“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
2 Timothy 1:7
The spirit the Lord has given us is not a spirit of fear. It’s a spirit of power, love and a sound mind. Let’s see the context in which this verse is said:
“Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began”
2 Timothy 1:6-9
We can see the Lord saving and calling every one of us with a holy calling, according to His own purpose and grace, even before the foundation of the world (verse 9). We can also see that He has placed gifts on the inside of us, which we must stir (verse 6). That’s God’s image for us. But obviously, there is an opposition; there are spirits of fear, shame, blockages, obstructions, afflictions, etc (verse 8).
So, the Lord has given us a spirit. This Spirit gives us the ability to rise above the image of the devil. It makes us more than conquerors in 3 specific areas which cover the whole spectrum of our life.
1. Spirit of power.
The Holy Spirit is a Spirit of power. His power is greater than all the power of the enemy.
“Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
The devil has principalities and powers, rulers of the darkness of this world, and spiritual wickedness in high places at his disposal (Ephesians 6:12), but the power of the Lord is greater than them all – so much greater that if we tap into that power, we’ll not even consider the power of the devil.
Please look at Elijah. He was able to confront 850 of the false prophets of Jezebel (1 kings 18:19). They all had been deceiving the people of Israel for years with their magic, their witchcraft; their false prophesies, their tricks, etc. Yet, Elijah knew his God so well, that this event can not even be called “a confrontation”, because Elijah literary made fun of these devil’s worshippers. They could not perform even one trick (1 Kings 18:26-29).
Can you imagine that? Can you imagine yourself standing against 850 occult practitioners? Not only that – can you imagine you being the one to challenge and confront them? Can you imagine yourself saying something like: “Hey, you that worship the devil your god, show me the power of your god, and I will show you what my God can do”? What would make you say such a thing? The image of God in you! Nothing else!
Let’s look at Jesus Christ our Lord. Have you ever thought about the fact that He had Pharisees, Sadducees and teachers of the law right next to Him all the time? Wherever He went, they were there as well. And let me assure you that they were not supporting Him.
Now imagine yourself being surrounded by such negative religious people trying to discredit your life and ministry all the time. Every move you make and they have what to say about it, and it is not an encouragement for sure. They know better about everything. They are self-righteous, considering themselves holy, blameless and beyond reproach. They think they have the right to find fault in every word you say and every thing you do. And you are trying to minister salvation, healing, deliverance and wholeness to individuals and multitudes at the same time. How about that?
And Jesus did not tell His “bodyguards” to get rid of these negative people around Him. No, Jesus functioned in this very environment all the time. He was preaching the good news of the Kingdom of God, He was healing the sick, He was casting out devils and He was doing good everywhere He went. He was so focused on His mission from God that nothing could distract Him.
That amazes me so much, because some times, it takes just one person (a good one too – a Christian brother or a sister) to say just one word or sentence and that could make us stop, retreat and even quit. Just one word! Even if it was not intentional. If it was intentional and was coming from an oppressed by the devil person, the chances are that one such thing ruins our service or whatever we are trying to accomplish at the moment. And if the person is demon possessed and the manifestation is actually purely demonic in its nature, then I don’t want even to think what could happen for the normal, usual Christian minister.
Yet, we are not usual Christians. We are not usual ministers. There’s nothing usual about us. We have been supernaturally recreated in our spirits, we got absolutely supernaturally born again, and the God of the whole Universe came to dwell right inside our hearts (spirit beings). We are being renewed in our mind through the word of God that is so powerful, that He created everything that exists by it (Hebrews 1:1-3). The Lord has placed His fruit of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance in us, which is so supernatural as well (Galatians 5:22-23). He has also placed gifts on the inside of us (1 Corinthians 12) that are the abilities of God Himself. He has also given us ministry gifts, such as apostles, prophets, teachers, pastors and evangelists, intercessors, worshippers, marketplace ministers and so much more (Ephesians 4:11; Romans 12:4-8) so that all the saints can be equipped to do the work of the ministry the Lord has given us all – the Great Commission to take this Gospel to the ends of the Earth.
Well, as you can see, there’s nothing that is not supernatural about us. We are not living by the natural, worldly standards, methods and principles – we are living by FAITH.
There’s no other way to challenge 850 occultists and win. There’s no other way to stay focused in an environment filled with hostile religious fanatics and unbelieving people.
We can do it though, because the Lord has given us a Spirit of power. We can finish our course, fulfill our mandate and be the witnesses the Lord wants us to be for Him:
“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
When the Spirit comes upon us – we will receive power – the Spirit of power. Nothing and nobody will stop us. The demons will fall and the powers of hell will be overpowered by God’s Spirit of power in us.
2. Spirit of love.
The Spirit of power works in the area of confronting and overcoming every demonic power and opposition that could stand in our path. It gets rid of every demonic stronghold, every demonic power, every demonic image and every demonic blockage and limitation. It completely wipes the devil out of our way, so we can serve the Lord and His people fully and most effectively.
Now the Spirit of love covers another area – the area of our relationships with the Lord and the people around us. There is so much hatred in this world – so much division, separation, divorce, racism, prejudice, discrimination, lack of sympathy and compassion, false love (perversion, prostitution, homosexuality, lesbianism, fornication, adultery, and promiscuity) and who knows what else.
We all find ourselves bombarded with this moral and relational degradation on every side. That’s why the hospitals are full. That’s why the cemeteries are full with young people. That’s why the asylums are full. That’s why the prisons are full.
That’s the reason for the family devastation, for the rape rate, crime rate, murder rate, abortion rate and every other negative rate.
We can never even go above the surface of all this except by and through the Spirit of love. We are called to carry another standard – again in an environment filled with scoffers and hostile people (Psalm 1).
I once had a conversation with a “Christian brother”, who was a homosexual. He said: “Love is the greatest power on Earth”.
I said: “You are right, but God’s love, not homosexual love”.
Suddenly, all his “brotherhood” flew away and the demon manifested. He said: “Homosexual love will defeat all evil in this world”. Then he turned at me and said: “You are evil” (me being a representative of God’s love in this conversation).
Can you believe that? The devil calls God’s love – evil, compared to the “love” he is offering to human kind – perversion.
Well, we must bring God’s love to this lost and dying humanity. We must love the people, but hate their sin, because it is the devil that has imposed it on them to destroy them – Christians and Non-Christians alike. God’s love is perfect love – it’s so pure and holy. It’s so unconditional and true. It’s amazing what it can do if we allow the Lord to use us as channels of His love and mercy and compassion. Love is not just a feeling. It’s not just an emotion. Love is an image, because love is a Person. God is Love! And we must have that same image of the God of love on the inside of us, so we can love the Lord back, with all heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27) and so we can show that love of God to our neighbor, as the image of that same love in us is leading us.
Who is our neighbor? Whom shall we show love to? Whom shall we release that image to? You can find the answer in (Luke 10:29-37)
God’s love is indeed the greatest power on Earth. There’s no relationship that can not be healed, restored and brought to life by God’s love. Love will heal our marriage, love will restore our family, love will connect us all in God’s purposes and love will make us whole in each and every relationship we have. Love will keep it going with more and more of God’s power and fulfillment. Love will also keep our faith strong, because “faith worketh by love” (Galatians 5:6).
Here’s what love is. Who can resist that? Who will not give in to that? What relationship will not bow before that?
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth:”
1 Corinthians 13:1-8
Love is all consuming. It should be the motivating force behind our every word and deed. We can have all the power, but without love – we are nothing. Love is the cement that holds everything together. Love works in the motives. Everything we say or do – if we say and do it with love as our motivation, it will succeed in God’s eyes and bring reward. Otherwise, it will be worth nothing.
Love is the main thing. It’s the greatest thing. We should be moved only by love. God loved the world and that’s why He sent Jesus to die for us (John 3:16). When Jesus indeed came, the Bible says He was moved by compassion (Matthew 9:36; 14:14; Mark 1:41; 6:34). Compassion and love are the same. He was moved by it. He didn’t have any hidden agendas for His relationships. He was not moved by promotion possibilities, by offers, by His abilities, by His gifts, by His power, or even by His faith. He moved when God on the inside of Him moved. God’s essence is Love and Compassion. When God stirred the heart of Jesus with His image of love for a person, a given relationship, or a situation – Jesus was moved by that image. He was moved by love. The Spirit of love was upon Him to preach the Gospel to the poor, to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, opening of the prison for the bound, recovering of sight to the blind, set at liberty those that are bruised, and preach the acceptable year of the Lord (Isaiah 61:1-2, Luke 4:18-19).
It’s the Spirit of love that compels us to preach, heal, bind up, care and move in God’s purposes and intentions. Whatever the situation is and whatever point the relationship is, the Spirit the Lord has given us is not a spirit of fear, so we run away from our responsibility, but it is a Spirit of love.
Love is not passive. It attacks the enemy. It’s aggressive. It takes responsibility because it cares for the other person. It does not want to lose the person. It does not say: “I am right.” No, it gives, it loves, it ministers, it sheds abroad, it distributes, it sows, it does not quit.
Love wins all the time!
3. Spirit of a sound mind.
Now, we dealt with the area of outside demonic opposition of all kinds, we saw how love will help us excel in every relationship, and the only other area remaining is the area of our inner life - our thoughts, our inner struggles, our emotions, our heart issues. That’s where we need to exercise the Spirit of a sound mind. Sound mind means wholesome mind, healed mind, active mind, focused mind, dedicated to serve mind.
We all know that everything that is happening in our life – positive or negative – is leaving a mark in our inner being. The way we have been raised, the place of our upbringing, the family we have been a part of, the words we have heard, the Church we have gone to, the conditions and people at work, school, etc, the TV programs we are watching, the places where we go – all this and everything else is leaving its impression in us and thus, is forming our thinking and behavioral patterns, and hereby – our actions.
If we have been surrounded by negative things all the time, those things form strongholds in our mind, our emotions and our overall composure – our way of life.
And since the devil knows that, he is constantly trying to surround us with people, situations and things that will try to exalt themselves above God’s image in us. See for yourselves:
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ”
2 Corinthians 10:3-5
See? We are to pull down all these strongholds and to cast down every thing that is exalting itself against the knowledge of God and to bring every thought to the obedience of Christ.
Christ the Anointed One and His anointing is teaching us (1 John 2:27). God’s knowledge is bringing God’s image, but there are things that try to exalt themselves against the knowledge of God (the image of God). These include the internal scars, wounds, hurts, agonies, confusions, disappointments and fears.
The Lord though has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of a sound mind – able to rise above every internal (inner) struggle and rejection and bitterness and hurt.
God’s Spirit of a sound mind heals us on the inside and helps us clothe ourselves internally with God’s image. Greater is He that is living in us, than he that is living in the world (1 John 4:4).
All in all, the Spirit the Lord has given us is a Spirit that will lead us in victory in each and every area of our life with God. It will make us more than conquerors (Romans 8:37).
“And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.”
Nikola Dimitrov is a Pastor and Bible teacher and is also part of Life in Glory Church in Bulgaria. Dimitrov is also the director of In depthMedia ministry, editor-in-chief of Roma Destiny National Media, and the owner of the Metamorphu publishing company which focuses on the publication of Christian children material. More info at: Life of Jesus