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January 16, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”—2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)
If we truly follow Christ, we would understand what Paul said in Hebrews 12:1–2 (NKJV) which says, “Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross.”
Paul understood this so well. At the end of his life he said, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7 NKJV). He learned how opposition can be a stabilizer, a tool that propels us to dependence upon the strength and power of God (2 Corinthians 12:9–10) which in turn instills in us a boldness.
A spirit of fear isn’t from God, it comes from our humanity. The word for fear here is more akin to fearfulness. Fear is the visceral, raw, instinctual, and natural emotion we feel when threatened or under duress. It’s a reaction to perceived danger. Everyone feels fear. Uncertainty, confusion, lack of control, and the unknown can all incite fear in us. The problem is the enemy then takes this natural response and twists it into crippling fearfulness, which is when we linger in fear and allow it to dominate and consume our lives. Fear is a feeling; fearfulness is a mindset.
But boldness in the face of fear drives us to serving and seeing God’s purposes and plans lived out. And God uses this Spirit-fueled boldness to change lives and advance the kingdom!
So, how can we be bold? Let’s take a look at what God gives us to help us be bold. First, He gives us a spirit of power (doonamis). This is where we get our English word for dynamite. Yes, we have been given that much power to speak eternal life into others. In Matthew 28:18–20 (NKJV), Jesus says, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.” And all that authority that has been given to Him, He bestows on us to get the job done. Now that’s power!
Second, He gives us love (agape), the kind of unconditional, sacrificial love He has for us. When we show that kind of love before we speak a word, people listen.
The last thing He gives us is a sound mind, knowing beyond any doubt that we speak from our firsthand experience and nobody can take away our testimony! This is all yours in Christ. So, be bold and walk with confidence, friends!
Pause: Reflect on your turning to Christ and the boldness it took to talk to you. Were you the opposition that helped make that person bolder? Did it conform to God’s agenda in your salvation?
Practice: Going in the power God gave you with your salvation testimony, be bold and let God’s agenda become your agenda as well.
Pray: Holy Father, help me to just open my mouth so You can speak through me to the person You put in my path, You know their heart and the words they will need to hear to bring them to salvation. In Jesus holy name I pray, amen.
Pastor Gary Adyniec is a graduate of Calvary Chapel Bible College. He holds an associate's degree in Biblical Theology and has served as a police chaplain. Gary and his wife Vicki are foster parents currently serving their 19th foster child.