” For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”
II Timothy 1:7 (NIV)
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.]”
II Timothy 1:7 (AMP)
I love God’s Word…I feel like I can say that boldly these days because it has carved a place in my heart like never before. His Word is alive to me and I feel like it is my personal oxygen tank that sustains me.
I love how His Word is fresh, like a ripe peach, once bitten, its juice runs down your chin and stains your skin all the while being so sweet to the mouth…this scripture spoke to me last week and I began to write a post but God said to stop. I know why now because He wasn’t done with what the verse would mean to me this week as well.
When I read this verse last week, I had spent time reading both of Paul’s letters to Timothy. When I began to read the second letter, I was so struck by the scripture above…I know this verse well and it is quoted so often to give us courage. But I believe most of the times I have heard it repeated and it could have been from my lips as well…the pronoun usage is different. I have exchanged the word “us” for “you”.
I have heard God saying that He hasn’t given me(you) a spirit of fear…which is accurate in part. Paul is telling Timothy that God has not given either one of them (or us for that matter) a spirit of fear. It could just be me, but how this encouraged me that Paul would include himself as one that had to remember that he had nothing to fear because of the spirit that now resided in him. We know Paul’s past and he was bold in his opposition to the Church. I would not use the word fear in the same breath as uttering Paul’s name but yet he does.
I have been a part of a Beth Moore Bible study at church entitled Believing God and it has been amazing how God has moved. One area we are proclaiming is that we are who God says we are!
This past week, in our homework, we were to spend some time thinking about words that others have said to us that have hurt, offended or wounded us or that we carry around and repeat to ourselves. The words may have not been intended for evil but they have remained apart of who we think we are. For the last several weeks, I have had memory flashes of words from the past and I hadn’t known why or what to do with them. During this exercise, I wrote them out one by one…some were from childhood, some were from high school and one was as recent as a month ago. One by one, I laid them at the foot of the Cross and claimed what God does say about me. As I released them piece by piece, II Timothy 1:7 came to the rescue and I prayed this scripture over each statement.
- He has NOT given me a spirit of fear…fear is from the old me before He made entrance into my life.
- He has given me a spirit of:
While I was praying, I realized that not only were the words that had been spoken to me powerful BUT the words that I also spoke to myself were just as lethal. To be really vulnerable before you, I have struggled with my body image for most of my life…there were times where I should have felt confident about my body but I allowed a casual, stray remark from a track coach to cause me decades of feeling unsure. I have been up and down on the big scale of life and it is an area that is of course deeply personal but also has been an area that I desire victory.
My dear beloved father, loves to snack…however, as an adult he typically eats only one meal a day AND he is extremely disciplined in physical fitness. He has done “old school” isometric exercises his entire life as well as other sports. These are the words that I have repeated to myself consciously and I would assume subconsciously…”I got my love of snacking from my dad BUT I didn’t get his self-discipline!”
Paul’s words to Timothy shattered that old mind tape. I may love to snack, just like dear dad BUT my Heavenly Dad says He has given me a spirit that possesses power, love and YES….self-discipline! I do have self-discipline although I have been proclaiming otherwise.
Today, I am shouting from the roof tops and dancing a jig just like Pinocchio that There Are No Strings On Me! I love that in other versions of this focus scripture, self-discipline is also translated as “sound mind” or a “well-balanced mind”. As I am believing what God says about me, I am choosing to let Him create a mind that is sound and well-balanced…not skewed by old messages and beliefs but empowered by His Word over me and my life.
My prayer for you today is that you will let God remind you of any beliefs you have about yourself that do not line up with God’s Word about who you really are. Let Him do a little spiritual surgery to remove the old and the out dated. Don’t allow yourself to be a puppet who moves only in the confines of faulty beliefs…cut those strings, stretch your arms, legs and move in freedom and in power!