We fear everything. We fear failure. We fear success. We fear being alone. We fear feeling trapped in a relationship. We fear poverty, and we fear the responsibilities and perils that come with affluence. We fear sickness, and we fear the discomfort that comes with making healthy lifestyle choices. We fear change but we're also afraid things will never be different than they are now. We fear missing out on something good, and we fear making the decisions that will give us a better life. Whatever it is, we fear it, coming and going. And the truth is that God doesn't want you to live in fear. He wants you to live a life defined by power, love and a sound mind. “For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love and a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

Power, love, and a sound mind. These three things should define your Christ-following life, not fear and timidity. The word power is dunamis, where we get the word dynamite. I like this word because it reminds us that God gives you the power to blast through your fears.

Paul also says that God has given us the spirit of love. As the Apostle John reminds us, perfect love drives out fear.
And he said that God has given us a sound mind. He's saying that God gives you the ability to out-think fear.

We need this, because we're prone to irrational fear. How do we get there, from being Timothy the timid to being Timothy the bold and courageous leader, willing to die for his faith? Paul gives us a hint in verse 6 — “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.”

Fan into flame. Paul is saying that you fight fear with fire. What I have discovered is that when I lose my passion — when I let the fire go out —I start yielding to fear. And when I yield to fear, I neglect even more my responsibility to fan the flame. And the more I neglect fanning the flame, the more I yield to fear and worry and anxiety. On and on this can go, snowballing until your life is defined not by who you are or who God made you to be, but by what you're afraid of.

Do whatever it takes for you to keep your passion for living the life God has given you fanned to a white hot heat. No matter how busy your schedule is, you need to get alone with God every day and spend time with him, listening to music and reading something that will inspire you in your Christ-following life. It fans the flame white hot. This is why you need to make every effort to grow spiritually, to keep getting better and better at the life that God has given you, because it fans the flame. Keeping the flame at white hot heat in the key areas of your life will take you from a state of weakness and fear and indecision to a state of power, love and a sound mind.

If you want to finish faithful, say no to fear and say yes to the fire of God in your life.


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