“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 NKJV
Why are these words placed together?
Fear is the absence of control. Fear is what Peter started to feel when his attention diverted from Jesus to the waves around him. (Matt 14:30) What are your waves right now? Is it the dire circumstances that cause you pain – and understandably so? Is it the lack of hope for tomorrow, that dreadful place called ‘the unknowing’? Is it the constant health battles, the addictions, that toxic relationship? Is it the yearning for some form of love and acceptance, the desire to be financially independent, the desire to just be able to eat or make it through another day without those thoughts floating so incessantly in your mind?
What are your waves?
Fear is the absence of control. It is the removal of trust once locked away and stored with our maker who never fails us (Psalms 25:3, Romans 10:11.) You see, this control was never meant to be ours, like truthfully never. So it actually goes against the grain of things, the natural order for us to assume control where we never meant to have it as human beings, as flesh and blood. Hence,
fear is not allowing God control over our lives and order our steps.
“The steps of a man are ordered by the LORD, and He delights in his way.Psalms 37:23
The Lord loves to lead us, but do we love to let Him lead?
He loves to be near us but why do we choose to flee?
Why do we see a circumstance and say,
'I can do this on my own, my G'
I am so guilty,
I raise my hands up and admit
Fear has gotten a grip over me
In the past, it won’t last
Cause I know the path
I know the truth
And you can know it too
Because this truth?
It sets free
So let’s learn, let’s eat...
Have you ever thought about why God chose to replace FEAR with POWER, LOVE and a SOUND MIND? I have and I’m still pondering on it as a type, waiting for the Holy Spirit to make it make sense in my mind and through my fingers. The thought still lingers…
“If Fear is the absence of control, Power is the restoration of that control in our souls”– Tolulope Karunwi
“The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you. Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do.”Romans 8:11-12 NLT
You see God sent his Holy Spirit to dwell, but not to dwell aimlessly, not to simply hover in the darkness of the world as He he done since the beginning of time (Genesis 1:2) but to dwell in us.
“And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.”Galatians 4:6 NLT
He comes to dwell as a result of the choice one makes to dedicate their lives to Christ, that choice one makes to invite Jesus to be Lord and Saviour of their lives. This choice is a denouncement of oneself and a choice to allow God lead. Through the Holy Spirit, we are led to understand God more and know the heart of the Father, we are given a loving manuscript daily as to how to live our lives in a way in which we are reflections of God and truly reflect his light & splendour.
“And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.”1 Corinthians 2:12 NLT
Therefore, when God says He has given us a spirit of POWER, I believe He is talking about the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is Him who empowers us to do that which pleases God. The Holy Spirit is Him who guides us to walk in the purpose God has set out for us. The Holy Spirit is Him who comforts us when we’re feeling low and he even groans on our behalf when we don’t have the words to say or cry out, when the despair is too much and we feel lost. (Romans 8:26-27) His power replaces whatever semblance of power we thought we had and He makes us whole.
The spirit of power is the spirit of God, therefore anything that ‘gives you the strength to…’ or ‘makes you feel empowered’ apart from God is exhaustible. It’s temporary. It’s an illusion of the real deal. The real & inexhaustible POWER comes from the Holy Spirit and transforms you to be that which God wants you to be.
“Little children, you can be certain that you belong to God and have conquered them, for the One who is living in you is far greater than the one who is in the world.”1 John 4:4 TPT
So with this spirit, we conquer FEAR. Through surrendering and allowing God’s power fill you through His Holy Spirit, we place control back in the right hands and fear is eradicated.
God is love. Love cannot be defined any other way because HE.IS.LOVE.
Everything He does, says, the sheer nature and knowledge of God is defined by love.
A love that is everlasting, that never runs dry, that is correcting, that is embracing, that is patient and kind and good. A love that covers a multitude of sins.
A love that drives out fear. (John 4:18)
Fear as an absence of control, has by this definition lost focus. You feel lost and confused and like Peter, can feel as though you’re drowning in your worries and sorrows, gasping for the breath of life, for a gust of air to restore you. You see friend, when grappling with fears that surround us our immediate reaction is one of two things – fight or flight. And if we’re honest with ourselves we usually choose the latter.
We become so engulfed and overwhelmed by the waves in our lives that it becomes easier, more natural to just sink. The light in our eyes switch off and we become so numb to what we’re doing or saying. A life without reason, without hope is one of the most heart-wrenching and dangerous places to be in.
But Jesus, he offers us a way out, he offers us living water. Just now I had tried to gain context of 1 John 4:18 but instead went to John 4:18 (lol) But even whilst reading this, this powerful story of an encounter between Jesus and this woman at the well – something stuck out to me. You see, Jesus asked for some water and she was simply perplexed that he would want anything from her as a Samaritan woman (Jews v. Samaritans has a deep rivalry back in the day, something imma look into in more depth come to think of it). Jesus then revealed that this conversation went beyond just a mere rivalry because He could offer her even more. But even after Jesus presented himself as “the gift that God wants to give you, the living water” she looked at Jesus, no bucket. She looked at the well, very deep. (John 4:11) She looked at the circumstances surrounding this particular scenario and wondered how things could possibly click?
Do you do that?
I know I do. ‘How?’ is legit the no.1 question I ask God on the regular:
“Okay God, I know you’ve said by your stripes I’ve been healed – but HOW? My genotype still tells me I have sickle cell thalassemia”
“Okay God, I know you’ve said we are redeemed by the blood of the lamb – but HOW is it that sin still plagues our world in different shades, some of these in seemingly ‘deeper’ shades that appear ‘unredeemable.'”
“Okay God, I know you’ve said ‘perfect love casts out fear’ but HOW does that even make sense?”
Well, it makes sense because God is God and He is so good to us. Him being good isn’t validated by the circumstances around us and neither is His love. There is no ‘because’ attached to his love, it just is. It exists in its perfect form and doesn’t have to be qualified or quantified because truth be told, it can’t be.
His love is tangible though, it’s palpable and meant to be experienced in its vastness. And when it’s wholly experienced, we float.
“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”Psalms 91:1 NKJV
We are secure, we are hidden in His love (Colossians 3:3), embalmed in it, preserved in it. Do you know what happens when love comes in? You begin to glow. This is proven to be true for love between us as human beings, so how much more a love that comes from Him who created us and Him who is the ultimate representation of love.
With love, nothing else matters but God and His plans. And that fear? It goes away because we no longer need to fight to have control, instead we can fight to let Him have all control.
Our minds are powerful.
And God cares about our minds, he cares about our thoughts – every wave & transmission, the whole process is designed and ordained by Him.
Therefore, when our minds tell us one thing we can be inclined to believe it. Because I mean, why wouldn’t we? We assume things should be working up there right. But isn’t it interesting how our own minds can control us – control our behaviours, our actions. And isn’t it interesting that this same mind can be infected by the lies of the devil?
The devil doesn’t have power over our minds. He too is a created being and hence lacks the all-knowing, omniscient quality God possesses and he so enviously wanted. However, he can influence our thoughts with his lies (John 8:44)
“He knows what we like and what we don’t like. He knows our insecurities, our weaknesses and our fears. He knows what bothers us most. He is willing to invest any amount of time it takes to defeat us. One of the devil’s strong points is patience.”– ‘The Battlefield of the Mind’, Joyce Meyer
I remember watching a sermon by Mike Todd discussing just how the devil can decide to drop a thought and like that passage indicates, patiently await the collateral damage that may come as a result. I witnessed this occur in my own life.
Thoughts of lust creeping my mind as a result of what I was feeding it with through the movies and shows I watched. The eyes are a window, and whatever any of our sensory organs are exposed to can impact the thought process that ensues. I was exposed to a lot of sexual based scenes as I’ve discussed in the past, and I mean that’s almost a normal thing right? I mean what’s a good show without a solid romantic storyline or power couple? But what happened afterwards was a struggle with pornography and masturbation that lasted for years after a.k.a the collateral damage (if you wanna understand more how these thoughts could go from 0 to 100, read here.)
So if fear is the absence of control, ‘sound mind’ being an antithesis of this concept suggests that instead of yielding to the control our minds and thoughts can have over us (without us even realising sometimes) we are called to pay attention. We are called to make the active choice daily to “think about what we’re thinking about.” (Joyce Meyer) We are called to renew our minds daily with the Word of God (Romans 12:2)
Most importantly, we must remember that we have already been given the ability to dispel our fears (which are truly the lies our minds are fed with) by simply believing we have sound minds. God has given us a sound mind.
I find it interesting that ‘Sound’ can be defined as two things:
- produced by continuous and regular vibrations, as opposed to noise.
- convey a specified impression when heard.
‘Continuous’ | ‘Regular’ | ‘Specified’
These words do not denote any semblance of confusion. They are clear, definitive and suggest that with the sound mind God has given us we don’t have to wonder. We don’t have to wonder if things will be okay tomorrow because He’s got it covered. (Matthew 6:25) We don’t have to wonder if God loves us even after we’ve done that terrible thing because he does and forever will (Romans 8:35-39) We don’t have to wonder.
We also don’t have to wander. We don’t have to drift off, allowing our minds to aimlessly take us wherever it pleases, creating scary scenarios or even positive ones that have the danger of taking the place of God’s perfectly designed plan.
“I understand how important it is not to allow my mind to go wherever it wishes, wherever it pleases.”– ‘The Battlefield of the Mind’, Joyce Meyer
A sound mind drowns out all the noise and walks in purpose. A sound mind is Peter when he had his eyes firmly fixed on Jesus and could do the unimaginable, my guy flipping walked on water!!!
The Bible tells us to ‘set our minds on things above, not on earthly things.’ (Colossians 3:2) are you hearing what I’m hearing? Thinking what I’m thinking? Gauging what I’m gauging? (Lmaoo in sucker for synonyms and the power of three)
It says we should ‘SET’ as per, we have been given this sound mind already, a mind that works and is fashioned after his (1 Corinthians 2:16) but we also have to be vigilant in making the daily choice, second per second to set it to think as Jesus does. The same way we finna set our clocks to wake us up when we need it is the exact same way we’re required to ‘set our minds’ and focus on Jesus, inviting Him to guide us concerning every little thing, because we need it. Like I’ve found even when deciding what jewellery to pair with my outfit I need his counsel and opinions because the more I do it for even the little, seemingly insignificant things, the more I’m accustomed and more inclined to do so for the bigger and more dire issues in my life.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and of a sound mind”2 Timothy 1:7
I strongly feel these things have not been combined by mistake. Nothing in his word is a mistake (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Now, coming to the end of this long-ass post (if you’re here, congrats 🤣 yous a real one) the Holy Spirit is ministering to me, he’s letting me know that Fear is not just an absence of control but it’s an absence of these 3 things.
FEAR as the ‘absence of power’
It’s an absence of power because when we allow fear engulf us we feel powerless, it grips us sometimes to a place of complete physical, mental, emotional paralysis.
FEAR as the ‘absence of love’
It’s an absence of love because fear suggests we are afraid of relaxing in and accepting love. Okay so to break it down, have you noticed that when you’re afraid, your heart begins to beat, your tummy starts to churn maybe your palms get sweaty? Your body physically reacts, flinching at every sign of danger – doesn’t that sound like torment to you? (all y’all that love horror movies I’m @-ing you rn) But with love, love is so comfortable and at peace. It just knows and trusts and believes all things. It never fails. Like have you ever recognised how loving on someone through kind words or compliments can just butter up even the ‘scariest’, most intimidating of people?
I remember in my first year, before I became the Law Ball Coordinator for Warwick Law Society, I was warned about our Events Liaison at the Students’ Union. I was told he was a tough cookie to crack but in the same vein I was told that how you disarm him and get him on your side is just to be kind to him, show him you care and appreciate him by asking about his day. In other words, show him some love.
So if God is love, and we have tasted and seen and have an intimate experience of His love as His children, then there’s no reason why we shouldn’t trust that His love (and a sincere acknowledgement of this love) will drive out all fear. It will still the most restless heart and bring a sense of peace.
FEAR as the ‘absence of a sound mind’
It’s an absence of a sound mind because fear removes any sense of reason. We begin to act out in ways we cannot control – insert all the physical examples I just listed above – We begin to focus solely on the fear itself and cannot see beyond it. We begin to sink and at times drown in our fears.
Hence, God replaces FEAR. He tells us He never gave it to us in the first place so why do we choose to operate in it and allow ourselves to sink deeper in it? He gave us a spirit of POWER, LOVE and a SOUND MIND.
We are given an endless power source through the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Luke 24:49, Romans 8:9)
We are loved by God the Father. (1 John 4:8, John 3:16)
We have the mind of Jesus Christ. (1Corinthians 2:16)
What He’s given us, is Him. In His entirety. The Godhead – three in one, the best package deal our money, our works, even our own selves couldn’t buy but was bought on our behalf through the blood of Jesus Christ.
Aren’t we so incredibly blessed?
Aren’t we too blessed to be stressed?
Rest in his arms
In the palm of his hands that bled
That was pierced for me and you
Let’s grow from that place of despair
And accept what he’s given us instead
Power, Love, a Sound Mind
His bread, THE bread
Of life and all we need
Thank you Jesus
All Glory to you, indeed.
So this post was directly inspired by this video (which as I type I actually haven’t finished watching) BUT, he mentioned these words as he was speaking in the Spirit:
“Nothing beats God, and a sound mind, nothing.”– Kanye West
And immediately my mind was casted to 2 Timothy 1:7, a verse that was firmly fixed on my wall in my second year of uni and helped to define how I approached that year without even me realising. I wondered – okay, he’s given us these three things but why are those three things specifically given to represent the antithesis of fear?
And behold, this post ensued. Straight from the Holy Spirit because at times I didn’t really know what was I typing, I’m even going back to re-read sef (we try to avoid grammatical errors over hereee). But we thank God.
- We thank God for using Instagram as a tool cause it’s inspiring me so much these days.
- We thank God for my friend Ashton who uses her platform on Instagram as a direct form of obedience to our Great Commission. (Matt 28:16-20)
- We thank God for Mr. Kanye West, who is using his gift, the gift of music to now minister and proclaim Jesus as the one and true Saviour.
- And we just thank God for God.
I hope you’re blessed as you read and watch and allow the Spirit to move inside you, ministering to you as He did to me. I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions so never hesitate to drop a comment below!
Sending Peace & Love your way (always),