For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7
Power - God is not the author of my fearfulness. Quite the opposite, God gives power. That’s truly what I need. My anxious concern makes me weak. I find that I am willing but unable. God gives me exactly what I need to move forward into total trust. He gives me dynamis. And what does “power” mean to me? It means ability, capacity, vigor, strength and will. All the things I need to trust Him (remember, “trust” is a verb – an action – not a feeling). When I am faced with the impossibility of anxious projection of dread, God gives me the power I need to overcome those mythical fears.
Notice that it is God Who provides what I need. It’s His gift to me. I didn’t earn it. I didn’t run out to the bookstore and stock up on self-help solutions. I didn’t work harder, pray harder or give more. God gave it, freely, simply because God intends good for me. When I was chasing the answer to my fears, I was grasping for rainbows. But when I stopped running scared, God gave me what I needed. Oswald Chambers puts it so eloquently. He says that as soon as I make the choice to trust, God supplies all the power necessary to do so. I have to turn from my fear and return to Him, but at the moment I reverse direction, He floods me with the strength I could never find on my own.
Fear paralyzes me. It is a straight-jacket on my soul. The only thing I can do to remove those restraints is look to Jesus. Everything else is tied down by my dread. But, all it takes is that look. The power I need is given in His gaze.
Remember the Greek verb, didomi? That verb also governs this phrase. God gives power. He gives it freely with good intentions in mind. I don’t have to convince God to help me. I don’t have to worry that He won’t help me. I don’t have to offer appeasement in order to gain His help. God gives it. As soon as I commit to Him, He rushes in to rescue.
This is what I need to hear today. I don’t have to do it on my own. I have lived long enough to know that I can’t do it on my own. None of it! No matter how hard I try, I just can’t manage life. It always gets the better of me. But, I don’t have to be afraid. My weakness is exactly what is required to experience God’s strength. Paul reminds us that when we are weak, then we are strong, but the reverse is true too. When I am strong in my own effort, then I am entirely vulnerable and weak. God does not help those who help themselves. Why should He? They think that they are in charge.
The best lesson I can learn from my own fears is that I am weak. That is the purpose of fear; not to paralyze me, but to emphasize my inability. Fear teaches me that God’s gift is the only solution. Have you reached that conclusion? Then, what are you waiting for? Look to Him!
Topical Index: Power