Each of us has been given spiritual gifts, and each of us has a special calling (or perhaps several callings) throughout our lives. These gifts and callings are hand-selected by God, for you, to bless his church and impact the world around you. Yet sometimes, even with this knowledge, we can experience a spirit of fear regarding what God has called us to do.
Do you ever doubt or second-guess your gifting? Do you question your ability or your worthiness to fulfill God’s calling for your life? If you are struggling with fear surrounding your calling, I am going to tell you something right now: that fear is not from God.
Second Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (NKJV).
You have probably heard this verse many times before, but today I want to talk about it in the context of living out our callings and letting others live out theirs.
Fear may be coming from outside forces, from past trauma, from mental health issues, or from your own insecurities, but one thing you can know for sure is that fear is not coming from God. Furthermore, God is not angry or disappointed in you for feeling fear. Fear is a natural human response, but God will never give you that spirit of fear.
I also want to point out that there are people out there who will want to limit your gifts; they will want to suppress your calling based on your sex, your race, or your social status. This is not from God either. In fact, they are actually operating from a spirit of fear themselves. They may fear that if you reach your full God-given potential it will take something from them, perhaps their power, their position, or their pride. Whatever their motivation may be, their attempts to limit you and your gifts and calling come from a place of fear on their part, and they are not from God.
Now we’ve talked about what God has not given us, so let’s talk about what God has given us.
1. The spirit of power
In 2 Timothy we learn that God has given us the spirit of power. From the Greek, this can be translated as “special miraculous power.” Each and every believer is filled with this miraculous power because we are indwelled by the Holy Spirit. The same power that raised Christ from the dead lives in you! You don’t need to be timid, because this miraculous power equips you to fulfill any calling God has for your life. And because this power is equally distributed to all believers, those who would seek to limit your gifts and calling do not need to be afraid either. You living out your calling will not subtract one iota of their spiritual power, because the power of the Holy Spirit is given to all who are in Christ.
2. The spirit of love
God not only gives us the spirit of power, but also the spirit of love. This is agápē love, the same type of love that is listed as a fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5. This love is actually a by-product of the miraculous Holy Spirit power we just talked about. And this spirit of love combats fear and timidity. As 1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear” (NKJV). If you are experiencing timidity around your calling, or fear about embracing the callings of others, you need to lean further into God’s perfect love. And you don’t even have to go looking for it because, as 2 Timothy says, God has already given it to you. All you need to do is lean into the truth that you are so very loved by God. You have God’s affection and affirmation to fulfill your calling.
3. The spirit of self-control
God has given you the spirit of power, God has given you the spirit of love, and God has also given you the spirit of a sound mind. A better translation of this word is actually “self-discipline” or “self-control.” Notice that God did not give you the spirit of control over others, nor did God give others the spirit of control over you, but instead God gave you the spirit of self-control, of self-discipline, and self-moderation. Because the Holy Spirit lives in you, you are able to self-regulate. You don’t need to rely on fear-induced legalistic rules to keep on track with your God-given gifts and callings. Because you are given Spirit-infused self-control, you do not have to be distracted any longer by timidity or diverted by a fear of other’s callings.
You are miraculously empowered by the Spirit and given the spirit of love and of self-control.
You are free now to live out the fullness of your calling with boldness, security, and focus, moving forward into the life that God has planned for you. So, when the naysayers and doubters start hurling fear in your direction, remember this: that fear is not from God!
So, move forward, steadfast, toward the calling God has for you!
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