A familiar passage has been burning in my heart. 2 Timothy 1:7, "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, love and of self-discipline." The Message version goes like this... "God doesn't want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible."
As I read this passage over the weekend, it was as if the Holy Spirit was hovering over it and I found myself meditating upon it the rest of the day. I long for the day when timidity no longer trumps power in my life and in the Body of Christ. Just reading the Acts of the Apostles lately has caused me to long for the confidence and courage of the early believers. Becoming a believer is merely the beginning of an adventure with God. We should expect to experience signs and wonders,"And these signs will accompany those who believe..."Mark 16:17. Jesus told the disciples in John 14:12, "I tell you the truth, anyone (ANYONE-that's you and me) who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things then these, because I am going to the Father."
The spirit of fear is like a squatter on your property. If The intruder is not given immediate evacuation notice from you, then before long ... all that is yours is accessible to the trespasser and you will be living with a thief. Can you imagine? I heard it once said, when you give a foothold to the enemy, in time it becomes a stronghold in your life. The spirit of fear will keep you from all that God has for you.
Knowing the truth and walking in the truth can sometimes be miles apart. Sure, there will be missed opportunities to walk in the power Paul was talking about because of that spirit of fear. But, because God continues to believe in our potential, He will certainly provide more divine appointments where we lean into His power. Just recently, I wimped out with fear about sharing the gospel with an intoxicated man. Yet, there have been other times in my life where great boldness rose up inside of me to the point I had to follow the leading of the Spirit of God. I can only say...I didn't even take time to think about the consequences of it. I just knew the Lord was leading me and even though what I thought was going to happen "didn't" ~ I rest knowing that I walked in His power even for a moment or two and I pleased the Lord because I trusted in God more than myself.
We should pray, every day for God to order our steps wherever it may lead in order that we may lean into the one we love and care for the ones he loves by giving them the truth. God has welcomed us into His royal family and we are heirs to everything He has. We need to stop seeing ourselves as beggars before God and cowards before the world because we are sons and daughters of the Most High God with incredible privileges and opportunity.
Remember the saying.. "Show me the money." Well, I would like to start a new saying, something like.... "Show me the Power."
Paul encouraged young Timothy (and us) that being timid or weak before the world is not from God. We've been given POWER, (Greek word - Dunamis) which is boldness - ability for performing miracles. This power operates through the Holy Spirit who dwells within us. Jesus was never timid while walking the earth so why are we? Jesus walked in power. We should be God's dynamite in the earth today doing great exploits for the Kingdom of God and much of the time, this is done while upon our knees.
But, we're not just to be dynamite to be showy; we're supposed to be full of God's love, affection, good will and brotherly love while we're doing damage to the kingdom of darkness. That means we need to be broken over those who've never met Jesus or who've slipped away from his grip. We need to see them through our Father's eyes. The other day I heard a Pastor encourage his congregation to pray for this particular unknown person as if it were their own child, sister, brother, mother, father, etc. If we don't have love, we most certainly WILL NOT be effective for the Lord - we'll just be a bunch of noise makers (1 Cor.13:1). When we love, it validates everything we do for Christ.
And finally, Paul said we should be self-controlled or sensible. We need to set an example in our speech, life, love, faith, and purity (1Tim.4:11). THAYER defines it as: "the virtue of one who masters his desires and passions, especially his sensual appetites . Remember, self-control is a fruit of the spirit which a believer should purpose in his heart to submit and yield to.
It's time for the Church to do what Jesus did. There was a common phrase a few years ago and bracelets worn by many that said, "What Would Jesus Do?" Well, we know what Jesus did - now let's do it! We all have a voice. When Jesus walked the earth, he never silenced people, but was known for empowering people, male and FEMALE to GO and preach the Good News. I praise God that He has not given us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, love and of self-discipline.
Rise up Church and proclaim His Glory to the Nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples, 1 Chr.16:24.