For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7
Fear is a terrible motivator. It keeps us from enjoying life. It keeps us from doing things that we should do or want to do. Sometimes it can cause us to be lazy, putting off what God has called us to do because we are fearful of what the results of our actions might be. I know I have been guilty of lazily avoiding things I believe God has called me to do because of fear. Can you relate? Have you found yourself stuck in your same routine or pattern and ignoring God's prompting to do something because of fear?
When we are fearful and tempted to be lazy, avoiding doing what God has called us to do because of fear, 2 Timothy 1 offers encouragement to us. In this book of the Bible, Paul writes to Timothy, his mentee. He calls him to forsake fear and to live boldly. He tells him that God did not give him a spirit of fear, but instead a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline (verse 7). Because of this, Paul instructs Timothy to boldly live out the life God has called him to live. Living in such a way leaves no room for laziness.
My friend, what was true for Timothy is also true for you. God did not give you a spirit of fear, but instead a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline. Has fear caused you to be lazy? Has it kept you from moving forward in the way that you know God has called you to move? There is a better way! Instead, lean into the spirit of power, love, and self-discipline that God has given you. Making the most of your short life, glorify God with every moment by not wasting any time.
Is there any fear that is causing laziness, keeping you from acting in the way you know God is calling you to act? Take a few moments and identify any fear that is holding you back and keeping you from moving forward. Make a list of these fears and ask the Lord to help you as you seek to overcome them. Tell a trusted friend about your fears and ask them to keep you accountable to push past your fear and honor God with your life.
Read 2 Timothy 1:3-16 (NLT)
Timothy, I thank God for you—the God I serve with a clear conscience, just as my ancestors did. Night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. I long to see you again, for I remember your tears as we parted. And I will be filled with joy when we are together again.
I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you. This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord. And don’t be ashamed of me, either, even though I’m in prison for him. With the strength God gives you, be ready to suffer with me for the sake of the Good News. For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus. And now he has made all of this plain to us by the appearing of Christ Jesus, our Savior. He broke the power of death and illuminated the way to life and immortality through the Good News. And God chose me to be a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of this Good News.
That is why I am suffering here in prison. But I am not ashamed of it, for I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return.
Hold on to the pattern of wholesome teaching you learned from me—a pattern shaped by the faith and love that you have in Christ Jesus. Through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard the precious truth that has been entrusted to you.
As you know, everyone from the province of Asia has deserted me—even Phygelus and Hermogenes.
May the Lord show special kindness to Onesiphorus and all his family because he often visited and encouraged me. He was never ashamed of me because I was in chains.
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