For God has not given us a spirit of fear (timidity, cowardice) but of power and of love and of self-control (sound mind, discipline, instruction, judgement, sobriety). 2 Timothy 1:7
There was a time in my life when fear ruled me. It permeated every decision, stalled or stopped almost every adventure, and I was powerless to stop it. Or so it seemed. The beauty of looking back over your life is being afforded 20/20 vision.
As I thought through this post, I wanted to tell you about times when fear gripped me so tightly that I was unable to move forward. And there were those times. But what I also realized was how many times I jumped into new adventures with both feet – fear and all. Now, I may have done my share of whining and shaking in my boots, but for some reason when God opened the door, I went right on through it.
Every career or volunteer move I have made was thought to be forward progress, but those moves took me outside what I knew. Every time. And that drew me closer to God. Funny how every step up in the world can also take you in – deeper still – to the One who makes all our steps possible. Every step up – and in – taken perhaps with fear and trembling. But taken nonetheless.
Ten years ago, I was asked to lead a large volunteer organization. It was an incredible honor and had to be God because I was way out of my league in many ways. I had thought it was vanity that led me to accept the position, but that 20-20 hindsight helped me see God was using that to draw me closer to Him in my everyday life, not just on Sundays.
It was often scary because it was a definite stretch of my skill set. And each time fear would render me paralyzed and unable to lead effectively, I would repeat 2 Timothy 1:7 over and over. Sometimes literally 100 times a day. Scripture tells us plainly that the spirit of fear is not from God. He gives us a spirit of power and love and self-control. Lord Acton is credited with the quote that power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. But I believe power mixed with love and self-control allows us to lead with integrity.
When I begin to fear the places God takes me in this life, I remind myself I have power and love and self-control, discipline, judgement, sobriety, if I choose. I am courageous because of the God I worship and serve and I will not cower in fear.
Our time on this earth is shorter everyday. God wants each one of us to use the power, love and self-control he has given us to kick fear in the face and get busy knowing Him for ourselves and leading others to Him – fearlessly. Selah…
Published first on Breath on Paper Blog. 15 April 2016
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Hey there friend! Andrea McCaskey here. I believe everything happens for a reason, life is meant to be lived in relationship with others and there is beauty to be found everywhere if we look. I am a friend of God, wife of Jamal and mother of Brandon and Madison.
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