For God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 1 Timothy 1:7
A baby is born with the ability to thrive. In fact, the first twelve months produce an accelerated rate of growth and development. The only fear that develops is the innate “stranger danger” between six and nine months. Many children are exposed to counterproductive stimuli during maturity to healthy spiritual, mental, and emotional development. The unhealthy atmosphere of a home void of love produces fear, unhappiness, and the failure to thrive.
Let me tell you a personal story. Many years ago, we had the privilege of our three grandchildren, ages 4, 6, and 9, living with us for one year. They were fearful, had insomnia, and constantly argued with each other. One day, I watched a few of their programs and was shocked at the physical violence and derogatory words in a children’s anime. We met to discuss a simple but effective performance improvement plan the next day.
We did a store run to purchase crayons, coloring books, scissors, markers, glue, construction paper, children’s books, balls, dolls, and containers of blowing bubbles. Since I had an extra laptop, they were taught the simple basics of navigating to Youtube to watch nonviolent programs. But their favorite activities were learning to swim and visiting the park to run and play. The complex had a pond with ducks where they lost their fear of animals by feeding them bread scraps. Watching and playing with electronic gadgets had a limit of two hours a day.
The change was immediate. Two of the children possessed an advanced level of artistic drawing. Spats and bickering became nonexistent, except for the struggle over specific colors of pencils, markers, and crayons. Yes, I could have purchased separate drawing utensils, but they needed to learn the values of cooperation and sharing. The refrigerator was covered with their art. Daily simple tasks were given to teach and assist their young minds in understanding gratification from a job well done. The reward of receiving hugs, kisses, and frequently hearing “I love you” changed little warriors into happy and loving children who respected each other.
Now, we focus on refuting the belief that our past defines our present and future. Your childhood determines your adult life because you do not know who God is. He is the Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent, Omnibenevolent, and our loving Heavenly Father.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 1 Timothy 1:7. Focusing on our limited abilities [because God gave us a finite mind] prevents spiritual, mental, and emotional growth.
1 Timothy 1:7 is a scripture that reminds us of the innate qualities that God created us with. A sound mind requires ongoing learning by seeking credible knowledge, discovering and developing your natural talents, and learning new skills. Biblical knowledge from studying the scriptures results in faith, trust, and confidence that God is in control. Power is courage! We are not afraid of life or the challenges that we face.
Satan desires to minimize God’s power and attempts to deceive us to believe that he is all-powerful. In reading Job chapter 1, it is evident that our archenemy has God-given limits: “‘All right, you may test him,’ the Lord said to Satan. ‘Do whatever you want with everything he possesses, but don’t harm him physically.’ So Satan left the Lord’s presence.” Job 1:12.
Just a side note: God can destroy Satan now if He desires. And Satan is aware of this and functions inside of God’s boundaries. Satan obeys God’s limits, yet the human beings created in God’s image have the irreverence and boldness fed from pride to openly and continuously disobey our Creator.
The Apostle Paul was young Timothy’s spiritual mentor. In 1 Timothy 1:7, Paul reminds and reprimands his protege for the fear he possessed, afraid to suffer for Jesus.
Fear is like a tornado producing destruction in all areas of our lives. Fear’s bitter, rotten fruits are anxiety, worry, nervousness, timidness, depression, sadness, and pessimistic thoughts. Fear impedes progress! Do not embrace this destructive emotion that is based on nonexistent realities!
“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you. And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” “Deuteronomy 31:6, 8
Created from God’s Ultimate Love, we were born with everything required to live productive, happy lives. God is aware of the dysfunction that sin causes in our maturity from children to adults. How is retraining our minds and leaving the past behind possible? With God, ALL things are possible!
“Do not call to mind the former things; pay no attention to the things of old. Behold, I am about to do something new; even now, it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness and streams in the desert.….” Isaiah 43:18-19
Learning and reminding ourselves of these scriptures
- “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.” (Psalm 139:14)
- “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?” (Psalm 139:7)
- “Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken.” (Psalm 55:22)
- “No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.” (Psalm 91:10-12)
We are in a new season of our lives. It is time for us to become the soldiers God created us to be. Discover your hidden talents and spiritual gifts by praying and asking God to reveal your purpose. Disciples are fearless because we believe that God loves us and will always sustain us. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10 NIV)
Prayer: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24). In Jesus’ name. Amen. © 2022 Sonya Johnson, Faithful Fishers, and Woman, You Are Loved by God Ministries