Power & Love
The world is full of trouble, and it can be intimidating and scary.
If you turn on the news for longer than just a few minutes to catch the weather (does anyone do that anymore?) you’ll see report after report of hurt, heartache, trauma, and death. It’s a wonder any of us even come out of our homes at all anymore.
In 2 Timothy, we encounter another one of Paul’s letters. He writes this from prison, to Timothy, his disciple whom he loved as if he were his own son. If you read over the first six verses within the first chapter, you’ll see it begin as most of Paul’s letters, with a warm and encouraging greeting, a reminder that he has been covering Timothy in prayer, and a push to get Timothy moving in the right direction. It seems that Timothy may have been a bit apprehensive about his calling, maybe? Most of us feel timid at times, wouldn’t you say? Even from prison, Paul could tell that Timothy was feeling that way…
…for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. – 2 Timothy 1:7, ESV
Going back to basic Sunday school teachings, we know that when we believe that Jesus is our Savior, and when we trust Him for our salvation, we are made new. In that newness, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit makes itself known in us, guiding us, giving us all we need to stay in step with our Lord. Yet, sometimes, somehow, we become sidetracked. We let ourselves get worked up over the news report of a disease that is sweeping the world, or over the uncertainty of the stock market, or over the possibility that terrorists could be living among us, or maybe it’s more personal than that, maybe it’s our personal finances that have us panicking, lack of employment, an illness our own child is suffering from…. you get the picture. These times are hard. But what Paul shared with Timothy to spur him on can be just as catalytic within us today…
1 – Paul tells us that God did NOT give us a spirit of fear. Which means that there is no fear in Christ. None. Zero. When we feel nervous, scared, apprehensive, timid, or fearful, we need to realize that those kinds of feelings are not of God.
2 – Paul tells us that in Christ we can be brave, bold, kind, and loving, standing firm in our faith through the battles we face. These things are evidence of a life that is lived resting in the power, love, and self-control of the Holy Spirit. Living a life reliant on the Holy Spirit does not mean we live propped up by a crutch, rather it means we live in same power and authority that healed the sick and lame, that calmed raging seas, and that raised Jesus from the dead.
Digest that for a second.
The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is in YOU. It’s in ME. It’s in your 83 year old Jesus loving grandma, and it’s in the innocent 7 year old I just saw baptized a little over a month ago.
So why aren’t we living like people of the resurrection power?
I mean, I myself tend to run around with my tail tucked between my legs more than I do with my head held high in the confidence of victory over this life and the circumstances it presents me with.
Yet, God has given us His power and authority!
Why are we so timid?
Am I living up to the potential of God’s power living within me?
How can I draw closer to Him and walk in His power always? Not just in moments that are sporadic and fleeting, but each and every day, each and every minute, moment by moment.
Learning to live in the power of the Holy Spirit requires us to seek to live in constant step with the Holy Spirit.
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence – 2 Peter 1:3, ESV
We can trust that we are where God wants us.
We can rest in knowing that He will take care of us.
We can praise Him for protecting us and guarding our hearts, our minds, and our lives.
We can trust that He is in control.
We can rest in the knowledge that He is surrounding life’s circumstances.
But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one. – 2 Thessalonians 3:3, ESV
God is faithful.
God puts our feet upon His rock.
God guards us against our enemy.
You and I are held by the most high God.
He protects us and care about our lives.
When we live in the power and love of the Holy Spirit, we can claim victory over the things that once haunted us.
Yes, there are troubles all around us, but they are not of God. May we be people of the resurrection power, chasing after the things of God, and illuminating this place with His power and love.