Saturday, December 7, 2013
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7 KJV).
We have often heard the expression “timid Timothy,” but have you ever wondered why he was timid?
The word “spirit” in today’s Scripture should be understood in the sense of “attitude or state of mind; mentality.” For clarity’s sake, we must remember to attach the term “spirit” to the three items listed: “For God hath not given us the spirit [mentality] of fear; but [the spirit] of power, and [the spirit] of love, and [the spirit] of a sound mind.”
Remember the “spirit of fear” has gripped Timothy. He is becoming craven; he is beginning to lose the boldness that is required in the Christian ministry. Satan does not like competition, and when he opposes the Christian’s service by using persecution and/or other suffering (in hopes of forcing the saint to quit entirely), the Christian must be mindful to have the mentality that God would want him or her to have during those troubles (that spiritual destruction, apostasy, et cetera, not result).
How would a mature Christian handle troubles? Firstly, spiritual maturity only comes by personal Bible study. We study God’s Word, believe it, and let it transform our minds. “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2ab). “Be renewed in the spirit of your mind” (Ephesians 4:23)—the same “spirit” found in today’s Scripture. “And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him” (Colossians 3:10).
Satan cannot take us out of Jesus Christ; however, he can deceive us into thinking we are outside of Jesus Christ (thus causing us to lose sight of our provisions in Christ). Consider the troubles of life described in Romans 8:35-39, which Satan utilized to discourage Timothy (he will do the same with us if we are not mindful of sound Pauline doctrine!). We, like Timothy, need to remember who God the Father has made us in Christ, and use the “arsenal” God has given us to protect our minds in dire circumstances….