No Spirit of Fear

For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of self- control. 2Ti 1:7

In the English language, when I talk about spirit I could mean alcohol, a daemon, an angel, the Holy Spirit, a mindset, or a common denominator bonding people. Maybe even temper, nature, disposition, or the soul.

Equally broad connotations for the word are known in many other languages, like German, Hebrew, and Greek. The Greek word pneuma can stand for wind, breath, life, body, soul, ratio, nature of something, nostrils, mouth, character, and many more. We need the Spirit to decide what the word spirit means in each and every situation – and then, at times it is not so important, as many translations bring the verse to life in different situations.

Our verse today is one of them.

It can be translated and understood to mean that God has not given us “a daemon of panic or phobia” as well as  “a character of a coward”.

You know what panic is. If not, you either are very lucky or have grasped the truth of this verse.

Panic shuts down our frontal lobe, our cerebrum –  the first mainly responsible for acting in an adult fashion, while the second is both our creative as well as logic thinker. In a panic attack, the stem brain takes over. All it knows is fight or flight. Hormons flush the body, and we are in automatic mode. Depending on our character, we either attack, play dead man, or run. Certainly no self-control! Fear, even in form of an irrational phobia or an actual daemon, has the power to influence all of our being. Whether it originates in the emotions, thinker, or our spirit, it involves all of us, even the body.

God has given us a spirit of power to overcome, of love, as perfect love drives out all fear, and of self-control even in those situations.

But many times it’s not about panicking or reacting to a phobia.

Many times we just do not dare to act. We feel unprepared, we think we do not measure up, and most of the times we are afraid to fail.

In a culture that teaches that making mistakes is bad – remember the grades in school – we more and more loose the boldness and willingness to make a fool of ourselves. Of course, it is only possible in such a culture that failing equals making a fool of ourselves.

If a culture is celebrating failure as a wonderful opportunity to learn, why shouldn’t I fail? And I do not mean management speak here, where problems are challenges and to fail is to learn – and if you learn from a challenge you are given new opportunities (that is: if you fail to solve a problem, you are fired). I mean a true caring and empowering environment that supports you in case of failure as well as in case of success. An environment that does not hide failure, but uses it to change not only the one failing, but help many others as well.

Such an environment is one part of  the equation for a more daring christianity, not waiting on God to do everything.

The other half is believing that God did not give us a fearful character of a coward, but a character of acting power, ability to assert, punch, love as motivation, and sound judgement. A mind aligned with God, renewed as we are told in Romans 12:2, can surely bring sound judgement to situations. Which is more of the kind “I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me” than “help, God, act and change this situation for me”.

So, be no coward! Judge the situation in the light of who’s in you, let yourself be motivated by love just as Jesus was on the way to the cross, which he endured for the prize that lay behind it (you and me), and act in the power and authority given to you. Use your punch!

Ready? Let me know in a comment.

  • FlippyZipFlop

    I would LOVE to agree with this 100%. Please believe me… However, when you have panic disorder and you find yourself in a constant state of fear, it is certainly not easy to just love and be okay. Someone or something caused me to be this way. I do not believe I was born to be so fearful. In fact, I was a bit of a dare devil as a child. Today? I’m afraid to shop, to visit friends, to leave the comfort of my home because of this fear. I’ve tried (and am still trying) exposure therapy, but I’m very much in tune with God and am fearful nonetheless. My love is pure and I live my life in gratitude. No doctor has yet been able to determine why this happens to me, or anyone else who suffers with such fear.

    • I agree with you. Like everything, this is a battle. The principal of God is true: he has given us a Spirit of love, and perfect love drives out fear. But like most things, it is a process. What is allready perfectly true in the supernatural has to manifest in the natural.

      I would advise you to speak this supernatural truth over yourself daily, reciting those verses and taking them for you. At first it seems like lying, but remember: it is true in the supernatural. You are just speaking truth.

      It takes time to manifest. Hold on to God’s word, and find some people that believe with you and stand for your peace and freedom and deliverance.

      I will pray for you too. Jesus bless you.

  • Linda Kreger

    I enjoyed your post very much. I too am a believer, and I know that “There is no fear in love, for perfect love casts out fear” I John 4:18. As a therapist working in a Christian counseling office, I often see people who struggle with anxiety and panic. It’s very difficult to overcome, but not impossible! It requires that a person learn a whole new (biblical) way of thinking; that he learns to identify the lies that Satan whispers in his ear and recognize the truth of the Holy Spirit. As someone who does NOT experience panic, it’s easy for me to say these. Not so easy for someone else to process and overcome.

    • Thank you for commenting. I agree absolutely. It’s a process of believing truth. Blessings.