For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but (He has given us a spirit) of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline (abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control). (II Timothy 1: 7, The Amplified Bible)
I love the Amplified Bible, for there you can read the original definitions of the words right there in the text without having to go to a reference book to look them up. It’s important to know what the inspired authors meant! “Fear” is expanded in The Amplified as timidity or cowardice. Its opposites are power and love and sound judgment and personal discipline – qualities that produce a calm, well-balanced ability to control oneself. I believe I’ll choose the latter!
Notice here that the passage implies repeated habits. The wording is, a spirit of fear, a spirit of power and love and a sound mind.
Now look, everyone gets anxious sometimes. We all have those incidents in which something startling happens, and our bodies react with physical alarm the way God wired them to do when a threat is present. That’s not in question. The issue is, are you constantly or often anxious, worrisome, and tense? Do you walk around or isolate yourself with the strong sense that something bad is out there on the horizon or even about to explode right in front of you? That’s the spirit of fear.
And yes, Satan does have specific “workers” assigned to stir this up, especially for those who have been made more vulnerable by experience. The enemy of your soul cares not about your pain except to see it as an opportunity to harass you even more. You do not have to say yes to his temptation to believe fearful lies, nor do you have to be ruled by the anxiety that comes from that belief.
Chronic fear and anxiety are liars! They distort your perceptions of the happenings of your world. Because God wired you for survival, when you feel you are under threat, you’ll pay closer attention to any perceived danger. When you constantly are on the alert for the danger that you perceive is “out there,” you see what you look for. The “facts” that support your fear are front and center in your mind, while the more positive factors fade into the background of your awareness.
It’s a vicious cycle. You become more and more convinced that your fear is well-founded because you “experience the evidence” of its validity all around you. You aren’t able to see and hear the messages God is showing you otherwise. And o’boy, is He trying to show you otherwise!
God never intended for you to live in fear. It’s not His way!
Lord, I recognize that I have some anxieties that crop up in my mind when I am reminded of certain events I have experienced. When this happens, Holy Spirit, please bring my lack of trust in You to my awareness. Enable me to change channels and focus on YOU and Your presence and provision for me. I choose to believe YOU and not the enemy.