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.
This morning I’m speaking once again on receiving God’s Holy Spirit, and here He has arranged that this is in the morning’s reading! I am often impressed at how God arranges things like that, even when I’m the one drawing up the Scripture list each month. It’s confirmation both that God knows everything ahead of time and that He can use even me to accomplish His purposes. This particular verse is one I have used countless times in ministering to various people, because fear is a major tool/weapon of the devil. He’s certainly used it a lot in relation to COVID! However, as John pointed out, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18) When we are surrendered to fear, we aren’t surrendered to the Holy Spirit. There is literally no end to the things that can provoke us to fear, so we need to be consciously submitted to the Holy Spirit. However, we aren’t to be afraid of being afraid, either! Fear as such is a natural reaction to protect us from danger, but misusing something God intended for good is the devil’s forte. As David put it so simply and clearly, “When I am afraid, I will trust in you.” (Psalm 56:3) When he wrote that Psalm he was quite literally in danger for his life, so that was an important and practical choice for him to make. We need to do the same!
Of course this applies to me as much as it does to anyone. Just because I have a lot of Scriptures at my fingertips doesn’t mean I always apply them consistently in my life! Given how restless I was in the night, I’d say that I’m not fully relaxed about this morning’s service. That’s because of who will and who won’t be here. One strong church member won’t be here because of health issues, we’ll be having a pastor and his wife as visitors, and a man to whom I have witnessed will be here, perhaps entering a church for the first time in his life. I’m most concerned about the last individual, because this could set his course for eternity. We have Communion today, and I don’t want him to misunderstand and feel excluded from the elements, as has happened with other people in the past. I can’t make it all go right, so I’ve got to remember that I serve the One who can, and speak and act with grace and assurance so that His plans may be fulfilled.
Father, thank You for Your grace on so many levels. Help me indeed reject fear whatever its disguise and rather choose to be filled with Your Spirit, allowing You to use me however You like for the salvation and blessing of others and for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!