Tuesday, July 5, 2016

No Fear

J.J. Stark
July 4-5, 2016
Field Time: Browning, MT
Inductive Bible Study (IBS)
No Fear
“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)
That ominous, formidable, ever-lurking, and unseen wall that is immobilizes the human race so easily.  It brings to mind how a male lion patrols his territory, protecting it and his pride, using his size and strength to intimidate and challenge anyone or anything that may dare to cross.  This is why the Devil, our enemy, is referred to as a roaring lion in 1 Peter 5:8, because fear is one of his favorite tactics as he prowls “seeking whom he may devour.”
I personally struggle with fear more than I realize.  As much as I hate to admit it, I struggle with security.  It isn’t as though I have come from a background of abuse or family instability; in fact, I have been very blessed to have grown up in a very healthy environment.  Something that has become strong in my character and train of thought, however, it the need to plan.  In other words, I like to know what happens next, and how it involves me.  Through a series of events and trials God has recently brought to my attention several things about this.  The first is that, because I selfishly get caught up in wanting to know what is coming I miss what is happening.  This stems from my fear of being caught off guard and ill-prepared.  I focus on preparing so much I miss what is happing now.  Preparing and getting things in order in themselves are not bad, God Himself is a God of order, but not to the point that it takes top priority.  For the longest time I have battled this, striving in a fleshly performance (no matter what it was) to “get it right”.  Why? And what? Even as of a few weeks ago, I mostly likely couldn’t have said; I’d buried it so deep I didn’t even know.   But God… “For the word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart,” (Hebrews 4:12).  He revealed that I am afraid of vulnerability and consequences.  My toughness, bravery, and even “chivalry” so to speak, are all a fortification hiding my fears of getting hurt.
            2 Timothy 1:7 was the Lord chastening me, and strong exhortation reminding, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”   It is seen throughout history: in the Old Testament, God the Father is the spirit of power to those who walk with Him; the New Testament, God the Son, who is Jesus Christ, is the spirit of love manifested on earth; since the ascension of Christ, God the Holy Spirit is the spirit of a sound mind that guides us throughout our lives.  It is a three to one ratio…one enemy who can only cause of fear, trying to fight against a Triune God who overcomes all in glorious and holy threefold arsenal.  To those that call upon His name and earnestly seek His will it is bestowed to combat the devil.  Several verses affirm this promise:

Fear: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage, do not be afraid nor be dismayed, for
the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9
Power: “And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in
weakness.”” – 2 Corinthians 12:9
Love: 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the
propitiation for our sins…18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear
involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.  19 We love Him because He first loved us.” – 1 John 4:10, 18-19
Sound Mind: “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace
that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” – 1 Peter 1:13

Who then am I to doubt the Eternal Redeemer, to selfishly fight against His will and deny that I am capable on my own?  This is the truth He broke me on, and it is also the truth He will purify and shape me through.
The message from the apostle Paul to Timothy in the passage directly after 2 Timothy 1:7 sums it up.

8 “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, 9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, 10 but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”

Application:  I will write on my wrists the four points: No Fear, Power, Love, Sound Mind

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