As I was studying from II Timothy 1:7 today, I had to stop and chuckle a little as the revelation hit me that my wife and I have always tended to be “doers” and not just “viewers” in life! I remembered an incident way back during the initial years of our marriage and ministry when we had brought a group of wily Middle School students to our first Snow Camp as Youth leaders in the church. I recall feeling kinda out of place and definitely out of the action as we sat in the audience during the teaching and group activity sessions. I realized upon our return home that I had a strong desire to be a leading participant in the action and was not comfortable viewing from a distance in the crowd!
After that I penned a letter to the leaders of our organization and asked to be included in the planning and presentation of the future regional youth events. Since I wasn’t an ordained minister at the time, my request was met with some resistance but was finally granted and for the next few years I participated in the advance planning of group events, led the song services at Snow Camps and became a member of the newly formed regional Camp Committee that made decisions concerning the camp facility that our organization had recently purchased in the Sierra Nevada Mountains on the California/Nevada border.
The same thing happened when I returned to Hewlett Packard after I had left for a few years to pursue another career. I was able to get my foot back in the door working as a temporary assembler and then was rehired when permanent positions opened up. But I discovered that I was going stir crazy working on the line. I missed the action and responsibility of management! So I immediately applied for various supervisorial positions and ended up back in the same organization in the fabrication area that I supervised in before I had left three or four years previously. Like I said… I just like to be a “doer” and not a “viewer”!
II Timothy 1:7 tells us that “The Spirit that God gave us does not make us afraid. His Spirit is a source of power and love and self-control.” (Easy To Read Version) In the original Greek the phrase “does not” expresses “the absolutely negative.” In other words it leaves no room for doubt as to its conclusion. No means no… none… there is absolutely no chance of it happening! The Contemporary English Version states that “God’s Spirit doesn’t make cowards out of us. The Spirit gives us power, love and self-control.”
That to me says that God’s power, love and soundness of mind working in and through us, fills us with a sense of peace that according to Philippians 4:7 will guard our thoughts and emotions through Christ Jesus. (God’s Word ©) Strong’s explains that this effects “our perceptions (and) purposes and reflects our disposition itself.” Dictionary.com defines our “disposition” as “a predominant or prevailing tendency of one’s spirit, natural and emotional outlook or mood… (and/or) one’s state of mind regarding something.”
One whose thoughts and subsequent actions that are based on God’s power, love and soundness of mind (or self-control) will have Godly tendencies, positive outlooks and the right state of mind to handle his or her daily life. I have come to learn that one’s perspective or outlook can also be adversely affected by defaulting to the spirit of fear.
We saw individuals who we always knew to be level headed and wise suddenly turn into someone else when they allowed their minds to be governed by fear instead of love and faith in God’s Word! It became obvious that their fears caused them to hesitate and then step out of the action. Personal interactions became few and far in-between, conversations became strained and accusations were made that were realistically outrageous in their basis of truth!
My wife and I made the decision early on that when the going got tough, we got going… into the Word and ways of the Lord. What we saw and heard in the natural took a back seat to Papa God! And although it always hasn’t been the easiest or most popular direction to take, it has always caused us to eventually “triumph in Christ…” (2 Corinthians 2:14 KJV) It may not have always been the answer we thought we wanted or when we wanted it, but it was always the right answer. His attitude and subsequent actions of power, love and a sound mind have never led us astray! They have always empowered us to not be overtaken by adversity even when all the circumstances may say something different!
The Spirit’s giving of power, love and soundness of mind causes you and I to be right in the middle of the action! It enables us to be “doers” and not just “viewers!” That is probably also why Piper and I have always enjoyed being youth and children’s leaders. Most times our students follow and learn better by our personal examples (be it a pie in the face, participating in an outrageous game, funky action song hand and body movements or just loving on that one kid that everyone else dislikes…) than by words alone.
So… Are you a “doer” or a “viewer?” Do you allow yourself to be affected by fear or by God’s power, love and His soundness of mind working in and through you? As far as I am concerned… life is best where the action is! Wouldn’t you agree? Have a great day. Stay in tune to His Word and keep asking yourself… “What or Whose ACTION am I expecting to be right in the middle of today?”