In a recent missions conference a young lady said, “I believe the Lord is leading me into something, and I think it is missions. I am afraid!” I attempted to assure her that this fear was coming from somewhere other than the Lord. “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) A couple of days later she openly confessed that the Lord had indeed called her to missions work, and that she had surrendered to His calling.
It would be impossible for me to answer for everyone else, but I can speak for myself and I readily confess that there have been times when I made a step of faith with a bit of anxiety. Was this uneasiness created by the world, the devil, or my flesh? I cannot conclusively say, but probably from my own flesh. I can conclude that it did not originate with the Lord.
What does the Lord give us? Power to face whatever is in our path. Timothy undoubtedly had seen his share of persecution and perhaps had endured a measure of it himself. Paul is writing to him, and there is no question that he had known more than a normal share of persecution against him and his ministry. So now he encourages Timothy to lean on the Lord for power to overcome.
The Lord also gives us the spirit of love. The ability to put God and others before ourselves. This certainly is not natural for the flesh. Under most circumstances we will opt to satisfy our own fleshly desires before thinking of anyone else. However, the love of God shed abroad in our hearts has changed us. Through Him we are capable of loving the unlovely. Through Him we are enabled to love those who are against what we are doing in the service of the Lord.
Then Paul reminds Timothy that the Lord has also given him the spirit of a sound mind. His mind must be disciplined. He must focus on the power of God and not on his fear of the power of the persecutors. Any reasonable person is concerned about the hardships of life, but we cannot afford to be paralyzed by them. We must bring our thoughts into the captivity of Christ while pressing forward with what we know He wants us to accomplish.
Draw near to God where fears dissipate and power, love, and a sound mind originate. I pray that the Lord will give you a blessed and fruitful month in His service. We must continue to press forward until we are called up to meet our Lord in the air.
In His Service,
Danny A. Whetstone