“For this reason, I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” – 2 Timothy 1:6-7
Fear is an issue that seems to impact us all in some form or fashion. Fear of failure, rejection, not measuring up, fear of death, of being alone, the fear of suffering… the list could go on. Fear is something we all wrestle with if we are honest.
So, what can we do about it? Is there a way to live free from fear? God knew this would be a challenge for us, so throughout His Word He speaks straight to the heart of the matter. How can we live strong and courageous in the face of fear?
The answer lies in our focus. Realistically, there will never be a time in life completely free of reasons to fear. Life is uncertain; potential fears are everywhere. So, the question we must ask ourselves is this: Where are you looking? Are you focused on all the reasons you have to be afraid or are you focused on the God who says to us, Don’t be afraid?
Eyes fixed on God will lead to power, love, and self-control. Eyes fixed elsewhere will lead to anxiety, uncertainty, and fear.
I love the language Paul uses: “Fan into flame the gift of God.” It brings to mind the image of a campfire. When you’re trying to get the fire started, you blow onto those few embers until suddenly that small spark bursts into a flame.
What fire is growing in your life? A life of fear or a life of faith? Fix your eyes on Jesus and you will see those huge fires of fear begin to subside. Not because there’s suddenly no reason to worry, but because God is bigger than even your biggest concern.
The good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is this: we are far worse than we dare to consider, but we are far more loved than we ever thought possible! Jesus offers you forgiveness. Jesus will cover you in grace. Jesus will give you a fresh start if you will only step out of fear and step into faith. Fix your eyes on Him.
Adapted from a sermon by Senior Pastor George Wright, Shandon Baptist Church, SC