Why Should You Live in Fear? God Has Not Given You a Spirit of Fear
Today, the world lives in fearful times – a pandemic has struck. People around the world are afraid. They are afraid of dying from the disease. They are afraid for their family and loved ones. They are afraid of other people who may be carriers of this virus. We are all potentially biological weapons. We may infect others unwillingly. People are afraid of the economic repercussions. Will we lose our jobs or even our home? Because the world is unstable, will this lead to a world war? The result is worldwide fear and in some cases panic, which threatens to engulf us.
What does the Bible have to say about fear? Since fear is a timeless reality of life, then the timeless Word of God should inform us of how to handle fear. And it does. I would like to read a verse from 2 Timothy 1:7: “For God has not given us the spirit of fear but of power, and of love and of a sound mind.” Let us see how this verse, and the Bible in general can help us deal with fear. The first step to confront fear is to remember who and whose we are – we are children of God, born again with God’s spirit dwelling in us. We have been given the Holy Spirit. This means that we are not alone, not even in the face of death. We need to remind ourselves of this often.
Characteristics of the Holy Spirit
The Spirit is characterized by power, love, and sound mind. Because of what Jesus did for us on the cross, we no longer draw back from God with cringing fear. We know by the Spirit that we are indeed loved. One of the characteristics of the Holy Spirit is LOVE. We are also reminded from Scripture that “Perfect love casts out all fear.” The Holy Spirit gives us confidence (not fear) in this world because He gives confidence in the Day of Judgement. How? This perfect love of God casts out all fear because “There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:1).” Paul reminds us that we now have boldness to come to God. We have been granted access to His presence because of what Christ Jesus did on Calvary’s cross for us sinners.
Another characteristic of the Holy Spirit is POWER. The Spirit does not produce in God’s people “fear,” which could also be translated timidity or cowardice. This power is mighty and strong. It was the Spirit of God that rushed upon the timid, fearful disciples and transformed them into bold apostles. Peter, as an example, went from being fearful and cowardly in the presence of a servant girl to being bold and powerful before the Jewish religious leaders as he pronounced: “Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified (Acts 2:36).” This doesn’t mean that believers have superhuman strength like Samson did but rather the Spirit-produced power enables us to endure suffering and to abound in hope in whatever circumstances we face (2 Timothy 1:8; Romans 15:13).
This power is not to be considered in the way the world sees power. The people of this world seek power to dominate others, even if this causes suffering. The lust for power is a far greater virus than any natural virus. It has killed countless millions upon millions over the ages. The power which God gives us is the power to endure suffering for Christ’s sake. This is indeed the greatest power. We know from Scripture that the world sneers at this as weakness.
The last characteristic of the Holy Spirit mentioned in this verse is SOUND MIND (self-control or good sense). What this verse is teaching is that God has given us the spirit of self-control or self-mastery. We are to use discretion, and not to act rationally, hastily, or foolishly. No matter how adverse our circumstances, we should maintain balanced judgement and act soberly. We need to think and not simply react to the situation around us. We certainly need not panic regardless of the circumstances.
Response to Fear – The World VS The Believer
Fear is characteristic of the world. The world is immersed in fear. The Bible speaks often of the fear that engulfs the world and its people. So many people today are driven by fear. That’s the reaction of the world. They live in what Paul calls “a spirit of fear.” Paul goes on to say in this verse: “God has not given us….. meaning we are not to be like the world. Jesus was speaking to His disciples in Matthew 20 about how people in the world live, and then He said, “But it is NOT to be so among you!” God says in His word that we as believers are to be different than the world. In 1 John 2:15 we read this: “Do not love the world, or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” This is a basic principle that is often overlooked, or neglected and that is a substantial, basic difference between the follower of Jesus and the person of the world.
Many of us have missed this because for too many years the church has been focusing on trying to reach the world by being as much like the world as it can be. That is not right. We are not going to win the world by being like the world. If we are going to win the world, we have to show them something DIFFERENT from the world – something better than the world. This is what Paul shows us here. We are to be different and our response in times like this; dealing with Covid virus and their variants has to be different. The world around us may live in fear but the believer in Christ should not. We should not be afraid of death because Jesus has given us power – power over death. Is death the worst thing the coronavirus can do to us? Look, the power of genuine faith in Christ Jesus should not make us afraid of death. Now, using good sense and a sound mind, that does not mean that we should be careless or reckless. Our recklessness may hurt others such as senior adults specifically those with compromised immune systems, etc. So, we need to be responsible citizens as we deal with this pandemic, but not live in a state of fear as the world does. We have to remember that we live in this world, but we are not of this world. With boldness and courage make every effort to live, think, and act like an Ambassador for Christ’s kingdom. As a believer you are a representative of another world.
The Gift of God
As I have mentioned earlier, there are lots of reasons for the spirit of fear in our world today. Constant hourly news updates on the transmissions and deaths from the Covid virus and its variants. We also have world unrest, economic woes, political divisions, and social upheaval that worry and concern us – compounding the more mundane pressures we face in our relationships, work, finances, and health. With all of this going on some of us may feel and act like the comic strip character Charlie Brown who was plagued by pantophobia – the fear of everything. But, the apostle’s words, in 2 Timothy 1:7 offer timely encouragement for fearful saints: “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
Believers need to remember that God has graciously given us His Holy Spirit, who makes us fearless in troubled times, works His power in our weakness, stirs in us genuine love for our neighbors and gives us self-control to live as God’s holy people. The gift of God is the presence and power of God’s precious Spirit at work in our lives
Yes, we face fearful times. But we should not be overcome by fear. We need to stop, pause, and reflect on the truth of God’s word. Then we need to face the things which cause us our fear and not run or panic. We need to remember that God promises to lead us through all adversities, even the shadow of death. The Spirit of God gives power and love and brings self-control by transforming you to become more like Christ. Romans 8:29 tells us that those who are foreknown by God are “predestined to be transformed into the image of His Son.” The Holy Spirit works in us to preserve us daily and help us to live a life that is pleasing to God. We read this in Jude 1:24: “To Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy.”
We don’t have to be anxious when God is our peace. We don’t have to be afraid when God is our courage. Our confidence is not in ourselves. Our confidence is not in our circumstances. Our confidence is in God, and God is always faithful. God is all-powerful, all good, all wise, all loving, so we have no reason to fear. Consider this: with the Spirit of God’s power, love, and sound mind, we can set out to face any challenge that is before us. Even though it’s easier said than done but whatever you’re facing God promises that He will be there for you. The result of putting your total faith and trust in Him is: “That all things will work out together for good for those who love God, who are the called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28).” Trusting God is a refusal to give into fear. For it is written: “In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me (Psalm 56:11)?”
Put on the Armor of God
Should we live in fear? Absolutely not! You should know that the spirit of fear NEVER comes from God but from his adversary, Satan (and his demons). You also should know that when the spirit of fear comes you have the authority, as a child of God, to tell that evil spirit to leave you – in Jesus’ name. You can say with authority: In the name of Jesus, I take authority over the spirit of fear, and I command it to leave me now. For it is written: “Why should I fear when the Bible says God is not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.” You need to put on the Armor of God, God’s word, to defeat Satan’s lies and deceit. You can also say with authority: Satan, get behind me. For it is written: “Why should I allow Satan supremacy over my life when He that is in me is greater than he that is in this world (1 John 4:4).” Satan, I command you to get behind me. With boldness you have to say it and mean it is if you are talking directly to those evil spirits. In Jesus name Satan has to leave you, but he will keep coming back and you have to be determined in telling him to get behind you. If you are persistent in doing this affirmation you will slowly see less and less of him.
We have power in the name of Jesus but unfortunately many aren’t aware of it or use it. I know these affirmations have helped me personally in my dealings with Satan and his demonic forces because believe me I’m a targeted man – Satan has thrown everything at me and will do everything he can to trip me up and make me ineffective. In dealing with affirmations, I want to leave you with one other affirmation because I know there are many people out there who deal with worry and anxiety, and this will help them. When the evil spirit of anxiety or worry comes you can say this with courage and boldness: In the name of Jesus, I take authority over the spirit of worry, and I command it to leave me now. For it is written: “Why should I worry and fret when I can cast all my anxiety on Christ who cares for me (1 Peter 5:7)?” Satan, get behind me.
People need to understand that we are in a spiritual battle for “We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers; against the rulers of the darkness of this world; against spiritual wickedness in high places (Eph. 6:12).” God has equipped us to deal with this spiritual warfare by putting on the Armor of God – God’s word to defeat Satan’s lies and deceit. You can use God’s word to defeat the evil spirit of fear, anxiety, insecurity, depression, failure, weakness, stress, etc. The believer has unlimited strength at our disposal through the enabling of the Holy Spirit.
In Closing – Christ is Coming Back Soon
What we see unfolding in the world and taking place today tells us that Christ’s coming is soon. We are living in the end of days for this is all unfolding right before us – as prophesied in the book of Revelation. Signs unique to our generation converging for the very first time ever.
Some 2,000 years ago Christ Jesus made this prophetic statement: “And he (the Antichrist) causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had this mark….. (Revelation 13:16-17).”
Now, let us fast forward to 2021 and what is now being proposed: A drive to Vaccine Passports and a digital ID system where everyone will be limited to what they can do or where they can go, and being monitored by the government, watching your every step and move that you make – taking away your personal freedom. What we see taking place today is all eventually leading up to 666, the mark of the Beast, as described in chapter 13 in the book of Revelation.
It took nearly 2000 years for technology to finally catch up to Christ Jesus’ prophecy regarding the end of days – the coming global end time world dictator (Antichrist) and the global ID system that he puts in place where you will not be able to buy or sell without this mark. Today, this is all unfolding before our very eyes and coming upon us shortly just as Christ had prophesied. Only God knows the future and He’s laid it all out for us to read in his book called the “Bible.” God revealing the future not to scare us, but to prepare us for what is coming.
This shows us just how close we are to Christ Jesus coming back for His body of believers called the “Church” and taking us to heaven before the Antichrist is revealed to the world and before the implementation of this global digitized ID system is put in place where no one will be able to buy or sell without this mark. He, the Antichrist, will have total control of business, and commerce, and over all people’s lives. This is what is coming, this is what Christ Jesus talked about 2000 years ago – this is all unfolding before our very eyes in what we see taking place today. Scripture tells us to “Look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” I know I’m excited – hope you are too.
F/B – Signs Of Our Times
Transforming Power; The Work of God on Behalf of Man
Lian Muan Kim –
Koinonia Baptist Seminary, Yangon