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Self Will or God's Will
by Rita Langeland
In modern society we see an abundance of “self-will” being exercised. We find it very distasteful when we see it in a child, but seem oblivious to its ugliness when it is expressed in our own adult lives. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “self-willed” as “governed by one’s own will” and “determined to do what you want even though other people may not want you to do it.” When it comes to our relationship with God, “self-will” places us squarely at odds with God’s will.
Fear Is Not Your Friend
by Rita Langeland
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and a sound mind - 2 Timothy 1:7
Some years ago, a local newspaper reported a tragic occurrence. A freight train was passing through a nearby city in the middle of the night. The train engineers saw what they believed to be an oncoming train approaching on their track. One of them became so gripped with fear that he jumped from the train to his death. The other engineer soon found out that the oncoming train was traveling on a parallel train track and the two trains passed safely by one another. Fear led to a 35 year old man’s premature death.
The word FEAR has been aptly described with this acronym:
F – false E - expectations A - appearing R - real. In the case of the train engineer, a false expectation (that the oncoming train would cause a collision) which appeared very real, pushed him to make an unwise and deadly decision.
This true story provides us with a picture of how the spirit of fear operates. However, it is first necessary to understand that the Bible teaches that fear is a “spirit” not an emotion as so many people are taught from childhood. Fear certainly applies pressure to your emotions but “it” is not an emotion but actually an evil spirit. Second Timothy 1:7 identifies fear as a “spirit” when it says: God has not given us a spirit of fear… The commonly held misperception that fear is a natural emotion actually helps the spirit of fear do his “dirty work” without any resistance.
Let us take a look at the strategies of the spirit of fear: