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. 7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 8 So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. 2 Timothy 1:6-8
We all start out differently as servants of God. Some of us start out like Paul, who seems fearless in his ministry from the moment of salvation. He shared the Gospel with kings and tyrants with little hesitation and no regard for his safety. Others start out like Timothy, who by nature was timid. While Paul is ready at all time to face down anyone who opposed the Gospel and preach to thousands, Timothy needed encouragement. It seems like he had a great love for the church, but faced fear and doubt when dealing with non-believers or a hostile audience. Timothy did not score highly on evangelism category on his spiritual gifts test based upon his own natural tendencies.
The great thing is God does not just use one type of personality to accomplish His purposes. He gives us whatever we need to carry out the calling He has for us. The old saying is God does not call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
How does God do it? Look at Timothy – God knows that Timothy tends to be timid so who is given as his mentor, Paul. The guy who fears nothing in service of the Lord. Paul encourages and teaches Timothy to be strong in the areas where he is weak.
More importantly, God gives Timothy the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of power, love and a sound mind. The Greek word translated “sound mind” involves the idea of peace and calm in opposition to panic. God indwells Timothy and is there to provide him with the peace and calm that Timothy needs when that familiar fear starts to creep in. God’s perfect love casts out the fear.
So God does not leave Timothy imprisoned by the limits of his natural disposition. He sends a brother to encourage Timothy and the Holy Spirit with the power to set him free. Timothy just needs to heed the exhortation and fan the flames of the Holy Spirit in him to see the results.
If we are struggling with any aspect of the Christian life as a result of fear, take heart. It is not unusual. A lot of us have been there. Don’t stop there, though. Seek out those who are strong where you are weak and trust in God’s Spirit in you. Let the Holy Spirit cast out fear.
Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 2 Timothy 4:2