Within each of us are fears. Fears whether simple as spiders and mice; or complex, deep insecurities. These fears can shape our worlds and dictate our actions. Fear controls.
All through my growing up years I have feared snakes. I think, for most people, snakes are not favorite animals, but for whatever reason I have always greatly feared them. This was further enforced by my dear brother tormenting me with rubber snakes. I recall playing outside in the yard and finding a snake around some rocks. I ran away, scared. For years to come I would avoid those rocks, remembering that snake and never wanting to see it again. To this day I have an irrational fear of snakes and many times it can control me even in small ways.
As a child I was extremely shy. I was afraid of meeting people; afraid of embarressment; afraid of attention all directed upon myself. I recall a birthday party I was attending. I do not remember why but at one point everyone was laughing at me. I was hulmiliated and ran to the bathroom for what seemed like hours before I dared to come out. I was overly sensative and insecure. I was fearful. This shyness dictated what I did and did not dare to do, where I went and what activities I took part in. For the most part I was a happy child but at times I really struggled with myself for being so quiet and shy.
One day in high school a pastor of the school invited me to a leadership retreat. I was shocked that he would ask me! Me! Little shy Lorrie who quietly went on her way without making waves. In that moment and through that experience, the view which I held for myself changed forever. I was challenged to do things which I never thought I was literally capable of doing. I had to face my fear. I praise the Lord for putting people in my life, like that pastor, who caused me to reflect on what I am capable of doing with the Lord. I saw him yesterday and that brought this experience to mind.
2 Timothy 1: 7 says, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."
Fear is not from the Lord. God would not have His children afraid.
Instead of fear we are to have power. Power is ability; ability to do that which will honor Him. We should not be fearful of failure in any venture which honors the Lord as He promises us the power to accomplish whatever He may ask of us.
Instead of fear, we are to have love. When one loves someone, no sacrifice is too great, no venture is too much. Love gives. A spirit of giving is what we are to have. When we fear we cling to what we have. With love, we willingly give up what we have.
Lastly, instead of fear we are to have a sound mind. Soundness is security and health. With fear we are insecure and our body is in an unhealthy state. Soundness is peace, contentment and satisfaction.
This verse still challenge me. We all have weaknesses and fear is one of mine. But I praise the Lord for experiences I can look back upon and remember how God blessed my steps of faith, though done in fear and trembling. I pray that I will never stop taking those steps in to unknown territory that I may rejoice in the Lord for ever new and fresh victories. That I may be powerful, loving, and of a sound mind.