2 Timothy 1:7 “ For God hath not given us the spirit of fear…”
It may not seem very spiritual or even helpful, but a good way to overcome fear is to run straight into what you are afraid of. Go. Move. Get to the field of service despite your fear and trust in the Lord. Stirring up the gift of God is using the gifts God gave you by kindling the fire of service. Fan the flames of God’s gift into a roaring fire. Timothy was called to preach, called to pastor, and called to defend and proclaim the gospel of Christ. The gift God gave him is related to that ministry. But, he thought, if he used his gifts, he would be persecuted, and so he was afraid. Paul’s answer to Timothy’s timidity? Use the gifts. And not half-hardheartedly. Stir them up, kindle the fire and burn down the barriers of fear! The more you feed the spirit of fear, the bigger and stronger it gets. Starve fear out and stir up the gifts.
God has not given us the spirit of fear. Whenever a Christian has the disposition of fearfulness, know it isn’t from God. The character of fear is not a fruit of the Spirit. It’s easy to dress fear up in different garments, but underneath, it’s still fear. We may call it practicality. We may say we are generous or broadminded. But if we search our hearts, we may find our motivation is being afraid. Obviously, this doesn’t do away with wisdom, but be careful that fear isn’t manipulating Scripture to give an easy out. Wise as serpents, after all.
The “spirit” is the source of the power of fear. God hasn’t given us the spirit of fearful self-preservation. God has given us the spirit of power. Mighty, supernatural, God given power, whereas fear is weakness. God has given us the spirit of love. Fear is self-motivated, and hesitant to act. Love presses forward for the good of others. Fear keeps us quiet in self-preservation. Love motivates us to move and sacrifice for God and for others. Fear is selfish, thinking only of ourselves. Love is selfless, serving for God’s glory. God has given us the spirit of love. God has given us a sound mind. Fear takes the mind captive. Fear causes us to be irrational. Fear causes us to miss out on opportunities of service. Fear creates problems that are not there or amplifies small issues. Fear takes weak enemies and makes them giants. Fear takes inconsequential barbs and turns them into swords. Fear takes the possibility of disapproval and turns it into a great trial where all the world is watching. The spirit of fear is not rational. God gives us a sound mind. A healthy mind to be able to look at what is true, what is real, and what is important. God gives us a mind that isn’t ruled by our emotions, but a mind that is ruled by truth and reality.