For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV
When I was a child we would go swimming at a natural spring park called Lithia Springs. You could see the water continuously bubblying up from an opening under a rock. We heard that scuba divers had gone into the cave to find its beginnings. We even would try to hold our breath long enough to explore…but not get stuck also.
Fear is like a matrix of cave openings. Once you start down a path, it has endless side options which never lead to a rational way out. Your thoughts of intimidation and fear can hold you captive with all of the “Well, then this could happen?”
Let’s unpack the verse to see if we can keep our feet from stumbling down undesirable entanglements of fear or intimidation.
Pneuma is the Greek word for spirit, wind, or Spirit. The context helps to know which word to use in the translation. Paul could be saying God has not given us a Spirit of fear. The NIV has tried to clear up this option in this choice of translation. NIV – For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. Some have gotten stuck on limiting the intimidation or fear as a spirit. It begins with thoughts.
Fear is better translated as the NIV chooses as timidity or intimidation. Timidity would be the opposite of boldness as expressed in Acts 1:8 as evidence of the presence of the Holy Spirit operating in a person’s life. Intimidation causes a pause for action. Timidity appoints greater strength to the person, thing, or thought than what you think you possess. Example – I am afraid to go talk to them because they might get mad at what I am about to say.
Power is the energy to move forward into action. Where the presence of the Holy Spirit is in a person’s life, they have power. The Greek word is dynameōs which is our root for dynamite. Remember it is not the size, its the potency in the package. God has given you great power.
Love is the track for this great power to run on. We never use power to control, harm or manipulate people. Jesus, the King of Kings, showed us power as He washed Peter’s feet. Love serves.
Sound mind could be translated as self-control or self-discipline. The idea is clear headed thinking which will impact your decisions into the most beneficial response for the moment.
Wrapping it up. The Spirit God gives us will expose the rabbit holes of fear and intimidation. We already possess the power – the strength to move in the right direction; the love – the character quality to influence our hearts, mind and words; the self-control – a mind with the right thoughts and will to choose to redirect our steps to paths of righteousness.
When you see fear, avoid the invitation to follow its path. Ask God to lead you into His power, love and self-discipline.
Fear loves the hidden and dark. When we bring our intimidating thoughts into the light of God’s counsel, fear always loses its grip. Always.
May you walk in the freedom of joy today as you conquer your fear.
Blessings, Love y’all