“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” —2 Timothy 1:7
Timidity. Cowardice. Some versions render the start of this verse, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear.”
As Paul wrote this letter to his young protégé Timothy, he knew two things: 1) Timothy had a natural reluctance to being strongly assertive, and 2) the work in Ephesus with which Timothy was tasked required boldness and directness. Accordingly, the apostle reminds the young minister that his fears and apprehensions are not of God.
How do we overcome our fears and minister and serve beyond them? Is it a matter of trying harder? Resolution? Determination? Self-affirmation?
“I’m good enough, smart enough, and doggone it…people like me.” —Stuart Smalley
No. For believers, it is a matter of resting completely in our identity in Christ. In the verse immediately before this, Paul called on Timothy to “fan into flame the gift of God which is in you.”
These two verses together suggest that we have a responsibility to recognize, nurture, and develop the work that God is doing in us, and then apply it to the work He is doing around and through us.
If we walk into tasks in the giftedness, power, love, and self-discipline He’s supplied, we’ll never walk in ill-equipped.
What’s on your agenda today? This week? Which are the tasks you feel uneasy about? What looms large on the horizon?
Commit them to the Lord. His strength and certainty are yours. Walk in them.
My prayer for this week:
Lord, I confess that I often let fear keep me from experiencing all the blessings and joy you have for me. Please teach me how to fan into flame the gifts you’ve given me, so I live my life in the power, love, and self-discipline of your Holy Spirit. I want to embody the identity and giftedness you have given me, today and always.