People can often be very intimidating, especially when they are in positions of dominance or authority. We can be intimidated by our spouses, by our employers, by cops, by politicians, and just about anybody with a loud voice and a belligerent attitude.
Situations can be intimidating as well. Whenever new challenges come our way, like a new job, we can feel very anxious. Some of us are fearful of traveling, or of animals, or darkness. Most are afraid of death. But fear is not for the Christian.
In a letter to his protégé Timothy, the apostle Paul wrote, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7). Paul was in jail at the time, and instead of Timothy encouraging Paul, who was facing execution, Paul was encouraging Timothy, who was afraid because Paul was imprisoned.
Paul was never intimidated by anything that came his way. He was lashed, beaten with rods, and pelted with stones. He was shipwrecked and always in danger wherever he went. See 2 Corinthians 11:16-33 to see the trials he faced. If anyone had reason to be afraid, it was Paul, yet he was brave as a lion. How? Because he knew who he was! He was a child of God with the Spirit of God!
In another letter, Paul wrote: “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship” (Romans 8:15). We are children of a mighty God. How can we lead lives that are not a reflection of that? Yes, we can feel afraid, but we need not give in to that fear. I often think about Daniel in the lion’s den. Did he not flinch when a lion looked his way? I am sure he did, but then he reminded himself that his God was more powerful than any lion.
So, my dear friend, maybe you think it is in your nature to be cowardly and run from danger, or cringe when somebody yells at you, or roll over and play dead when somebody tries to destroy you (or your reputation), or become nervous when faced with new challenges. But whatever your natural disposition, when you are in Christ, you obtain a supernatural disposition that makes for a fearless and bold person. Therefore, don’t allow yourself to be intimidated by anyone or anything that comes your way.
You have a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline. Don’t you ever forget. Especially that part about love.