Day 10

The Snare of Fear

from the reading plan

2 Timothy 1:1-7, John 14:25-27, Acts 20:24

BY Guest Writer

Text: 2 Timothy 1:1-7, John 14:25-27, Acts 20:24

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
-2 Timothy 1:7, ESV

My Spotify playlist has become the soundtrack to my life. I listen over and over to my favorite songs, sometimes so long and hard I wake in the morning with a song already playing in my mind. Every word and tune sits deep in my soul it feels like part of me.

The playlist sets the backdrop for my day. The songs affect my outlook and my feelings. It’s a powerful thing.

In the context of Timothy 2, there was a cultural playlist. It was loud and it was insistent. Paul heard it. He recognized and wrote about it, warning Timothy not to let those songs get locked in his heart and mind. That cultural playlist was fear itself.

As a former “fear-er”, I need the reminder not to listen to fear because I was subject to it for over a decade. As a young mom, all fear had to do was whisper a word or quietly hum a tune and I immediately obeyed. My life was full of “What if?” and “Oh no!” because I was constantly listening to the fear playlist, tapping my foot to the beat of impending doom. I worried excessively about my kids’ health and safety. I erroneously thought that careful planning would always protect the people I love. But all that anxiety did was make me a fearful mom, an anxious wife, and a tired Christian.

While I thought I was in control, making life safe for my family, I was actually being stripped of power by a spirit of fear.

The spirit of fear is a liar and a manipulator. It begs you to sing along, but when you do, those hypnotic tunes take you under. You become smaller and weaker, spinning out of control rather than abiding in the presence of God.

When we listen to fear, we become powerless. When we partner with anxiety, we lose authority. The spirit of fear is a tool of the enemy, who seeks to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). But our Jesus, He came to give us abundant life to the full—a life of power, love and self-control.

I’m not sure about you, but I can’t afford to listen to a playlist compiled by the enemy. Like Timothy, I need Paul’s reminder to fan the flames of faith and kindle afresh this great hope in my life named Jesus. I am too weak a woman without God’s Word in my mind and His song in my heart. So I choose the playlist of the Spirit, letting those tunes enliven me to the freedom Christ died for me to gain.

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
– 2 Timothy 1:6-7, ESV

Susie Davis
is the author of Unafraid: Trusting God in an Unsafe World. A former fear addict but saved by God’s healing grace, she now delights in uncovering joy one day at at time. She and her husband, Will, co-founded Austin Christian Fellowship over twenty years ago. Susie loves McDonald’s coffee, pink geraniums and the yellow finches that fill her backyard every morning.


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Post Comments (103)

103 thoughts on "The Snare of Fear"

  1. Reylena List says:

    Late to the study, but here nonetheless:
    The theme of fear has been a song in my life for too long unfortunately. Recently the lord has really helped set me free from this I believe he is still chipping away areas where there are fear residual. Living in fear made me a people pleaser, overworked, resentful and unhappy. Now the spirit has taught me that I can live fully and freely in who God called me to be because I am deeply loved. I saw a quote and it said, “how bold one gets when one is sure of being loved.” This is true for my life, when I realized how deep His love is for me I saw how much freedom I could live in. “There is no fear in love”. I’m still working on shedding this fear, but like the author today I will remember that the Holy Spirit can bring a new song into my heart through the truth of his word.

  2. Mariolina says:

    You’ve really imsrpseed me with that answer!

  3. Jade says:

    I loved reading this. It was exactly what I needed to read. I’ve been dealing with severe anxiety over the past 5 months, and as I write this I’m fighting off a panic attack, but this is a great reminder that Jesus gives us the strength to overcome it each and everyda! Thank you God!

  4. Hannah says:

    I can relate to this SO WELL. Anxiety has been my biggest threat since I was a kid. It took me years to overcome it, thanks to therapy and a whole lot of Jesus. I continue to suffer through a power-struggle every now and then, but things are SO MUCH BETTER than they used to be. Jesus is good :)

  5. I use to be a fear and worry addict myself and I have to daily fight against those thoughts! Preaching truth into myself all day long is what I have found helps most! From listening to sermons, worship music, reading she reads truth devotionals, straight up keeping my bible open and reading a chapter of the bible any moment of free time I get… My life is crazy busy… But the busier I get the more I feel a need for Jesus! Without Him I would be a much greater mess than I already am! Jesus brings purpose, joy, and peace! I’m prone to forget so must remind myself ALL the time!!

  6. Gigi says:

    I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed reading your reflection. I’m late in finishing this plan but honestly I don’t mind, I rather catch up slowly day by day than giving up and I’m so glad I didn’t!
    What you said about fear definitely rang a bell and I couldn’t agree more with you in the sense that as children of God, we are called to live a life in His freedom but it’s so hard not to easily fall into the trap of fear, of worry, of doing things just to keep others happy. That is why this chapter resonates in my soul and every day I pray that His amazing and unending love will give me the strength to always move forward even when my din pulls me down, I can stand up in His grace. No fear!
    Be blessed!

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