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Overcoming the spirit of fear

Overcoming the spirit of fear

Second Timothy 1:7 is one of my favorite scriptures when it comes to overcoming anxiety and panic attacks. When I was asked to speak on this scripture I realized God gave us a remedy for all kinds of fear in just this one verse.

“For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

When Paul spoke this to Timothy it was to encourage him because people like them were getting killed for preaching the gospel. Paul was reminding Timothy that he doesn’t have to let the Spirit of Fear control him because Jesus conquered death already. His life and his death were secured in Jesus.

Paul wasn’t telling Timothy not to be afraid. He was telling him not to let the spirit of fear have any authority over him. Being afraid is a good thing. God created fear to save our lives.

Fear triggers the flight response in our bodies, which tells us something isn’t right so get out of there.

Three steps to overcome the spirit of fear:

However, when the Spirit of Fear sets in, it’s goal is to destroy our lives. Paul didn’t say God has not given you fear. He said God has not given you the Spirit of Fear.

When we speak of the Spirit of a thing, we’re talking about the personality and character of a thing, how it operates, what power and authority it holds, whether for good or bad. We’re talking about the influence it has over us.

The Spirit of Fear torments us. It keeps us from fulfilling our destiny. It keeps us tied to the past instead of moving forward. It keeps us stagnant. It keeps us from loving ourselves and others the way God intended.

It brings on hopelessness, like nothing good will ever happen to us or when it does it won’t last. It makes us selfish and selfish people can’t love anyone else. It makes us unstable in our minds, which causes us to be unstable in all of our ways. It causes us to be like Job, expecting the thing that he feared the most to happen to him.

The Spirit of Fear eats at us little by little, causing us to grow weaker and weaker until we no longer want to fight. When that happens it completely controls us. We begin to see we are fearful of things we were never afraid of before like people who become claustrophobic out of nowhere.

But like anything in the Word of God, there is always a remedy to the problem. Paul gives Timothy a 3-Step Process for getting rid of the Spirit of Fear.

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Step 1: Walk in the Spirit of Power

The first thing God gives us is the Spirit of Power. The Greek word for power means, “inherent power, power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature; the power for performing miracles; to be capable and strong.”

When we accepted Jesus as our Savior we received the Holy Spirit to guide us in our new way of life. With the Holy Spirit comes power according Acts 1:8. So His power resides in us and all the things Jesus did we can do.

The Spirit of Power gives us the ability to destroy the Spirit of Fear. The first thing to do is to decide that is what we want. We don’t have to allow fear to rule our lives anymore. We don’t have to stay stuck. Then we must tell that spirit to go in Yeshua’s (Jesus) name. It doesn’t have any rights in our lives. Finally, we need to ask the Holy Spirit to reign boldly in us.

This will allow us to walk into the next step.

Step 2: Walk in the Spirit of Love

1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear; because fear has torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love.”

When we get rid of the Spirit of Fear, we are free to love ourselves and others in a genuine way. We’re free to be like our Father in heaven who is Love.

When we operate out of the Spirit of Love we’re not thinking about what we’re going to get in return when we do something. We’re not looking back thinking about all that we gave or the ways we’ve helped others, only to get slapped in the face for it. We’re not mistreating people or refusing to help them based on what someone else did to us in the past. When we do that we are actually walking in the Spirit of Fear.

Instead we’re everyone a chance in the Spirit of Love because we know our Father has done it and we want to be like Him. We’re doing it because we want others to know they are loved in spite of just like God loves us in spite of.

So we must daily ask ourselves if what we did was in the right spirit. Were our motives right or were we afraid of the outcome? Were we afraid of their reaction?

If we’re not sure, the last step will help us to be more consistent.

Step 3: Walk in a Sound and Disciplined Mind

Romans 12:2 tells us not to be conformed to this world, but to be transformed by renewing our minds so that we can prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

In order to keep our deliverance from the Spirit of Fear we have to renew our minds daily. We have to meditate on the Word of God day and night until it transforms our thinking.

We have to focus on the good like Philippians 4:8 says,

“Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely and of good report, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think on these things.”

We have to consciously push away negative thoughts, especially the ones that make us afraid in the slightest way. When negative thoughts come replace it with a positive one and keep repeating that to yourself throughout the day.

When we do this we will create a secure and stable mindset. We will have self-control and become disciplined in our thinking and in our ways. We will be restored to our senses and the Spirit of Fear will no longer have a foothold in our lives.

Remember, no matter what you go through God always has a remedy for you in His Word.

What is the importance of Christian baptism?

What is the importance of Christian baptism?

Christian baptism is one of two ordinances that Jesus instituted for the church. Just before His ascension, Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:19–20). These instructions specify that the church is responsible to teach Jesus’ word, make disciples, and baptize those disciples. These things are to be done everywhere (“all nations”) until “the very end of the age.” So, if for no other reason, baptism has importance because Jesus commanded it.

The Purpose of Baptism in the Christian Life

Baptism was practiced before the founding of the church. The Jews of ancient times would baptize proselytes to signify the converts’ “cleansed” nature. John the Baptist used baptism to prepare the way of the Lord, requiring everyone, not just Gentiles, to be baptized because everyone needs repentance. John’s baptism signified repentance.

Baptism is to be done in the name of the Father, Son, and Spirit—this is what makes it “Christian” baptism. It is through this ordinance that a person is admitted into the fellowship of the church. When we are saved, we are “baptized” by the Spirit into the Body of Christ, which is the church. First Corinthians 12:13 says, “We were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.” Baptism by water is a “reenactment” of the baptism by the Spirit.

Christian baptism is the means by which a person makes a public profession of faith and discipleship. In the waters of baptism, a person says, wordlessly, “I confess faith in Christ; Jesus has cleansed my soul from sin, and I now have a new life of sanctification.” I believe it’s also important to repent of our old lifestyle, sin, and unrighteousness and commit to serving the Lord Jesus in accordance with His word.

Christian baptism illustrates, in dramatic style, the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. At the same time, it also illustrates our death to sin and new life in Christ. As the sinner confesses the Lord Jesus, he dies to sin (Romans 6:11) and is raised to a brand-new life (Colossians 2:12). Being submerged in the water represents death to sin, and emerging from the water represents the cleansed, holy life that follows salvation. Romans 6:4 puts it this way: “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”

Very simply, baptism is an outward testimony of the inward change in a believer’s life. I recently talked with a close friend about how this act is done, especially in the age of COVID-19. Do we have to physically dunk someone? Do we have to touch them as they go down underwater? He and I agree…we looked at the scripture and we don’t believe we do. Its the act itself which God cares about. Not the logistics. So, there is no reason why during this “pandemic” we still can’t baptize people. We should continue this practice always as this is a commandment of the Lord.

Christian baptism is an act of obedience to the Lord after salvation; although baptism is closely associated with salvation, it is not a requirement to be saved. The Bible shows in many places that the order of events is 1) a person believes in the Lord Jesus and 2) he is baptized. This sequence is seen in Acts 2:41, “Those who accepted [Peter’s] message were baptized” (see also Acts 16:14–15).

A new believer in Jesus Christ should desire to be baptized as soon as possible. In Acts 8 Philip speaks “the good news about Jesus” to the Ethiopian eunuch, and, “as they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, ‘Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?’” (verses 35–36). Right away, they stopped the chariot, and Philip baptized the man.

Baptism illustrates a believer’s identification with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. Everywhere the gospel is preached and people are drawn to faith in Christ, they are to be baptized.