Stirrin’ Up the Holy Spirit
There are some strong emotions in the passage above.
It starts for me with “stir up”. I teach middle school. When I hear that phrase I think of someone causing trouble. They’re right in the middle of something (someone) poking a stick in a wound that was almost healed trying to make it bleed. It’s good ‘ole Paul talking above, and he is trying to awaken something…the gifts given to Timothy through the Holy Spirit. He’s wanting to see some Christian life in Timothy.
Do we need a Paul to come poke a stick in our almost healed over gift of the Holy Spirit? I don’t know about you, but sometimes my life in Christ seems like I left it in the tomb. Sometimes I need a little stirring up.
Paul moves right past that stirring to a reminder that God has not given us a spirit of fear. Fear is a strong emotion. It can render a person to stop living completely. Fear is not of God. If we are ruled by fear, we are being ruled by Satan. That, my friends, is scary stuff.
If God didn’t give me a spirit of fear, then what did He give me? Strong emotions again. God has given us a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind.
Ha! How many of you are like, “Yeah, right! Musta skipped over me!”
God gave us a spirit of power. Acts 1:8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.
When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we have God’s power infilling us. If that doesn’t knock the fear right outta ya, I don’t know what will. God’s power trumps Satan’s fear every day of the week.
God gave us a spirit of love. I’m not a very loving person. I don’t demonstrate love. Demonstrative love makes me uncomfortable. Romans 5:5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we have the love of God infilling us. That love cannot be contained. It bursts forth, out, over, and permeates us onto everyone we come in contact with. The spirit of love leaks from us and works in spite of my discomfort.
God gave us a spirit of a sound mind. Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.
When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we are filled with a clear mind. God expects us to use our unclouded mind to study, think, and process. Our thoughts should be centered on Him, not clouded by toxins that pollute and taint the process, and take our focus off of Him.
The next verse continues the trend of highly emotional words. Ashamed. How many of us have never felt shame?
When Googling the definition of ashamed, the following comes up:
Reluctant to do something through fear of embarrassment or humiliation: “I am not ashamed to be seen with them”.
Don’t be embarrassed or feel guilt of the testimony, don’t be reluctant to share in the suffering, because God Himself has saved us and called us with a holy calling!
How awesome is that?!?! God Himself saved us and called us! He didn’t send someone else to do it. He didn’t leave it to chance. God Himself saved us and called us. I don’t have to wonder…I can be assured that my salvation is secure.
Now, let’s look into that salvation and calling. “…not according to works, but according to His own purpose…” My calling has nothing to do with my works. Nothing. It doesn’t even have anything to do with the “good” I desire to do. My motivations don’t play a part. Why did he call me with a holy calling if it has nothing to do with my works? Because it’s all about His own purpose.
God has a purpose for my life. Yours too! A holy purpose.
A purpose that is far greater than anything we could dream or desire. A purpose we can never deserve or earn. It is only through the grace He provided us through Christ Jesus that we have access to the Holy Spirit, the power, love, sound mind, salvation, holy calling, life more abundant…the list goes on and on.
Before God formed us in the womb, He knew us, had a holy plan for us, prepared Jesus as the way for us, and loved us more than we will ever deserve.
Because of the depth of that love, that mercy, that grace, we can rest assured that He is able to keep our salvation secure until the day He calls us home and we should not be ashamed to use that power, love, and sound mind to live loudly the holy calling He has placed on our lives as we live on the earth He has created.