Contrasting Fear with a Sound Mind and a Powerful Love
- Monday, June 15, 2009
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power
and of love and of a sound mind."
2 Timothy 1:7
A crisis came into my life when I was in my early 30’s. Even though I hungered for God, I had an extremely self-destructive and unhealthy heart and mind. I cycled from one pit of defeat to the next, until I began to wake up to a desire to walk with God. I was convinced that walking with God as a good Christian meant simply picking myself up and going on with my life, so I held my self-destructive side down, with no thought of opening my heart and letting God heal me.
Then came a time when I had a very problematic situation at home and couldn’t keep my self-destructive side down. Everyone needed me to help them with their issues and I didn’t have the extra energy to keep my own stuff contained. One day I looked at myself in the mirror and thought, “If you do not let God heal you, you are going to self-destruct. You know better than this, but you are going to self-destruct.”
I had been in ministry for years as a Bible study writer and a teacher, but I was afraid of telling anyone about the abuse of my past. Fear tormented me and I became convinced that if I let myself think it through, I would go crazy. The truth is that I was about to be healed and set free, but the enemy didn’t want me to think that way. The enemy wanted me to think that if I ever opened the door to my past, I wouldn’t be able to handle it. That was a lie!
In 2 Corinthians 11:2-3, Paul talks about the deceptive power of the enemy. Satan is the father of lies and will do whatever he can to keep us from walking in the powerful life of Christ. One of the weapons he uses against us is fear. When we are driven by a spirit of fear, we act out the antithesis of power, love and a sound mind.
Fear causes us to trade power for an overwhelming, pervasive feeling of powerlessness. When we start thinking that we’re at the mercy of our past and our circumstances, we discount the power that is ours through the Holy Spirit. Fear can talk us into trading love for lust because fear makes us decide that we are not going to risk our hearts again. Love, which enables us to hear, believe, hope and endure all things, is the incentive to all obedience. Where fear keeps us from loving, love is the driving force behind everything else in life.
I have dealt with fear all of my life. It was my major stronghold as a child. The enemy tried to use that fear to convince me that I would never be anything different; I would never be clean or pure. The enemy tried to convince me that God could never change me. But scripture says differently.
The Word says that Jesus came to call the sick. He came for those that desperately need him. He came to set the captives free. I began to really see that this is what the Bible says and I began to believe it. Scripture says we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16)
For those of us who have received Christ Jesus as our personal savior, His spirit comes and takes up residency and, literally, the soundness of His mind overtakes us. As I continue to see what the Bible says about me, repeating His words over and over again, God’s Word gets down into the deepest recesses of my mind. Old thoughts are replaced with the new thoughts of Christ, and we learn to believe it and act on it. We learn to rely on God’s love and acceptance and His transforming power.
Part of claiming my right to the power, love and sound mind in Christ was seeking professional help. I had to ignore the spirit of fear that would have kept me isolated when I needed the community of a professional healer who could walk with me into the areas of my past that the Lord wanted to heal.
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