“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” – 2 Timothy 1:7
With everything going on in our nation and our world, I have come back to this verse a lot this week. I wanted to share it with you today as a reminder and an encouragement to you. These are uncertain times and when we face uncertainty, most of us default to fear. This is a very natural response and I believe the present challenge of coronavirus has shed some light on why this is.
You see, as I have reflected this week, I have realized that so much of our faith rests upon the certainty, stability and security that we so easily take for granted. In other words, it is easier to not have a spirit of fear and timidity when all is well.
But, what if it takes uncertainty and instability in order for us to truly experience the power of this verse?
How can this verse speak to us in the midst of what we are going through as a nation?
First, for the follower of Jesus, a spirit of fear and timidity is not from God. We may have fearful thoughts and we may feel concerned. But we don’t let it linger. We don’t let it take root. We don’t let it become our overall spirit or attitude. Practically, here is what that means: Make sure your time in God’s Word outweighs your time keeping up with the latest news on the coronavirus.
Second, we have a spirit of power. This power does not come from our own strength or understanding. It comes from God. Again, let me challenge you to spend extra time in prayer with God this week and ask Him to remind you of His power. Philippians 4:6-7 tells us clearly what happens when we pray: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
Third, we have a spirit of love. This means that we think of others before ourselves. I know many of you are currently doing this and we are modeling this as a church as well. We have reached out to our local Montgomery Baptist Association in an effort to serve smaller congregations and churches who may not have the same level of technology and production ability that we have been blessed with. We have let them know that they can use our technology and production team to record their Sunday worship services ahead of time and then we will help them send these worship services out to their congregations. We are also offering to help these churches set up online giving so that they too can continue in the mission that Jesus has called them to.
Finally, we have a spirit of self-discipline. This reminds us that no outside voice or force can control our walk with the Lord. Coronavirus may have disrupted our regular routines in significant ways, but it will not dictate our walk with the Lord. As followers of Jesus, we have all we need. We have God’s Word. We have access to God through prayer because of Jesus. And we have the Holy Spirit in us.
So, let me challenge you Vaughn Forest, let’s keep being the church! While we may not be physically gathering in our building that does not mean we aren’t still being the church!
Please be on the lookout for a video from me that will be released either tomorrow or Friday about what to expect for our online worship gathering this Sunday, March 22 as well as a few other things the Lord has put on my heart.
I am honored to serve as your pastor!