for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7 (ESV)
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7 (NIV)
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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 a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
Paul, here, encourages Timothy to remember the Spirit that God has placed in him through Paul’s laying on of hands. This reminder is one we should think about today as well. As we go through our Christian walk and personal devotion to the Lord, we tend to drift and wander into our destructive and fallen tendencies. This can look like a season of perpetual fear and anxiety, where we want to clutch onto whatever we can take hold of to control our lives. Or, it can be believing the lie that no impact will be made through us and that we are weak, unable to step into God’s calling of holiness or mission. Lastly, this drifting often occurs through the subtle compromises on our convictions until, suddenly, we wonder how we got here and why we cannot stop ourselves from doing what we know we shouldn’t.
We must remember the Spirit.
The Spirit tends to be the neglected person of the Trinity in the Western, evangelical, non-charismatic church. The Spirit can feel other, ambiguous, and some aren’t sure how to interact with or think about it. Perhaps, if you can relate, one must think about Christ and how the Spirit and He interacted (and still do) to solve this issue. Christ was moved, directed, and empowered by the Spirit in His life and ministry here on Earth. Jesus was courageous, had authority, and could withstand every point of temptation in His life by the power of God through the Spirit in Him. Here’s the best part, which is a sweet Gospel truth of old that we should never stop meditating on and adoring:
“If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.”
- Romans 8:11
We possess the same omnipresent, powerful, authoritative, protecting, temptation-fighting, courage-giving Spirit that raised Christ from the dead and led Him in His ministry on Earth. So, to key in on Self Control as it is the fruit we are reflecting on this week, if you find yourself in that last ditch, where over and over again you are giving in to the subtle compromises of your convictions, think of the Spirit that God has placed within you. Replace the lies you are believing that want to separate you from God with the truth about who the Spirit is. Journal about the attributes of the Spirit and what the Bible says the Spirit will do in our lives.
“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” - Romans 8:26
Ask the Spirit to help you pray for what you need and lead you as it moved Christ in His ministry, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power, love, and self-control.