Monday, April 9, 2012

Godliness is Power

“For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7).

People who are bound by the limits of flesh miss out on so much that God offers. He has given us a whole new meaning in life. He has taken the element of fear out of the equation as He has replaced our timidity with His boldness and He has poured His Spirit of victory into those who have trusted in His power. He has given His victory to whosoever should believe (John 3:16). When we believe in God we cannot believe in defeat. Yes, there will be troubles, trials and temptations, but faith in God removes the fear of defeat that these obstacles place before us.

The Bible teaches us that God has given us the Spirit of power. This is power of great proportions that does not have the will to give up or give in, but will give all for the cause of Christ. Timothy was not going to battle limited by his own power. He was going to the battle with the power to be victorious. Does that mean everyone would listen to what he said, or even change their ways? No, but is the power to stand firm in the faith that God “once for all handed down to the saints” (Jude 1:3). What an encouragement to know that once you have entered the battle you have the power to win. When you fight the good fight of faith, you are fighting with power that can and will not be defeated, no matter what the enemy tries to use against you.

God has also poured His love into each and every Christian. God loves us so that we may know what love is and then how to offer that love back to Him and those around us. He has given us the ability to love even when we are hated and persecuted. When Jesus hung on that cross, He did not ask for the lives of His killers to be ended. In fact, it was just the opposite. He asked for their lives to be extended through forgiveness: “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing’” (Luke 23:34). God has poured that same Spirit that cried out for forgiveness from the cross into His children of faith. He has enabled us, through His love, to be strong enough to pray for those who persecute us, to ask for their forgiveness, and even want the best for them, even though they may be out to destroy us. The battle in which we are engaged as Christians is not against flesh and blood, but against the evil forces that oppose God’s truth (Ephesians 6:12). And because it not a fleshly battle, we need to be taught how, to quote a country song, to “love them through it.”

Another aspect of the Spirit God has poured into His children is discipline. We are like a soldier fighting for his life in a battle zone, like an athlete training to win the greatest race of his life and like a farmer who planted a seed and will work to see it produce fruit (2 Timothy 2:3-6). We are in a battle for souls and we must be disciplined to win. Jesus came as God’s love in the flesh, and His faith in God is our victory over the world. We have been given the ability to deny our fleshly tendencies to enter into suffering knowing maintaining the attitude of Christ throughout our trials is what glorifies our Lord. Our discipline is derived from the faith that sees Jesus sitting at the right hand of God, victorious. Like Timothy, we must allow this faith in God’s power to remove any doubt we once may have owned. This is the spirit of discipline God has delivered to His children. This is the Spirit He wants to guide our hearts, minds and hands to show the world that we are His: “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God” (Romans 8:14). Let God’s Spirit reign in you and show the world that you are truly led by His Spirit.

In Him,