and living in us. God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear. Because His Spirit lives in us and walks with us, we can move from fear to faith.