How to Overcome a Spirit of Fear

Today’s article is a deep dive into one important verse.

For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline (2 Timothy 1.7).

Let’s ask some questions and give answers about this verse.

Question: What is a spirit of cowardice or fear?

Answer: Fear is a reaction to a threat.

The Greek word for fear can also imply cowardice. In Timothy’s case cowardice best describes his timid reactions to some in the church who needed correction. 

Fear helps us survive threats. It prepares us to fight or run away from a problem.

Being anxious or having a spirit of fear is basically the same thing. Someone with a spirit of fear is anxious or worried about what might happen.

It may lead to timid actions toward people, because of the fear of their response to confrontation.

Question: How does a spirit of fear affect daily life?

Answer: It is normal to feel anxious or to have a spirit of fear from time-to-time. 

When a spirit of fear is not a normal reaction, it can make us feel ill at ease, unable to concentrate, irritable, and dreading the worst.

Our body reacts to anxiety and worry with sleep problems, panic attacks, and more.

Question: Are there connections between fear and addiction?

Answer: The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous boils down many emotions into one – fear. It speaks of being driven by 100 forms of fear in convincing detail.

A major issue in sobriety is how to overcome the spirit of fear.

Question: In what way does the Holy Spirit enable humans to overcome anxiety and worry?

Answer: The Holy Spirit gives us his presence and power to live in love and self-discipline.

Jesus said this about the relationship his followers have with the Holy Spirit.

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. 

“This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him because he abides with you, and he will be in you” (John 14.15-17).

The Holy Spirit helps us, because he is our Advocate, Counselor, and Comforter.  Each of these words translate the Greek word that Jesus used for the Spirit.

Jesus said that the Spirit “will be in you.” The Spirit operates with our human spirit to give us power, love, and self-discipline.

A good way to illustrate the power of the Holy Spirit at work in a human is to observe the behavior of the disciples before and after their reception of the Spirit.

Before the Spirit came upon them on the Day of Pentecost, their fear caused them to deny Jesus to the authorities. After they received the Spirit, they were filled with boldness.

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and ordinary men, they were amazed and recognized them as companions of Jesus (Acts 4.13).

Not only does the Holy Spirit give humans courage to stand for Jesus, he also affects the personality.

Notice how self-control or self-discipline is a product of a relationship with the Holy Spirit.

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5.22-23).

Question: What needs to happen for the Holy Spirit to operate effectively in a person’s life.

Answer: If you are willing to let the Spirit lead your life, he will give you power, the ability to love, self-control and much more.

YouTube Video

Rudy Ross and I discussed this passage on YouTube today. The video can be found on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel.

Please email your prayer requests to bsprad49@gmail.com. The Maywood prayer team will be happy to pray for you.

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