Sunday, March 18, 2018

2 Timothy 1:7 - The Sprit of Power

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).

As I thought about this idea of spiritual power and how we can obtain it, my mind was turned to the first chapter of Moses where it describes how the creation was accomplished.  

     "And by the word of my power, have I created them, which is mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth." (Moses 1:32)

I have often thought about that phrase “the word of my power”   It is used again in Jacob 4:9.  This verse seem to explain it more clearly.

     "For behold, by the power of his word man came upon the face of the earth, which earth was created by the power of his word. Wherefore, if God being able to speak and the world was, and to speak and man was created, O then, why not able to command the earth, or the workmanship of his hands upon the face of it, according to his will and pleasure?" (Jacob 4:9)

All of the things that God has created are obedient to him.  Except for one.  A careful reading of Abraham chapter 4 clearly shows that the elements that came together to form this earth obeyed the word of His power.  As you read that chapter, focus on words like order and obey.  Now go back to Abraham 3:25.  We (mankind) were placed on this earth to see if we would obey.  Unlike the rest of God’s creations who have already demonstrated their obedience to the word of his power (Abraham 4:31), man was given agency to see if he would obey (Abraham 3:25).  

How does that apply to each of us obtaining and using the power of God in our lives?  Let me use this example to illustrate.  When Enoch was called upon to prophesy and cry repentance to the people (Moses 6:27), he listed a series of inadequacies in including his youth, how much the people hate him, and that he was “slow of speech” (Moses 6:31).  However the Lord promised him that he would justify all of Enoch’s words (Moses 6:34) and that he would have the power to move mountains and turn rivers from their course.  Now contrast those initial feelings that Enoch had about his ability to serve with this scripture:  

     "And so great was the faith of Enoch that he led the people of God, and their enemies came to battle against them; and he spake the word of the Lord, and the earth trembled, and the mountains fled, even according to his command; and the rivers of water were turned out of their course; and the roar of the lions was heard out of the wilderness; and all nations feared greatly, so powerful was the word of Enoch, and so great was the power of the language which God had given him." (Moses 7:13) 

All of this was the working of a young man who complained that he was slow of speech.  What happened?  What changed?  

President Thomas S. Monson clearly teaches this principle:

     "Now, some of you may be shy by nature or consider yourselves inadequate to respond affirmatively to a calling. Remember that this work is not yours and mine alone. It is the Lord’s work, and when we are on the Lord’s errand, we are entitled to the Lord’s help. Remember that whom the Lord calls, the Lord qualifies." (Thomas S. Monson, “Duty Calls”, April 1996 LDS General Conference)

We know that when we are equally yoked with the Lord that he can do far more with us than we can do with ourselves.  The key appears to be that we must cast off fear and doubt and allow the power and love of God permeate our souls, change our hearts, and deepen our resolve.