Fear doesn’t fit

This verse is consuming me today. I hope its spark catches you on fire, too.


For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

– 2 Timothy 1:6-7

God has given me gifts of His Spirit, opportunities to show His love and share His message of peace, and blessings that I am unable to quantify. More precious than all of these is the gift of salvation, the gift of Himself. He bought my life back from the pit of destruction and rescued me from a life without Him. He gave me a new heart and a new name. And my new life is meant to be on fire. I am to fan into flame the gift God has graciously given me! I want to be like the burning bush of Moses—that people are drawn to God’s presence, see His amazing power, hear His voice and then follow His call.

God’s fire is inside of me. I want it to roar.

You know what quenches that fire? Fear.

Fear that I’m not good enough. That what God has given me is too much. That I won’t be able to do it. That God made a mistake in choosing me. That people don’t like me and leave me out. That I’m failing my family. That someone else is better. That I’m not strong enough. That I’m not enough.

Fear causes me to look inward rather than upward. Fear prompts me to depend on what I can do, rather than what God will do.

God gave me His Holy Spirit. Fear does not fit in the mind or heart of His child.

God did NOT give me a spirit of fear. He gave me a spirit of power and love and self-control. His power overcomes my fear, His perfect love casts it out, and His self-control working in my life keeps it out.

I am meant to live on fire, in God’s power, love and self-control. What He has given me, I must share. What God has called me to, no force of hell can stop.

It’s time to fan into flame.

The Spirit has all the self-control I need

Self-control is a sticky widget.

Temptation surrounds all of us. None of us are exempt! Though the temptations I am more vulnerable to are probably different from yours, the struggle against them is likely the same.

God calls us to exercise self-control. But how do we do that? How is it possible? I can be extremely disciplined in certain aspects of my life, and throw up my hands in defeat in others.

Lately I’ve been fighting a battle of self-control. To be honest, most days my effort has been less than desirable. I’ll be diligent for a week or two (or a day or two to be more accurate), and then I fall back into the same pattern. Frustration sets in, and excuses follow.

This week as I was studying God’s Word, and praying about the struggle, God brought this to my attention:

I don’t have enough self-control. The Holy Spirit living inside me does.

Galatians 5:22-23 tells me that “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

Instead of focusing on what I can’t have or should resist, I need to rely on the Holy Spirit inside of me. Self-control is a result of the Spirit working in my life. Self-control is not about me resisting or overcoming in my own strength. That will lead straight to defeat. Self-control is giving myself to God.

So, for the last few days, when I have faced a particular temptation or started to feel the oh-so-familiar struggle, I have either thought or actually voiced this truth:

The Holy Spirit has all the self-control that I need.

That’s it. Then the Spirit gives me the strength I need, and I move on with my day.

I realize this seems overly simple. I don’t know if this will always work for me, or if it may work for you. But to call out to God in the moment of my weakness has proven humbling and energizing. I cannot do this on my own. It’s God! The Holy Spirit is teaching me this week that when I lay down my struggles, desires and decisions, He will fill me with what I need most: more of Him.