What You Need in Life (Power, Love, and a Sound Mind)

God's word tells us what we really need is life: power, love, and a sound mind (all three, all the time). Because when we function from a place of fear (anxiety, not wanting to displease others, not wanting to rock the boat, fear of failure, fear of not having enough) or timidity (inability to voice the truth, inability to voice how we’re really feeling, inability to be the people we are created to be) we’re not going to operate from a place of love.  Read the full post for more.

Recently God was talking to me about confidence, and He reminded me that when we call on Jesus to lead our lives, we receive His Spirit of power, love, and a sound mind. I think about this all the time. What it means to have a spirit of power or of love or of a sound mind? I wonder if I’m allowing Him to fill me with power, love, and a sound mind.

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. – 2 Timothy 1:7 (NIV)

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 (KJV)

2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT): For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self discipline.

This time He helped me see it’s not a spirit of power sometimes, a spirit of love other times, and a sound mind only when we need it. It’s all three. All the time. Power, love, and a sound mind. Because they go together.

When we allow God to inform our thoughts, to open our eyes and renew our mind, we can see as we didn’t see before. We know right from wrong. We know what He’s asking us to do.

That renewed mind not only gives us power over sinful thoughts, temptations, and ugly emotions. The Spirit gives us the power to do what’s right, and the ability to do it with love.

We are exercising power, love, and a sound mind all at once. We are more than conquerors through our Savior.

But here’s the other thing. The first part of the verse says, but God did not give us a spirit of fear and timidity. And there’s a reason for that, too. Because when we function from a place of fear (anxiety, not wanting to displease others, not wanting to rock the boat, fear of failure, fear of not having enough) or timidity (inability to voice the truth, inability to voice how we’re really feeling, inability to be the people we are created to be) we’re not going to operate from a place of love.

Because eventually we’re going to become bitter. And we’re going to resent whatever it is around us that we keep saying yes to when we want to say no. Or whatever we keep standing silently by when we should speak up. And that resentment is going to affect the way we feel about everything else around us and our understanding of God’s love.

Instead of stepping up in power and confronting the issue in love (with the power of one who can model another way or make another choice), we’ll be overpowered by it. Instead of operating with the agency of the Holy Spirit, we’ll be overtaken by bitterness that comes from feeling a lack of control.

Even when we know this isn’t our home. Even as we anxiously await Christ’s coming or the day we see Him face to face in heaven, and I do anxiously await those things, don’t you also struggle with wanting this world to be just a little easier? Sometimes I understand the people who are bitter and angry and hurt. I’ve been one of them. And Christ healed me of those feelings.

But man… when I’m not sticking close to Him, it’s easy to let those feelings happen again and need to be healed all over again.

So we are more than conquerors. But we’re still at war against an enemy that, while he’s already lost, isn’t going down without a fight.

For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. – Ephesians 6:12 (NLT)

I’d love to pretend it’s not the case, but I’d be wrong. So let’s continue to be conquerors. Let’s hold tight to our inheritance as coheirs. Let’s encourage each other on when one of us is weary, tired, worn out to the bone, and ready to give up. But seriously, let’s never stop praying for the Spirit to intervene. For Him to make His home in our hearts. For His power, love, and sound mind. Because we can’t go a day without it. And our very inner lives depend on it.

Original photo of Young Girl Smiling by Anna Langova. Adapted by Stephanie Oh.

Watercolor of 2 Timothy 1:7 by Stephanie Oh.

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12 comments

  1. Thank you for this, Kim. I’ve been in challenging places lately, and your words are speaking into them. I love this idea of all three things at once, that they need to be working together in concert. You’ve given me something to think about, as always. Thank you!

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    1. Cara, I hope those challenging places don’t last long. I wrote this a couple weeks ago during my quiet time, and somehow God always shows me new things when I’ve got a pen in my hand. By the way, I have my guest post topic now! I’m hoping to draft it up soon, and I’ll catch up on emails / goodreads soon. 😉 Hugs.

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      1. Wonderful, Kim! Looking forward to hearing from you 🙂
        I’m torn, the challenging places seem to be where I’m being refined and learning the most, but they are hard. For sure.
        Hugs to you, too!

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  2. This is excellent Kim, and one of my favorite verses for obvious reasons! Thanks for all your comments on my blog. Good to hear from you again. Hugs and love, friend …..

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    1. Renee, I was so glad to finally catch up with your blog after weeks of traveling. Hesh and I were just talking about your story last night before bed. It’s so cool to watch everything unfold as it’s happening. God is good. 🙂

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  3. Holla about wanting this life to be a little easier:) And yes, sometimes I too need healing all over again when I don’t stick close. I need to meditate more on this verse. It is such a calming verse when it comes to mind in a hard circumstance. Lots of great food for thought in your post. Needed to be reminded that the enemy isn’t going to back down any time soon, and ignoring that truth gets me in trouble. Thankfully we are the victors in the end. Yeah for that:):)

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    1. I LOVE that you said holla! 🙂 Yes, I totally know what you mean about ignoring that truth. Steph gave me a book called The Invisible War by Chip Ingram that is a great read about living in that truth. I’m only a few chapters in, but I recommend it and am learning a lot! XOXO.

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  4. I love how the Amplified Bible translates it as a “calm and well-balanced mind.” Oh, man. I think we could *all* use a little more of that, right? Well, I know I certainly could! As I was looking up the other translations of 1 Timothy 1:7, I started thinking about the correlation to Galatians 5:22-23 regarding the fruit of the spirit. As you are saying here that all three (power, love, sound mind) are present at once, all the qualities listed in Galatians 5:22-23 are also present all at once because they are descriptions of the Spirit–and the Spirit’s either present or He’s not. We’ve been given access to the full Spirit and, as it says in Galatians 5:25, we need to work to “keep in step with the Spirit.” I loved reading the Amplified version of the fruit of the spirit, so I’ll include it here:

    “But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence).” Galatians 5:22-23a AMP

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    1. I love this correlation and also the note about Galatians 5:25… I need to look that part up! Yes, I bet a “sound mind,” “self-control” (as many translations put it) and a “calm and well-balanced mind” are many ways of saying the same thing. I just realized another amazing correlation to “being still.” The fruit of the Spirit leads to a calm and well-balanced mind – stillness in our hearts and minds. Thanks for sharing!

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