Power, love and self-control

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

2 Timothy 1:7

 

When confronted with the challenges and difficulties in this life, that which we are commanded to overcome, (Revelations 2:7) it is often easier to, out of habit or otherwise, become the victims of whatever it is we are facing.

The response to an unexpected calamity is more than often, either to ignore it by falling into a gradual, downward spiraling depression, or to be suddenly overwhelmed by emotions of sorrow and fear, often as a result of unbelief.

Even though we know the scriptures, we still see how powerless we are against the evils of this world, whether outside our circles of influence or effecting us directly on a personal level.

What then, according to the Word of God, should our expectation be the Holy Spirit who lives and reigns in each of us, who are in Christ Jesus?

 

Power.

The power of God in us. When people look at your life, would they without hesitation say that you are full of the power of God? Would people look at the fruit of the work of your hands, and know that God’s power is mightily in work through you?

We would most certainly say that of Jesus, and yet his Word declares that if his words remain in us, then He is in us and we in him. (John 15:7)

So whatever we are facing, whatever difficulty, whether it be financial, in health, in our relationships, or a major threat to the safety of our community, we need to ask and think upon the power of God in us regarding the situation.

If you are wondering about the definition of the power of God, go and read the stories of Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt, David’s mighty men fighting wars, Jesus commanding the weather to behave but also the power of God through sacrifices of love.

 

Love

It is needful for us to love God above anything (or anyone) else, but are we receiving enough love from Him to love ourselves with a velocity that outshines all the troubles of this world?

We say we love God, but do we spend sufficient time in His presence? The ten minutes of prayer every morning is worth a lot but spend ten minutes with your spouse every day and see where your marriage is heading.

If we really love God, it would show in our actions, (just like any other love affair) and those actions would include ample time reading the Word of God and ample time sitting in his presence (either through meditating or verbal prayer.)

Our love for God, through our very living, should transcend into am unquenchable love for ourselves and ultimately, an equal love for others, of which the result cannot be anything but thoughts, words and actions loaded with power, love and a sound mind.

 

A Sound mind

Many of us are familiar with this verse and we read it with much comfort, sometimes missing the essence of this very phrase at the end.

The King James Version speaks of “a sound mind” and rightly so, for among men, there is nothing more productive, more effective and more powerful in the Kingdom of God, than a sound and healthy mind. Research and science keeps reminding us that most of our illnesses originates in the brain, and that if you want to live a healthy lifestyle, you need to align your thoughts toward more heavenly patterns of love and holiness.

Looking a bit closer at the original Greek word in the verse, sōphronismos, the meaning of the word according to Strong’s is more in the line of ‘discipline, that is, self control: – sound mind.’

Our daily habits can be the biggest culprits with many an unwanted circumstance, but the knowledge of the meaning of this verse gives us something hard to chew on. Seemingly clean thoughts does not quite emphasize the discipline and self-control needed to overcome the mountains we face.

 

If we then, in our true and genuine love for God, ask Him to fill us with the Holy Spirit, (Matthew 7:11) harnessed with persistence in discipline and self-control, then over time and with patience, the power of God working in and through us, will be undeniable to those who are in need. It has the potential to change not only our worlds, but also the lives of so many others.

Written by:  Johannes A Snyman  Photo: Tanja Heffner