Fear is the enemy’s chief weapon against most Christians, in most circumstances. It is the main cause of sin in most lives and it steals from the fulness of millions of people’s lives and thousands of Christian meetings each year.
The reason fear is so powerful is because fear paralyses. It halts you in your tracks. The spirit of fear leads more church services than the Spirit of God does. It controls more worship times, imprisons the gifts of the Spirit in us and turns the shout of victory into a whimper of embarrassment. It turns dancing into shuffling and creativity into predictable liturgy. It keeps us “safe” from experimentation and guarantees the bland will always win. Fear is the sworn enemy of the river of true worship.
The apostle Paul is addressing his young protégé in 2 Timothy 1:6 and commands him to “fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you”. Paul is showing Timothy that there is something in him that is supposed to be a great big burning bonfire and it is his own duty to keep it blazing brightly. He must fan it into flame himself.
This tells us that Timothy’s bonfire could easily become a smouldering ash heap if he wasn’t careful. The supernatural energy and gifting from God could easily wane and dampen. And it is the same for you and me. There is a divine deposit of gifting and “fuel” inside of us that is so powerful, and yet so delicate, and it is our duty to keep it blazing inside us. It is vital that we know what extinguishes the flame of the supernatural. In the next verse Paul goes on to show us the very thing that turns the blazing bonfire into a smouldering wick:
“fan into flame the gift in you…For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and of self-discipline”
Fear is the fire extinguisher of all God’s gifting within us. Do not allow it to take your praises and lock them in some predictable prison cell. Don’t let fear lead your worship, dictate how loud you can shout, whether you should kneel or not, or whether you can step out in the gifts of the Spirit. Ignore the feelings of fear and simply start doing the very thing that terrifies you. Fear will eventually stop knocking on your door.