Sometimes, there are verses from the Bible that come to mind at just the right time. Call it fate, or a good memory, but I definitely think there is influence from the Holy Spirit in planting God’s word in our mind when it is needed. God’s word sheds light on the human condition, how God sees us, and the implications for our lives.
I want to share with you how God has spoken to me through His words in the last few weeks. Every day for the last week, God has brought the following verse to my mind out of the blue:
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7 NLT
God has not made us to be fearful, weak, and helpless individuals. The book of 2 Timothy is written by Paul, a follower of Jesus and a passionate missionary. In his last days, Paul wrote this book to a fellow Christian friend. This verse is a statement of truth about who we are as Christians.
In Christ, we have power. He gives us the power to carry out a life that is pleasing to Him. He also gives us the power to proclaim His radical love to the whole world.
1 Peter 1:2-3 says “Do you want more and more of God’s kindness and peace? Then learn to know him better and better. For as you know Him better, he will give you, through His great power, everything you need for living a truly good life.”
He gives us His own GREAT power to follow Him. That power comes to us through His Holy Spirit in our hearts. That’s incredible.
In Christ, we have the ability to operate out of a spirit of love. This love is not a superficial lust or even just a deep appreciation. This is unconditional love – the kind of love God has towards us. When we know how loved we are, we can operate out of gratitude, peace, and extend that same unconditional love to the people around us. The times that I am the most unlovable are truly the times where I have forgotten how Christ views me.
“May you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” Ephesians 3:18
In Christ, we can exert self-control. Rather than giving us control over our environment, our circumstances, or other people, He gives us the opportunity to have self-control with the choices of our life. There are actually many things God allows us to control. He allows us to control how we care for ourselves. He allows us to have control over what we read and what we watch. He gives us free will to choose to know and follow Him or to live our lives independent of a relationship with God.
As followers of Jesus, God calls us to use self-control to deny ourselves from living in sin and to choose to follow Him. He commands us to live for Him and pursue holiness. This can seem impossible. 1 John tells us that “His commands are not burdensome…”. Oftentimes, the things that God is calling us away from are actually freeing in the end, not restrictive.
He loves us. Jesus is the proof. God knows what we need. He knows that just because we have the freedom to live however we want doesn’t mean it is healthiest for us – body, mind or spirit.
In this pandemic, God has been reminding me to reject fear. Fear of the future, fear of sickness, fear of loss… I know fear is not from God. He has something much better for me. His word promises us that He has made me and you to live in POWER, LOVE, and with godly SELF-CONTROL. I want to challenge you today to ask God to help you to live in this promise from God’s word.
Hannah currently lives in Tallahassee, Florida, and is a recent graduate of the University of Central Florida with her Doctorate in Physical Therapy. She loves helping others learn about God’s love for them, outdoor exercise adventures, and words of encouragement. Follow along with her on Instagram @hannahkwebster