S20P2 – The obstacles to faith: fear

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

When I think of fear I think of a song that tells me that fear is a liar. If fear were a person, he would try to convince us of untruths about the very things listed in this scripture. You see, the weapon against fear is perfect love [1 John 4:8]. It is the spirit of love that comes from God, and the spirit of fear can come only from an ungodly source. Faith and fear are rooted in different soil. One works to build us while the other works to wear us down. One works to enlighten us while the other works to keep us hidden in the dark. If we know the source and aim of fear, we will be reluctant to let it take hold in us.

Today’s verse gives us an inexhaustive list of three things that are opposed to fear. Power is what God gives us to walk confidently in this world without fear of the enemy or of death or of anything. If we carry his power, we are prepared to face any trial and any battle with courage. Love, specifically God’s perfect love, does not give us time to be afraid. When I am concentrated on the perfect love of God filling me and keeping me, when I have my heart set on him, I take no notice of that which might cause me fear. And this love within me fills me so as to leave no room for fear. A sound mind allows us to reason through scary situations and come to the correct conclusion that God always has things under control. We know that He works all things out for our good [Rom. 8:28]. Reasoning based on sound biblical doctrine would tell us that with God there is no reason to fear.

Fear is at odds with faith because it tries to keep us from believing that we carry the things that God has given us. It says we are weak when God says we are powerful; it says we are alone when God says we are loved. Fear wants us to believe that things will work out any way other than how God says they will work out. At the end of the day, we have no reason to fear. The spirit of sound mind that we receive from God tells us that. We need only listen. Father, train us to identify when we operate out of fear so that we may recalibrate and focus instead on your power and your love and your reasoning, knowing that those who walk with You have nothing to fear.