Fear Is Not From God

“For God hath not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).

Many of us have heard 2 Timothy 1:7 many times; however, have we considered implications of the word “but” in this verse? According to the literal Greek translation, but can mean “contrariwise, or in contrast to”; therefore, if we are full of fear, are we necessarily not filled with power, love, and soundness of mind? As someone who has wrestled with fear since childhood, I understand the paralyzing effect it can have on every aspect of life. Thankfully, the Lord has delivered me from the imprisonment of fear, but the Adversary never gives up in trying to stir it up in me. I have learned that everything in the Christian life boils down to the one in whom we place our faith: I can have faith in God who has given me power, love, and thinking based in truth, or I can surrender to fear, which is essentially faith in the power of Satan to cause calamity and destruction in my life.

Fear from the enemy is not the “fight or flight” fear that protects us from imminent danger, but the kind of fear that causes us to be timid in carrying out the will of God. Paul was admonishing Timothy to not be fearful of afflictions that might result from his obedience to God’s calling (purposes) in his life; and, as with Timothy, we should not allow fear to keep us from being obedient. In the past, I was holding my feelings in higher regard than the Lord’s purposes in the situation- I was giving the enemy victory. It was frustrating to feel unable to do what I knew I needed to do, but I lacked sufficient faith to overcome the anxiety and fear- I needed to keep building my faith in the Lord’s goodness and provision for me. It has been a journey of faith-building by the power of the Holy Spirit that still continues today:

  • Through reliance on the Holy Spirit, I resist fear from the enemy and renounce its power over me- 1 Peter 5: 9, “But resist him [the devil], firm in your faith.” NASB
  • I place trust in the POWER of God- 1 John 4:4, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them (spirits not from God, v.3): because greater is He that is within you than he (Satan) that is in this world.” KJV
  • I cling to God’s LOVE for me, which is perfect, unchanging, and empowering- 1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love (God’s agape love) casts out fear; because fear has torment. He that fears is not made perfect (whole, completely equipped) in love.”
  • I keep on renewing my mind in God’s Word so that I can make sound judgments and believe/act based on the true and God-given perspective of the situation- a SOUND MIND. Romans 12:12, “…be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.”