Tuesday, July 12, 2011

How to Conquer Fear! - July 12th, 2011

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
1 Timothy 1:7

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
James 4:7

History and Context:
Today I have taken a passage from two different books. Since we talked about James yesterday, I will focus on Timothy today. Timothy is first mentioned in Acts during Paul's second visit to Lystra (Acts 16:1) where he joins Paul and Silas on there journeys. The text says that his mother was Jewish but his father was Greek. Timothy travels with them but eventually is left in the city of Ephesus as the head of the church there. Paul writes this letter encouraging him and admonishing him to keep preaching the truth. History tells us that somewhere between 80 AD and 97 AD, after fifteen years of ministry in Ephesus, Timothy stood up against a pagan procession of idols and was beaten and stoned to death. 2 Timothy is considered to be Paul's last letter written before his own death around 65 AD

The Text:
Again we talked about James 4 yesterday. In James 4 there are many nuggets of wisdom all culminatine in yesterday's scripture which told us that sin is knowing good and not acting on it. The first chapter of 2 Timothy is the introduction of the letter, but in this letter Paul seems to jump right into things, quicker than some of his other letters. He immediately begins reminding Timothy of where he came from, of his mother's and grandmother's faith. He then mentions this scripture about fear and continues to say that he, Paul, is not ashamed of the Gospel. Paul's last words begin by admonishing Timothy to never give into fear against all odds, because that fear is of the enemy. Fear is never from God, but it is a spirit from the enemy. This brings us to our scripture from James. If we submit to God and resist the devil, if we resist fear, that spirit will flee from us.

The Challenge:
Fear comes to us in so many forms. Sometimes it comes in striaght out paranoia, but more commonly it comes under the disguise of shyness. We might name it nervousness. But it is all fear, and it is all a spirit that God has not given us. In Timothy we see the things that God did give us which will overcome that fear; power, love, and a sound mind. Then in James we see the general formula for going against the enemy in any area; submit to God, resist the enemy.  We need to first submit to God's power, love and sound thinking and then we simply need to resist fear. The challenge today is to look at whatever it is that causes you to fear and find a way to confront it. One fear in my life that I confronted and conquered through this method was the fear of public speaking. I was terrified of it and I often tried to hide it under the name of shyness, but finally I joined speech team, forcing myself in a position in which I had to confront, and resist, my fear. Now teaching is one of the greatest strengths in my life which I have seen God use often! So what is your fear and how can you confront it and resist it?

The Prayer:
Lord, I know that fear is not from you. I also understand that shyness or nervousness are often just words which we use to cover up that fear. I ask you Lord to help me to resist this fear that is over my life. I submit to you Lord. I submit to your power, and your love, and your sound thinking in my life. I resist the enemy right now and I command him to flee! I command this fear to flee in the name of Jesus! In Jesus's name, Amen!

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