for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.2 Timothy 1:7 ESV
It is seemingly far too easy for me to fall back into a mindset of fear. Fear of the world and the enemy that seeks me harm. Like Peter walking on the water with Jesus, I am distracted by the wind and the waves of chaos that are swirling around me and I take my eyes off Christ. It’s fear that distracts my attention away from Jesus. It’s fear that calls out to me from the darkness. It’s fear that tempts me to wander away from the presence of Christ.
God has not given me a Spirit of fear but one of power, love, and self-control. I don’t really contemplate this in my daily walk. I forget that the Spirit dwells inside me and has taken up residence in my heart. My weakness is turned to strength through Christ. My anger and despair is turned to love through Christ. My laziness and sloth is turned to self-control through Christ. It is through the Spirit that my heart is changed.
Paul doesn’t tell Timothy to just do better and try harder because of these things. He encourages Timothy to live in this power, love and self-control that resides within him. I have access to these at every moment in Christ. When temptation comes and the chaos begins to swirl, I should not think to myself how impossible it all seems in my own strength. But that is always my gut reaction. I look back at my past failures and see my weakness, my desire, and my sin. It seems inevitable that I will fall yet again.
Yet Christ is in me. He has called me to a life filled with his power, his love, and his self-control. I am only able to resist and stand firm in this battle as I depend upon Christ who lives in me. The secret to this is embracing my weakness. I am to embrace my weakness and acknowledge that in my own strength there is only fear and failure. Let this drive me in humility to the cross of Christ. For there is grace and mercy. Then in humility I will have power and love and self-control through the Spirit. There I will find my Savior’s embrace. In my weakness, Christ welcomes me.
Journal Entry // October 13, 2021