Define Your Reality - Day 2

***This post was part of a Define Your Reality Devotional Series during the 30 Days of Prayer for Family Life Church in March of 2020. It was written by Robbie Ashlock.***

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 did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. - 2 Timothy 1:6-7

       Paul is writing to Timothy a letter of encouragement and hope. He wants the young man to understand the depth of all that he has in Christ Jesus. He begins his second letter reminding Timothy of the depth of his faith. I love how Paul describes Timothy’s faith, sincere. Paul knew that Timothy struggled, as we often do, with the depth of his faith.

       Have you ever prayed a prayer like this? “Lord, forgive me for not trusting you enough with my life, my family, my job.” Or maybe, “Lord, here I am again. I just can’t seem to understand what is really going on in my life. I want to trust you and lean on your understanding, but it really feels like you aren’t here. And if you are, it doesn’t feel like you’re listening. I want to hear your voice. I want to know that I am on the right path, but everything around me tells me that I am all alone.”

       For many of us we would describe a prayer like this as weak and faithless. But Paul would say it is sincere. A heartfelt, deep, genuine prayer telling God how we really feel. Why is it that we are so afraid to tell God how we really feel? To open our mouths and cry out the depth of our hearts. Maybe it’s a pride thing, “I have to be strong. I must have a vibrant faith that stands the test of time and never struggles.” But I think it’s more of a fear thing. Admitting to ourselves, and to God, that we don’t have it all together and really don’t understand all that He is doing.

       Paul wanted to remind Timothy that he wasn’t alone. The same God who had started the journey of faith with him, so long ago, would be faithful to complete it. But it was going to take time and diligence on Timothy’s part. He possessed a sincere faith. A real, honest to God faith in Jesus Christ, but it still needed to grow and mature. Paul used the words, “fan into flame the gift of God.” What was that gift? The greatest gift that we have ever received, His presence.

       God loved us so much that He sent His one and only Son to be with us. Because of what Christ did on the cross and the power of His resurrection we are now free to experience an intimate relationship with God. Not only that, but God has also given us His Spirit. God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and self-discipline.

       First, God has given us a spirit of power. The same power that conquered the grave lives in you and me. His Holy Spirit has been given to us as a deposit securing our place in Christ. We are no longer left to face the storms and trials of this world on our own. We now have the power of Christ alive and well inside of us.

       Second, God has filled us with His love. We are fully known and fully loved by God. We don’t have to hide anymore. He knows everything there is to know about us, and He loves us unconditionally. Not only that, but His love fills every aspect of our hearts and lives. The thought that you are alone and have nowhere to turn. The feeling that God has abandoned you and refuses to listen to you. Those are the lies of the enemy, who wants us to forget who we are in Christ.

       And lastly, God has given us a spirit of self-control. That is the ability to stop and take every thought captive. To pause and say, “Wait a minute, what does God’s word say about my situation? Who does God say that I am?” God’s word tells us that He will never leave us or forsake us.

       Today, will you take a moment to lean into the true reality of who you are in Jesus Christ? Will you pause to take captive every thought and hold it up to the truth of God’s Word? You can be sincere and honest. That is how God wants you to come, but also take the time to listen to what God has to say. Maybe your faith is weak, but that’s okay because our God is strong. And He did not give you a spirit of timidity, but of power, of love, and self-control.

Keep the Son in your eyes, Pastor Robbie

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