Not a slave to fear - 17 May 2021

By Carina Francke

Bible text(s)

Although slavery is illegal in all countries, contemporary slavery all over the world is a sobering reality. The United Nations recently estimated that around 27-30 million people are caught up in various forms of slavery against their will. Slaves live in constant fear – of punishment, mistreatment, food being withheld, bodily harm, solitary confinement, and the list goes on. The prospect of being set free is almost zero. What an injustice towards God’s creation!

From a previous devotion, we know that reborn or born-again people are children of God, and not slaves to sin, people, or fear. Believers received the Spirit of Sonship. They have been set free! (Romans 8:15)

That said, did you know that quite a number of believers are modern-day slaves? Admittedly, not of people, but of fear. It surfaces the moment someone feels intimidated. Paul’s letter to Timothy addresses this fear in no uncertain terms: “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

The Amplified Bible describes this fear or timidity as cowardice, craven, cringing and fawning fear. The KJV Study Bible connects this word to someone that flees from a fight. Or, maybe the best description would be that the person is reluctant to accept responsibility when under pressure. Almost like the young Timothy to whom these words were addressed.

The reality: when we allow people or circumstances to intimidate us, we neutralise our effectiveness in God’s service. Is that what you want – ineffectiveness in the service of your Creator because you are timid?

How do we give this invisible, fearmongering master, surely not sent by God, the boot?

With the spirit of power, love and of self-discipline – the Holy Spirit! Anchor the following three truths in your heart. Acts 1:8 declares that the Holy Spirit dwells in the believer and he “generates” power in you to overcome your fear and outwit your enemy. Romans 5:5 reminds us that God poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. Thus, love is your weapon against fear and enables you to serve effectively. And what about self-discipline? This word is also translated as sound mind, which, among other things, is also defined as a calm, well-balanced cognition, self-discipline, and self-control. All you need to do is put it into practice!

Prayer: Father, I bow before you in deep gratitude for the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life. Without His presence and activity in my life, I will blindly grope about seeking for a significant, God-glorifying life. Cultivate sensitivity in my spirit to distinguish the voice of the Holy Spirit from my own. Amen