By Marni Montanez
2 Timothy 1:7
New King James Version (NKJV)
7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
Over the years I have heard this verse quoted many times. It seems to be one of those verses that every one needs at some point in their life.
From Adam and Eve to the present day people have experienced fear. It is a normal and common reaction to many challenging situations. What is the author referring to when he says "God did not give us a spirit of fear?" Is he talking of a demon or evil spirit? It could very well be, but when you look at the rest of the "fear" verses in the bible, God says "donít be afraid" as if it was our choice and ability not to feel fear. Is it that simple? This verse could be referring to a demonic spirit as well as something we take on in our feelings and emotions.
Fear is a learned behavior and begins in our thought process. With each experience that brings on pain of some kind we learn to react. There is a healthiness to being afraid of some things, but the majority of us exist with an underlying and unnamed fear that lingers in our everyday life. It becomes part of us and can be a weight or a shadow that the enemy uses. This is not how God created us.
God gave us a spirit or essence of power, of love and of a sound or strong mind. He intended for us to walk in a protective shield of faith; Warriors in the Kingdom of Light where we are allowed to ask boldly for what we want. As people who are not hindered by our feelings and emotions, we have the ability to take charge of our surroundings with purpose and dignity.
I heard that there are 365 "do not fear" verses in the bible. That sounds about right since we have to fight through so many aspects of fear in our daily lives. I have also heard that fear is not faith, but I wonder about that, because I would find it hard to believe Jesus did not feel any fear in the garden or on His way to the cross. I believe He felt fear to His core, but He chose to continue on His mission without bowing to the misguidance of fear.
We can be "tempted" by fear, but the sin is in staying there and believing the lies. So, is fear really not faith or can we have faith and still move ahead in obedience and determination in the midst of fear? I believe we can. Isn't our behavior more telling of lack of fear than what we are struggling with inside? There is a story told that has many variations to it, but the same resounding message it holds is "do it scared", regardless of what the "it" is. The lesson behind the story is that even when you feel afraid continue on your course. Don't let even fear stop you.
So I challenge you. The next time you feel fear, which could be any moment, keep going, keep obeying, keep pressing through.
The purpose of this series is to encourage people to live as loving, compassionate, and peacemaking children of God: Jesus tells us to pray, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10) God tells us through Micah (6:8), "He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God." And we know from Revelation 21:4 that there will be no more mourning, or crying, or pain, or death. Thus, Christian living requires us to set the standards of these conditions here on earth for our fellow human beings, and for the other animals, as a witness to the rest of the world. To do otherwise is not Christian.