There is a big difference between a wholesome fear of God (beginning of wisdom) and a spiritually crippling spirit of fear.
Has a spirit of fear and anxiety caused you to become hindered in your walk with God, even dysfunctional in everyday life? Has fear replaced faith in your life?
Our text has the answer:
First, our verse identifies the source of the problem and it’s not God. Psy-ops stands for Psychological Operations, a form of warfare as old as the art of war itself. An early example of this can be found in the battle strategies of Alexander the Great. On one occasion when his army was in full retreat from a larger army, he gave orders to his armorers to construct oversized breastplates and helmets that would fit men 7 or 8 feet tall. As his army would retreat, he would leave these items for the pursuing army to discover. When the enemy would find the oversized gear, they would be demoralized by the thought of fighting such giant soldiers, and they would abandon their pursuit.
The Devil is a master deceiver and we must identify the source of the problem as Satan himself before we can defeat his purpose.
Second, God’s Spirit is a spirit of power. This is the God-given ability to get victory over our own sins, weaknesses and inadequacies, even over crippling fear of failure.
God’s word tells us that we are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ (Romans 8:37).
Next, II Timothy 1:7 speaks of love. We are told in I John 4:18 that perfect love casteth out fear.
This love helps us overcome any fear of people, crowds, criticism and unfair judgment of us on the part of others.
Lastly, our verse speaks of a sound mind. The faith to believe God’s promises is that which will keep our hearts and minds from spiritual and emotional panic and vertigo.
On the old maps, back before the world was understood in modern terms, cartographers (map makers) would put down what they knew, but at the edges of the map, beyond which they had no knowledge or understanding, they would often write, Beyond here, there be dragons.
Some wise person once said that nothing was ever accomplished in a stampede. God’s word will stabilize us when everything else in us, and around us is pushing us to press the panic button in our lives. He is in control. General George Patton once said that courage is fear that has said its prayers.
Maybe God would have you to memorize our verse and make it part of your shield of faith against the fiery darts of the wicked one (Ephesians 6).
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
Your Pastor and Friend