“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7
Fear…an all too common and damaging emotion for us. Life is incredibly uncertain and shaky at best, and in the midst of all the instability, we suffocate in worry, anxiety, and fear. And the more chaotic life becomes, the more we seem to remove our gaze from the face of the Creator and fix it upon the created. Stuff and things become what robs our focus, thus stealing our joy.
I can’t help but wonder how trust and joy must be linked together. Each command throughout Scripture that beckons us to trust the Lord, could it be that obedience to this command results in joy and ultimately the absence of fear? Furthermore, have we become increasingly lazy and undisciplined in our pursuit of God, which manifests itself in our lives as fear, worry, and anxiety?
The most peaceful moments of my life are those spent in God’s presence and in His Word. Prolonged time apart from these things has always led to fear, in one form or another. Perhaps we need to hear a very strong word today. We were never meant to be separated from our Creator God – from time in His presence and time in His Word. We were created for relationship, first with Him and then with others. When that primary relationship goes unattended, we suffer, and more often than not, the suffering comes in the form of fear. When we’re not grounded in His Word, we forget to trust in His Word. Out of sight, out of mind, we are a forgetful people too often driven by emotion rather than faith. It’s all about focus. Because we’ve grown content with far too little of His presence in our lives, in our families, in our churches and more, we’ve taught ourselves to just “get by” on scraps from His table while He invites us to a feast. The more we feast in His presence, the more our trust in Him swells, the more our fear fades.
What is the object of your greatest focus? What are you staring at? What is it that you simply can’t get your eyes and mind off of? Were Jesus the answer to any one of these questions, fear would most definitely be a back-burner issue. And be reminded today, friends, that fear is not from God. He did not create you to fear anyone or anything but Himself, and that is a reverent fear, an awe of who He is. God gave each of us in Him a spirit of power, a spirit of love, and a spirit of self-control, proving that we have the ability to choose to reject fear and rather embrace faith. Will you today? Will you remove your eyes from the temporary and fix your gaze on the eternal? Will you trust in the One who is all-knowing and relinquish your fear of the unknown? Will you stand among the faithful, today? Today, I choose faith.