Monday, April 27, 2020

Bringing Down Fear - 1 Samuel 17

Bringing Down Fear

Text: 1 Samuel 17

Audio Link


The Preacher and the Thug

A man who was a lumberjack up in the Northwest Territories heard the Gospel and got saved.  Before too long he had also surrendered to the ministry.  He was what you would call a big ol’ boy. The lumber company was sorry to lose him because he was one of their best and strongest men.

He took a small church up in the mountains and became a fiery preacher against the sins he had seen in the lumber camps.  This didn’t make him popular with the local sinners.  One day one of the local bullies decided he had had enough and he rode his horse up to the little mountain church.  He found the preacher working in the church yard.  He rode right up to him jumped off his horse and cussed him then challenged him to fight.  The big ol boy preacher calmly grabbed the ruffian by the back of the neck and the seat of the pants, lifted him in the air and dropped him on the other side of a six foot, wooden fence that ran alongside the church yard. 

In a moment an eye appeared looking through one of the knot holes in the fence and a meek voice called out, “Now Preacher, if you’ll don’t mind handing me my horse over this here fence I’ll be on my way.”

How do you handle big problems?  Look at the problem David had in 1 Samuel 17.  I have found that 1 Sam 17 is a case study of how to deal with problems, how to fight the battles of life that we will be in. 

Battle Of the Heart  1 Samuel 17:3-11

And the Philistines stood on a mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side: and there was a valley between them.  And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.  And he had an helmet of brass upon his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass.  And he had greaves of brass upon his legs, and a target of brass between his shoulders.  And the staff of his spear was like a weaver's beam; and his spear's head weighed six hundred shekels of iron: and one bearing a shield went before him.  And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them, Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? am not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me.  If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us.  And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.  When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.

Fearing Goliath, The Philistine’s Champion

Goliath, stands 9'6" tall, his chain mail weighs 125#, his spear head 15#. He was a survivor of the ancient race of giants the Anakim, which cause the entire nation of Israel to fear crossing into the promised land.

After he had given his challenge, the Bible says, “When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.” (In other ancient writings it makes the claim that Goliath claimed to have killed Hophi and Phineas, Eli’s sons and to have taken the ark of the covenant from Israel.)

The Philistines were the former rulers of the people of Israel and though, under Saul’s leadership, they were now fighting for their freedom, the fear they now felt was bringing them back under domination.

Before they even fought a physical battle with the Philistines, they had already lost a spiritual battle of the heart and mind. Their fear had already defeated them, before the Philistines ever raised a sword and charged.

Fearing Fear, Satan’s Champion

As Christians we need to realized that even though we are not facing an army arrayed in armor and carrying spears, we are still facing an enemy and fighting battles. Our battles may be spiritual rather than physical but manner of the battle and the weapons the enemy uses are still recognizable.
Just like the army of the Israelites facing Goliath and the Philistines, the first part of any battle is the one for our hearts and minds. If Satan, can make us afraid to act, afraid to obey, afraid to fight then He has already won. Just as Goliath was the champion of the Philistines, Fear is the champion of Lucifer. In the Christian life, many battles are not lost because they are never fought, nor can they be won because we were too afraid to take up arms and begin the battle.

There was no battle for a soul because we were afraid to witness.
There was no battle for the Bible, because we were afraid to stand up for God’s Word.
No battle for your family, no battle for the unborn, no battle for the future of our nation, because too many Christians, hear the voice of Satan’s champion and they sit on the sidelines afraid to try because they are afraid to fail.

And let me tell you that kind of fear is a sin, because it make us disobedient to the command of Christ and the Word of God.

You can’t stop the voice of fear, trying to steal your victory, but neither can fear stope you from hearing the voice of God, speaking to us in passages like 2 Timothy 1:7  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Yes, the enemy is there, yes fear and the possibility of defeat is there but never let fear make us forget that God and His power is always there, standing beside us in every battle.

Illustration:  God On Our Side, Elisha asks God to allow his servant to see those on their side.

2 Kings 6:15-17 And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?  And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.  And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.

That is what we must see, as we face the battles of the Christian life, just like Elisha saw the mountains are full of horses and chariots of fire all around us!

Transition: Don’t let Satan and fear win the battle before the battle has even begun.  Now look at when the actual battle does begin in verse 26 of 1 Samuel 17.

Battle of the Mind -  1 Samuel 17:26-32

And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?  And the people answered him after this manner, saying, So shall it be done to the man that killeth him.  And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and Eliab's anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle.  And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause?  And he turned from him toward another, and spake after the same manner: and the people answered him again after the former manner.  And when the words were heard which David spake, they rehearsed them before Saul: and he sent for him.  And David said to Saul, Let no man's heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine.

David Understood Why He Fought

David understood why they must be willing to fight. In the passage we seen two resons, and those were the fundamentals, the motivation for to enter into the battle.

First was his Relationship with God as an Israelite
1 Samuel 17:26 … for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?

Israel was God's people, God's nation, they shared a unique and special relationship based upon God's covenant to them through Abraham their forefather. Abraham had been chosen by God to enter into a unbreakable covenant, in which God promised he make of Abraham a great and mighty nation, as numerous as the stars of heaven and the sands of the sea. He also promised them the very land they now stood upon facing their enemies. David was ready to fight because he knew he shared that special relationship with God.

The Second Reason was the Cause of this battle.
1 Samuel 17:29 And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause?
David knew there was a cause a reason for this battle and for him to step forward and fight. Goliath and the Philistines were challenging God’s army, God’s people and God’s promises and therefore they were also challenging God Himself.

Do You Know Why We Fight?

If you don’t realize why you need to fight, then like the armies of Saul that day, you will just remain in your fear, standing on the sidelines of every battle.

Your motivation for the battles of faith are much the same as David’s when he fought Goliath. First, 
Because of Who You Are.  You have a relationship with God, not through Abraham but through Jesus Christ.
You are a child of God, a believer in grace, redeemed by the blood, a soldier of the cross, a follower of the lamb.

Scripture Look at Romans 8. Romans 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

And as a child of God, one day you will ride with the Host of Heaven along with Christ your captain as He returns and claims this world as His own. That’s who you are and how can someone like that refuse to fight the battles of life now?

And like David we have a cause for the fight. Too much is at stake not to rise up and begin the battle.
Your marriage is a cause worth fighting for, your children, family and friends are worth fighting for, your community, your country, your church are worth fighting for. And most of all, the souls of the lost are a cause worth fighting for, until the Lord calls us home.

Get off the sidelines, get past the fear and begin the battle God has called you to fight.

Battle Weapons -  Samuel 17:33-39

 And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.  And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father's sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock:  And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him.  Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God.  David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee.  And Saul armed David with his armour, and he put an helmet of brass upon his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail.  And David girded his sword upon his armour, and he assayed to go; for he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him..

David chooses weapons he knows.

David's confidence was based upon previous battles he had fought and the weapons he had used. He had fought lions and bears with his staff and sling. He would not take Saul’s weapons or armor because he had no experience with them.

Choose Your Weapon

To win your battles you must be familiar with your weapons. You must know how to use God's word. You must know what God says, where He says it and how to apply what He says to any circumstance of your life, any battle you are engaged in. Moses had his staff, Aaron had his rod, David had his sling, Gideon had his trumpet, and you have your Bible, the most powerful weapon of all.  But you must be able to use it?

Can you open up God’s Word and show someone how to be saved? Can you show what we believe as the Church of Jesus Christ? Can you share a verse of comfort and encouragement to someone who is hurting? Can you show what God intended for the family? There are so many battles we are losing because we don’t know how to use the only weapon God has given us.

Paul reprimanded the Hebrew Christians for not be experienced in the Word of God, Hebrews 5:12-14  For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.  For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.  But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Unfortunately, too many times for us what David said about Saul’s armor is true for us when it comes to our Bible, “I cannot go with this, for I have not tested it in the battles of my life.”
You don’t have any other weapon, you better be experienced in handling this one.  

Transition:  The next thing that David does was critical, he prepared before the actual fight would begin.

Battle Prep – 1 Samuel 17:40

And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd's bag which he had, even in a bag; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine.

David Prepares Five Stones

The smoothest stones were taken from the brook, those closest to perfectly round. This meant they would fly the straightest, with the least deviation from straight and true.
David, by preparing and choosing the stones carefully before the battle, was doing what he knew would assure victory.

Our Prepared Stones

Stone of Study. 
2 Timothy 2:15 Study to show thyself approved to God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Stone of Supplication. 
1Thess 5:17  Pray without ceasing.

Stone of Solidarity.  
Ephesians 4:3-6  Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.    There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;   One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who [is] above all, and through all, and in you all.

Stone of Service.
Matthew 20:26-28  But it shall not be so among you: but whoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;  And whoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:  Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Stone of Separation. 
2 Timothy 2:4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of [this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
You can't fight the enemy if you are friends with the enemy.
  Transition:  David after making his preparation, choosing the stones then moves out to fight Goliath.

Battle Victory -  1 Samuel 17:41-50

 And the Philistine came on and drew near unto David; and the man that bare the shield went before him.  And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance.  And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.  And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field.  Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.  This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.  And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD'S, and he will give you into our hands.  And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.  And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth.  So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David.  

David Wins In God’s Power

Goliath stands in his own power
1 Samuel 17:43-44  And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.  And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field.

David stands in God's power
1 Samuel 17:45-47 Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.  This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.  And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD'S, and he will give you into our hands.

Who Wins Our Battles?

Are you trying to defeat Satan in your own power?
If you are then you better realize, that Satan will trick you like he did Eve, he will blind you like he did Samson, he will afflict you like he did Job, he will scare you like he did Peter. They fought in their own power and lost. You can't beat Satan and his champion fear, in your strength or ability, so you better put your faith in you champion, Jesus Christ.

The Bible tells us that the power of Christ is with us.
By God's power you'll run all day like Elijah, you'll beat unbeatable enemies like Gideon, you'll cross uncrossable seas like Moses, you'll walk upon the storms of your fears like Peter because Jesus is you champion and He walks beside you.

Listen to these powerful promises of scripture…
 1 John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me.
Romans 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
Joshua 1: 9  Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee wherever thou goest.


What Giant of fear or doubt are you facing this morning?  Face the giant, otherwise you’ve already lost the battle.  Begin the battle by knowing that you are a child of God and you have a worthy cause to fight for.  Prepare for that battle now. Know your weapon, the sword of the Lord, God’s word and make sure you always have those five stones in your possession.  If you do these things then you will see victory over sin, victory over fear, and victory over Satan in your own spiritual battles.
In the battles we face, may we be like David and always be able to say, “The Lord does not save with sword and spear, for the battle is the Lord's…”

Monday, April 20, 2020

God’s Gift Fights Fear - 2 Timothy 1:7

God’s Gift Fights Fear

Text: 2 Timothy 1:7
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Audio Link

Introduction: Joke: We’ve been preaching over the past few weeks about fear and the child of God. How does a Christian,  deal with fear in this world?  Let me tell you a story. Its about a young soldier who was fighting in Italy during World War II. He jumped into a foxhole just ahead of a hailstone of bullets and bombs. He immediately tried to deepen the hole for more protection and was frantically scraping away the dirt with his hands. He unearthed something metal and brought up a necklace with a silver cross, left by a former resident of the foxhole. A moment later another leaping figure landed beside him as explosive shells screamed overhead. When the soldier got a chance to look, he saw that his new companion was an army chaplain. Holding out the cross, the soldier gasped, "Am I glad to see you! How do you work this thing?"

Well, that soldier had the beginnings of the right idea. The Bible says a lot about fear, 63 times from Genesis to Revelation, we can read the command, “Fear not.” It is almost always spoken to someone who is a follower of God. Our passage today expresses that command, but in a different way.  Turn to 2 Timothy 1:7.

Paul is writing the second epistle to Timothy, and many believe the last letter in the Bible that he wrote. The entire epistle is a word of encouragement from Paul to his “son in the faith” Timothy, from an aged preacher to his young preacher boy. It is also a letter in which Paul is dealing with being locked in prison, and all those who once traveled with him are gone. He names the ones who had deserted him, those who were in other places serving and he says, “Only Luke is with me.” Yet in the midst of his own problems he writes Timothy to help his young friend deal with fear.

Spirit Of Fear - 2 Timothy 1:7

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; 

God Gives No Fear

Paul begins by telling Timothy, God gives no fear. The word used for fear, used here, is Deilias: it means cowardice, or timidity in the Greek.

This may have been an ongoing problem with Timothy, a weakness in his personality.  
In Vs. 8 of this chapter Paul tell Timothy, Do not be ashamed.
In 1 Timothy 4:12 He encourages him to “Let no man despise thy youth”
1 Corinthians 16:10  Now if Timotheus come, see that he may be with you without fear...
In our verse today, Paul is telling Timothy, "Don't be afraid. Don't be a coward in life and especially not in serving God.
If you are feeling fearful, then that is not from God. Nor is it God's will for you. God does not leave His own in in fear.

The Failure of Fear

Paul’s words to Timothy are just as applicable to us. We need to recognize the fear in us and then deal with it according to God’s instructions.  

We all have experienced fear. We know what it feels like. Sometimes it is a sense of danger, anxiety, or worry. Feelings that can overwhelm us, even paralyze us. Fear can stop a church from carrying out the commission, preaching the Gospel or sending missionaries. It can leave a pastor unable or unwilling to lead. It can prevent Christians from standing for the truth or against immorality. It can stop them being a witness and to be unfaithful to the commands and Word of God.  

We need to recognize fear because if we are in the grip of fear then we are not in the power of God. That is what Paul told Timothy and that is what God’s word now tells us.

Fear is powerful, it may be a liar, but it is still very real in most of our lives. It can make us unable to think, unable to act, talk, or even move. It can be so powerful that it can take our lives, destroy our families or decimate our church.

In Romans 8:15  Paul say fear is the outcome of the spirit of bondage, it is like being bound, “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear”

Quote: Fear. His modus operandi is to manipulate you with the mysterious, to taunt you with the unknown. Fear of death, fear of failure, fear of God, fear of tomorrow. His arsenal is vast. His goal? To create cowardly, joyless souls. He doesn't want you to make the journey to the mountain. He figures if he can rattle you enough, you will take your eyes off the peaks and settle for a dull existence in the flatlands. - Max L. Lucado (1955- )

Transition:  God's Gift
When we find ourselves in a fearful situation, the first thing to remember is, "This is not God's will for me.  He will not leave me in fear.
The next thing I must realize is that He has given us gifts to fight fear. Paul says he has given three things, the spirit of Power, of Love and of a Sound Mind.  Let's look at the first gift, Power

Spirit of Power - 2 Timothy 1:6-7

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. 

God Gives Power

Paul reminds Timothy that the spirit of fear is not from God, instead God has given the spirit of power, love and a sound mind. This is not our power, love or sound mind they are all gifted to us from God.

In verse 6 Paul reminds Timothy when this happened. It was when Paul laid his hands upon him. This was probable when Timothy was ordained as a preacher. Now Paul tells him to remember and rekindle that gift of the Spirit of power, when you were ordained to the ministry. 

In 2 Timothy 2:1 Paul again tells Timothy, Be strong in the grace which is in Jesus Christ.
What kind of power is Paul talking about?

The word comes is translated from the Greek word dunomos meaning the ability to do, to perform, to work. Our word dynamo and dynamite are taking from it.
Paul is telling Timothy to stand and do what he has been called to do. To use the power given him to carry out his duty.

The Promise of Power

We must also believe in, accept and then use the gift of power that God has given us.  We should realize that the gift of God is a like dynamo, generating energy in us, a never-ending source of power which is continually available to us.

This gift of power, love and a sound mind, is all one gift and it is given to all of us at God’s calling us to salvation. It is the gift of the Holy Spirit and that is a real as our salvation. 

In John 14:16-17 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;  Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you., Jesus promised us another comforter.  “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

God’s gift is the Paraclete, the comforter, the strengthener, the advocate. Literally, the name means One called alongside to help.

God once made a promise to Zerubbabel who was the new governor of Israel and whose given the job of rebuilding the Temple and holding the nation of Israel together during a time of occupation and defeat. God’s word to him from the prophet Zechariah could be echoed in our own life and times.
Zechariah 4:6 … Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.
That is what Zerubbabel had to believe, that is what Timothy had to believe and that is what we must believe. We have the power of God’s Holy Spirit in us, instead of being afraid, use that power. 

Illustration: The President refuses to throw the switch

In the early 1920’s the White House was not a pleasant place to live.  Rats infested the basement; it was cold and damp and lit only by gas lights.  It was a terrible hardship on any family whose father was elected as president.   The strange thing was that electricity had been put in the White House years earlier but the first president who lived there after the White House had been wired refused to turn on the switch to light a room because he was afraid the new lights were dangerous.
When we live in fear, we are a like that president, through the Spirit we have all the power we need but we’re afraid to throw the switch.

Transition: That brings us to our next gift, Paul said, Of power and of love.

Spirit of Love – 1 Timothy 1:7

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

God Gives Love

The word here is the word agape, it means self-giving, sacrificial love.
If power is the dynamo, the energy source of the Christian, then agape love is the conductor, the wires, that makes the power usable in our life and in the lives of those around us.
Paul was adamant about Christian love.

In 1 Corinthians 13:7-8, (Love) Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.8 Charity (love) never faileth:1 Cor 13:7-8  Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.  Charity (love) never faileth 13  And now abideth faith, hope, charity, (love) these three; but the greatest of these is love.

In Ephesians 4:15, 5:2, But speaking the truth in love..., And walk in love...
Paul knew that when love instead of fear, controlled Timothy he would use the power God had given him.

The Action of Agape

If we are paralyzed by fear, it will be love that unlock our joints and cause us to act in God’s power. Power is the ability, but love is the motivation of the Christian.

Fear tells us, if you try, you may fail, so don't try.  But love says try and if you fail then try again and again and again. Love never fails because love never quits. 

I love this scripture in 1 John 4:18  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 

Look to love because perfect love, the complete, full love of God throw fear out of our lives. 

Illustration: Love takes on a Bulldog.

LeeOra and I cleaning swimming pools in Yuma, AZ.  Once a bull dog which had just had pups decided I was a threat to her.  She took a nip out of my leg and then started advancing toward me for more.  LeeOra, was behind me, but instead of running out the gate she started to come around me to take on the bulldog.  Now by personality, my wife is not prone to taking on attacking watchdogs but because she loved me she didn't think of the danger, she merely acted out of love.

Transition: Paul has been encouraging Timothy by reminding him of God’s gifts through the Holy Spirit and he goes on to the last one, instead of a spirit of fear we have been given the spirit of a sound mind. 

Spirit of A Sound Mind

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

God Gives A Sound Mind

The word sōphronismos (so-fron-is-mos') means discipline, wisdom, good judgment, self-control.
These qualities make it the exact opposite, the antithesis of fear. Fear is undisciplined, irrational and emotionally out of control. When fear controls us, we can't think right and if we can’t think right then we won’t act right. This part of the gift of the Holy Spirit replaces a fearful mind with a sound mind.
Sometimes we just need to stop and think as God has given us the ability to think. Sometime our fears are so irrationally they are ridiculous. Let me give you an example.

Joke: there was a man who was in hospital with a heart condition. While he was there he won $10 million in the Publisher’s Clearing House Giveaway. You know he bought a Readers Digest subscription and hit it big. It happens all the time. It would be simplier to say he just hit the lottery but he’s a Christian and he doesn’t play the lottery, he just like Readers Digest. So he won $10 million and the family was afraid to tell him due to his hear condition. He might go into shock and have another heart attack. So the Pastor is asked to tell him the news. The pastor was a very gentle man and had experience breaking bad news, so they thought he can break this good news gently as well. He goes to the hospital and oh so gently, oh so carefully tell the man, “Brother, you’ve won $10 million dollars” A big smile comes on the man’s face, the monitors don’t flat line and all seems well. In fact the man is so pleased with the news that he tells the pastor.  “You know the first thing I’m going to do with that money? I’m going to give my full tithe to the church.”
When the pastor heard this, he fell down in shock and had a heart attack.

Now that’s a silly joke and our fears can make us think just as foolishly.

The Way of Wisdom

Christians aren’t fools. In fact they are the wisest people in the universe because they have chosen to be on God’s side, chosen forgiveness instead of judgment, love instead of wrath, and eternal life instead of eternal death.  Christians should not have confused, undisciplined minds because God has given Christians a sound mind. 

Ephesians 5:15-16 See then that ye walk circumspectly (carefully, thoughtfully), not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

If we are to redeem the time it will be through wise thought-out, decisions. Not avoiding a decision, not playing it safe, but a decision made through a sound disciplined mind. This can and should happen in the life of Christians because the peace and guidance that comes with the Spirit's presence makes sound judgment a mark of the Christian life.


There was once a farmer and his young son working at night in the barn. The farmer asked his son to go get a tool at the house and bring it back.  The son said, "But daddy, it's dark and I'm afraid.  The father reached for the lantern and handed it to his son.  Son, don't be afraid.  Take this lantern and only walk as far as the light shines and you won't be afraid.  The son trusted his dad and so took the lamp still very much afraid.  He stepped to the barn door and look for the end of the light.  He could see it on the ground a few feet away.  He thought, "I can walk to there."  When he walked to the place where the light had been, he looked again and saw the light was now another few feet in front of him.  "I can walk to there."  Every time he would walk to the edge of the light, the lantern he held would move the darkness a few more feet away. He kept walking through the dark in the power of the light until he was able to do what his father asked.

God has not given us the darkness of fear, He has given us the Spirit which like a lantern held in our hands pushes back the darkness and gives us power, love and a sound mind and we can pass through the darkness of fear.  Trust God and the gifts He has given us through the Spirit, to see you through the darkness?  Don’t let fear steal the blessings God has provided for you.

Quote: The remarkable thing about fearing God is that when you fear God, you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God, you fear everything else. - Oswald Chambers (1874-1917)

It's time we dealt with the fear in our lives.  Some of us are afraid to stand for Christ at work  at school or even on Facebook.  Some of us are afraid to fully make a commitment to God. Some are filled with fear about their finances, health, our jobs, marriages, our children or grandchildren. We can find fear in almost all things in life.  But the gift I need to overcome fear can only be found in the gift of grace in Jesus Christ and the gift of power, love and a sound mind in the Holy Spirit.  

Remember always, God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.