“So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws and it never will…you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, ‘Abba, Father.’ “
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has give us a spirit] of power and of love and sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control].”
Fear is not gentle.
Cowardice does not equal Self-Control.
Power does not need to threaten.
True strength is not fueled by anger.
With urgency, dark emotions cry for action, scream for justice, demand that I give in to them. But they are hostile toward you, Lord. They do not please you and they do not produce good, no matter what good reasons they claim.
Two mindsets. Two spirits. Choice after choice, minute after minute. I let one or the other take my mind.
If I am worried, fearful, angry and self-preserving, I know that my mind is not led by the Spirit who makes heroes, by the God who speaks truth softly in mountain caves after wind and firestorms and earthquakes. (1 Kings 19:11-13)
But it can be.
It is always mine to choose who I will follow, what will be the atmosphere of my heart. I do not have to continue thinking about what agitates or scares me, no matter how pressing it seems, no matter how persistently my inner hostility screams for it. I do not have to settle for impostors of gentleness, of courage, of strength.
The spirit I have been given does not make me a fearful slave. He leads to calm reckoning, sound judgment, stillness in storms.
And I can choose this day to follow Him instead.