II Timothy 1:7 says, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but He has given us a spirit of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.” (AMP)
While meditating on this verse this morning, the Lord began to highlight to me the words, for God did not give us a spirit of…but He has given us a spirit of. I started thinking about the many spirits that we encounter in a day and I was reminded of the truth that God is a spirit and so is the devil, therefore, both spirits are active in our world. If we as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, do not stop and seek to discern the source of the spirit we may be believing spirits that are not of God.
I was speaking with my Pastor, Frank King yesterday and he encouraged me to get to know American culture again, as it has changed a lot over the past 9 years that I have been living in Malaysia. He said, it would be advantageous for me to observe the changes in order to speak into the culture more accurately. He went on to add that it has gotten worst, and that the church has absorbed some beliefs that are anti-Christ and they do not even realize it. So, this post is inspired by that conversation as the Lord highlighted this verse to me.
I John 4:1 says, “Beloved, do not put faith in every spirit, but prove (test) the spirits to discover whether they proceed from God…” As followers of Christ we have a responsibility to test every spirit, so that we can discern the source of the spirit. Our world operates by spirits, we speak of the spirit of the world, the spirit of God, the spirit of the age, the spirit of America and so the idea of living in a spirit world is not foreign to us. The challenge is, many of us are not testing the spirits that we are believing and receiving. Did you know that every television show you watch, every article, book, or newspaper you read, anything that is sending a message, verbally or visually has a spirit behind it?
I learned yesterday that our education system, is teaching our children about homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle choice, beginning in Kindergarten. Then I heard that on the radio people were calling in saying, that Prince William and Kate’s baby should not be called a boy, because the child is too young to know what sex they are. I was stupefied. Homosexuality is a spirit and we need to discern whether its source is from God or from somewhere else. Once we discern its source, we need to choose whether we will receive it or not.
God, our Father does not give us a spirit of timidity, we cannot be afraid to speak out about spirits that are not of God, but are being brought into the church, into our school systems, into our homes. We need to be able to discern the spirit of timidity as having its source in fear, which is not of God. Once we discern it is not of God, we are not to submit to that spirit.
In addition, we need to discern what spirits are of God, many people, unknowingly come into church and reject the spirits that have their source in God, and miss out on a life of blessing, favor, peace, and truth. God is a spirit and He releases spirits into our lives that he is inviting us to receive. God gives power, power to heal the sick, power to renew the mind, power to bind up the broken hearted. Some people have rejected the power of God, because they do not realize the source is God. God uses doctors, counselors, people who carry the spirit of power to help us. Once you discern the source is God, welcome it, receive it, believe it with open hearts and minds.
One final thought, God is spirit and His spirit is love and the bible says, perfect love casts out all fear. The spirit of fear is more rampant in our lives than many want to admit and the Lord is calling His followers to embrace His love, for unless we have intimate knowing of the love of God, we will never be able to live fearless lives. The spirit of the world, is a spirit of fear, if they can make you afraid, they can control you. God’s love is liberating, not controlling, my prayer is that we would discern the source of real love, which is God and not be afraid to let go of control, fear and every spirit that is not of God and enter freely into the immensely deep and wide love of God.
It is high time we start knowing what God gives.