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.
Jesus knew we would live in a time where we would be exposed to multiplied fears all around us; yet the Bible tells us in many places that God does not want us to be fearful. He also explained that fear does not come from God, but rather God wants us to walk in His power, His love and to have a sound mind. People who yield to the spirit of fear can, at some point, become emotionally unstable or end up in bondage that keeps them from functioning normally. I have known a number of people that allowed fear to rule them to such a degree that they no longer fly on an airplane because of fear of it crashing, or they refuse to drive on freeways for the same reason. No longer can they make decisions based on the will of God, but rather fear keeps them from doing the things the Lord wants them to do. Fear has torment and it can even affect our bodies by the stress it causes. Actually fear is at the root of stress and anxiety. Years ago, I personally suffered with this tormenting emotion until the Lord set me free. I was one of those people who was tempted never to fly again after a long stressful flight years ago. However, I was determined not to allow the enemy to keep me from doing anything the Lord wanted me to do.
Coming from a background that taught eternal security to the degree that “once you are saved, you are always saved,” I am very well versed in all the Scripture that supports this view. However, when I came into the Spirit-filled walk, I began to study and read opposite views on this subject and came to embrace them. However, I could not find a peace in the extreme of needing to be saved again every time I sinned, as that certainly had no security in God’s keeping power. Both extremes cause problems in the body of Christ. Let us look to God’s Word and find the balance between these two extremes.
God does not want us to take our salvation lightly, nor does He want us to be constantly insecure with the fear of losing our salvation. Therefore, He gives us Scripture to prevent both of these extremes.
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” (Galatians 6:7-8).
Our choices each day determine our growth in the Lord. We can sow or plant things in our lives that will later bring us blessings; or just the opposite, we can sow seeds of selfishness and rebellion and we will reap things that are corrupt. We will either become more like Jesus by walking and obeying the Spirit of God, or we will become carnal Christians, displeasing to God, when we give in to carnal desires. Sowing to our flesh brings the death principle to our lives for Romans 8:6 says, “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” From this we can see why so many Christians are not enjoying their inheritance in God. They are refusing to “walk in the Spirit” and are reaping the things they are sowing in the flesh.
What does this mean and how do we “walk in the spirit?” This is working out our salvation and allowing the Holy Spirit to sanctify us.