“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7 ESV)
Fear is defeated by recognizing and welcoming God’s perfectly-loving Presence.
Everything that God has done for us, through the work of Jesus, is to bring us close to Himself – to make it possible for Him to Personally invest His infinite love into our lives. It is in the realization of this amazing love that fear loses its grip upon our souls. God’s manner of love is the light that shatters the darkness of fear.
But here is the problem… the old you is just not able to fully receive God’s love.
Only the new you can walk into the fullness of God’s love. Only the new you is blameless in God’s sight. Only the new you feels welcome in His Presence. Only the new you is able to stare down fear – and put it in its place.
The new you, alone, is equipped to deal with the fear that debilitates our lives.
That is just what the apostle is reminding us, in his letter to Timothy.
God has given us a gift – it is the gift of a new you. This new you longs for God’s Presence, is eager to seek Him out, is able to come boldly before God’s Throne of grace. The new you comes boldly, because the new you knows that you belong with Him. His love has conquered your heart, and captured the fullness of your attention. The new you lives life in the constant knowledge that you are cherished by the Most High – and His love changes your every outlook on life.
The apostle begins by telling us what the new you is NOT. It is not fearful or timid. The root word means cowardice. This is at the heart of the old you. But the new you is the exact opposite.
This new you is described as a “spirit” (an inner attitude) with three specific aspects.
A spirit of power. The original word, here, is the root word for “dynamite.” Dynamite is used to move solid things that are unmovable. Miners use dynamite for blasting solid rock, for instance. Notice, this is not just strength for enduring what causes fear – it is the power within us to blow fear away!
A spirit of love. This word is one that most Christians know… it is “agape.” This is the exact same type, and manner, of love that God has for us. It is God’s Own love, abiding within our hearts. We are reminded, again, that perfect “agape” drives out all fear (1 John 4:18). This is God’s Own heart surging from within us – to lovingly overcome every obstacle of our faith.
A spirit of self-discipline. The concept here (which is somewhat difficult to translate properly) is that God has given us the ability to line up our minds with His Mind. To think as He thinks – which causes us to act as He does. “Our thoughts are not His throughts…” is an Old Testament concept. The New Testament tells us that “we have the Mind of Christ!” (see 1 Cor. 2:16) The new you treasures God’s way of thinking about things, and diligently seeks to know His ways. But what is more, the Bible tells us that the new you has the ways/truth of God, already written (stamped) upon your heart and mind (see Hebrews 10:16!).
As Christians, fear has no power to terrorize our lives anymore… unless we let it.
The new you lives every day in the power of the victory, won for us by our Lord Jesus.
Embrace the infinite love of God. Cling tightly to the gift His love has given you. Choose each and every day to put off the old you, and put on the new.
Fear will never be your master again!
Prayer focus: God, help me to put on the new you, and walk in your love, every day!