Summary: Understanding the roots of fear, how it effects our lives and how to be an overcomer.
- 2 Timothy is a letter written by the Apostle Paul to his son in the Lord, Timothy
- Timothy at this time was pastoring the church at Ephesus, one of the churches Paul himself had planted on a previous missionary journey
- 2 Timothy, written about AD 66 or 67 is Paul’s last letter before his execution but he takes one last opportunity to encourage the young church and its leaders ……..he begins to write:
2 Tim 1:3-4
3 I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day,
4 greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy,
- he talks of the great faith that Timothy’s mother and grandmother had and says ….“I am persuaded that that faith now lives in you”
2 Tim 1:6 Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
- stir up the gift of God, stir it up, kindle it, get it going, let it burst into flame
- Timothy, ……. there is a deposit of Christ in you, stir it up, let it come forth, don’t let it stay buried
- and then Paul addresses something that can stifle that gift
2 Tim 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
- the word “fear” is from the root of a Greek word meaning "faithless, fearful, cowardly"
- so we could also say:
- God has not given us a timid spirit
- God has not given us a faithless spirit
- God has not given us a cowardly spirit
- God has not given us a fearful spirit
- two important things to see from this passage:
1) fear is not from God, so if it does not come from God, then where does it come from?
2) fear is a spirit, it is not a character quality, it is a spirit ….a spirit of fear, not merely an emotion a spirit of fear, a demonic spirit
- Paul is speaking here of the kind of fear that disabilitates someone, a fear that causes you anguish or does not allow you to do certain things
- a fear of flying, fear of public speaking, fear of closed spaces, fear of death … the fear Paul speaks about here is that type of fear that hinders your walk in Christ, it limits you, prevents you from doing certain things
- on the positive side, as this verse points out, we have a sound mind
- there are certain things we do not do, because of that sound mind, like jumping off a bridge with a rope tied around your ankle
- some might say well you are fearful of jumping off this bridge with a rope around you foot
- that is not really a fear issue, but a healthy respect for the law of gravity, because we have a sound mind…… but we need to use it
- the fear Paul addresses here in this verse…..is that kind of fear that cripples, it stops you dead, it shuts your mouth, it disabilitates you
- then after you beat yourself up and say “next time I am going to be an over comer”
- and we battle our own flesh and blood, often beating ourselves up, because ..well we messed up again…. Why couldn’t I be stronger .. we ask ourselves
- your aiming at the wrong target, because fear is a spirit
- to the same church that Timothy is pastoring, Paul writes:
Eph 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
- be bold, be strong for the Lord Thy God is with you!!!
- almost the same words that the Lord spoke to Joshua, after the death of Moses
Josh 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."
But let me continue in Ephesians:
11 Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
- Paul is saying “know what your target is” ..........you fight a spiritual battle, with spiritual weapons
- if you get nothing else from this message please get this:
Our battle is not against flesh and blood, our battle is not against other people, people are not the enemy, our own selves are not the enemy