2 Timothy 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
In the first 12 verses of this chapter, this verse and verse 12 have echoed most strongly in my heart and life. This verse is directly addressed to Timothy, and verse 12 is a commentary by Paul about his own faith. Paul had already experienced the truth in this verse, which is why he was able to make the faith declaration in verse 12. I think every Christian wants to get to the place where Paul was at the end of his physical life, fully at peace in the Lord with a faith that was not dependent on circumstances, but the way to get there is expressed in this verse. Every believer, I think, wants more power, more love, and more self-discipline, so the answer is simple: open up more to God’s Spirit. Linguistically speaking, when we talk about someone’s spirit we mean who they are, their true essence, and that is certainly the case with the Holy Spirit of God. We are often reminded of how far below God we are in every way, but the more we are filled with His Spirit, the more we think and act and live like He does. The key is simply letting Him be in control. That, however, is much more easily said than done. We tend to be “control freaks,” trying to determine every detail of our lives and getting frustrated and exhausted in the process. It is when we choose to release ourselves totally into God’s hands, being filled and carried along by His Spirit, that we discover we have the power, love, and self-discipline we want and need.
It’s been quite a few years now since God told me personally to rest, relax, and rejoice. I don’t remember the year, but I remember that it was in November. I was having my regular devotional time, just as I am now, and as my fingers typed those words I realized that they were God speaking to me. My application, my obedience to those words has not been perfect in the years since then, but I keep growing. Timidity, at least, is largely a thing of the past, and I see God’s power operating in and through me, but self-discipline? Well, I’m still growing! As a pastor I desire that every believer be fully filled and ruled by the Holy Spirit, and it grieves me when they are not. The older I get the more I identify with Paul in his feelings for those into whom he had poured his life. I am certainly not a perfect example, but I have discovered the absolute faithfulness of God, and I want everyone to know and trust Him as I do (as Paul wrote in verse 12). I am to keep praying for people and entrust them to God, just as He has taught me to entrust myself to Him. He is able to bring us all before His throne in glory.
Father, thank You for this reminder. You know who is on my heart particularly right now, and I know they are on Your heart more than on mine! Help me be faithful and obedient in every detail of Your plan for me, so that I may be useful in Your plan for them, defeating every plan of the enemy and establishing Your rule and reign right here, as perfectly as it is in heaven, for Your glory alone. Thank You. Hallelujah!