by Phyllis Ducey

"God did not give us a spirit of fear
but of power, of love and a sound mind."

2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)

I love this verse... it has spoken to me deep within and has aided me in controlling my thought processes. I have often felt as though my mind contained myriads of caverns, each leading down unknown tributaries. There are times I would get lost in those caverns... some were dark and tortuous while others lead towards the light. And at those times it would seem that I would never find a way out. But as I grew in knowledge of God's Word and learned to apply it with trust, light began filtering in and the caverns turned into paths of discovery.

There is so much content in these mere 18 words that I thought I would break it up to several sections. In the next two weeks I plan to write about how God has brought this verse alive to me. Today I would like to focus on the word fear. It is used in various ways in the Bible.

There is the word as used in "fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Prov 1:7). Fear in that verse is like awe or deep reverence. Possibly you could compare it to the first time you may have seen the ocean. It is incredibly vast, it is gorgeous, its depth (not only physically but also in its colors) is amazing, it is inviting and at the same time so powerful it can overwhelm you. It fills you with awe. And that is the type of fear this verse refers to. Once you begin to grasp how awesome God is -- how incredibly loving, how gracious, compassionate, powerful and just -- you can start to understand why fear of Him is the beginning of wisdom.

Sometimes fear is used in the sense of cowardice such as when the storm came up when the disciples were in the boat. (Matt 8:26) "Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then He got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm." Cowardice is probably the most common way we think of fear.

And there is a "slavish" fear. This is the fear the apostle Paul speaks of in 2 Tim 1:7. Slavish fear is not unlike the cowardice kind. It prevents us from doing something or keeps us under its control such as a slave is to his master. I think each of us have our own inner fears that prevent us from doing things that could possibly enhance our lives. Some more obvious than others such as if you had a fear of flying that prevents you from traveling to new and interesting places.

This part of the verse "God did not give us a spirit of fear" has been important to me because many of the caverns of my mind were carved out by fear prior to Christ in my life. One cavern that I got lost in was low self-esteem which was filled with all sorts of tributaries. Fear of not being as good as others; fear of when I did something well, someone would figure out that it was a fluke and I was a sham. Fear that I really was not a good person inside. Fear of being exposed.

God has taught me to move forward in spite of my fears. When that fear rises in me that makes me feel as if I am immobilized or I can't find my way out, I recite this verse. I dwell on it. I trust it. I trust God at His Word. Light creeps in as I realize that the fear is not from God and I remember that if He is for us, who can be against us? (Rom 8:28) That He created me to be me with all my foibles, talents, weaknesses and strengths. He allows me to make my choices and when they are wrong, He invites me to His side for forgiveness. He has taught me how to rebuke the wind and waves and allow Him to calm the restless seas within. And as I choose to allow Him to shed His light, I have no doubt that "God did not give us a spirit of fear".


Below are some wonderful Etsy shops that I hope you will take a few minutes to discover all their great items, heart their shops and maybe find things to use as gifts (Christmas is only 9 months away!). Some of the items relate to my verse and some I just chose because I so admired their work.

Comments (10)

On March 15, 2010 at 5:00 AM , Julie Riisnaes said...

Really encouraging thank you! I am a naturally fearful person and I am so thankful for God's patience with me as he continues to help me overcome my fears.

Lovely collection of items!

On March 15, 2010 at 7:53 AM , Mary Ellen said...

One of my favorite verses, too - I find that when I make poor decisions they are usually fear based. I am thankful that He is teaching me to trust Him more. When I make decisions based on trust rather than fear (mostly of what others will think), I am much better off! Thanks for the good word.

On March 15, 2010 at 8:10 AM , Beantree Designs said...

Wonderful post, Phyllis. I have had the same fears concerning the self-esteem, the same caverns as you.Fear can truly be paralyzing.

On March 15, 2010 at 9:33 AM , button said...

Thank you for this wonderful post. The past several weeks have been difficult. This scripture is a wonderful weapon and something I really needed to be reminded of this week. I go in for a CT scan on Thursday.
Bless you,
:o) button

On March 15, 2010 at 10:01 AM , Sue Runyon said...

Thanks so much, Phyllis for another thought provoking post. I appreciate you so much.

On March 15, 2010 at 12:02 PM , Princess Daffy said...

Yes, fear cripples and can even paralyze us if we don't keep in mind who our source of strength is!

This post is a great reminder, and one we would all do well to heed.

xox, Daff

On March 15, 2010 at 12:32 PM , sammysgrammy said...

Wonderful word Phyllis. I'm sure fear is something all of us do battle with, some more than others. But it is universal. I heard it said that the bible contains 375 "fear nots", one for each day of the year. That would make a good study.
Something the Lord showed me: any fear that we permit to get bigger than the "fear of the Lord" will cripple us. The "fear of the Lord" squashes all those other fears.

On March 15, 2010 at 8:15 PM , Linda said...

What a great post. Thank you! Thanks also for including one of my bracelets with this great collection.


On March 15, 2010 at 8:30 PM , pfd said...

The comments contained here have great value. I only hope that others will read the comments to see what you each have added.

On March 16, 2010 at 1:36 AM , Kathleen said...

Great post and great comments!
I love the verse in 2 Timothy 1:7 for God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. I like what God did NOT give us and what He DID give us!