We come to junctions in the life of the Church where we have to make a decision to stay the same or change. For some change can be quite intimidating. Others can’t wait to move forward in a different direction. This can present challenges for church leaders. We, however, have a solution for both extremes as well as those somewhere in-between — the power of the Holy Spirit at work in us.
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. (2 Tim. 1:7)
These words grew out of encouragement for Timothy to reach his potential in the Lord by fanning “into flame the gift of God” (v. 6) and to not to let suffering deter him, made possible “by the power of God” (v.8). Verse 7 identifies the Holy Spirit as the power source.
We as His Church should want to reach our potential in Him which requires change. Though managing change in the Church isn’t always easy, we can rely on that same Power Source, the Holy Spirit, to help us.
How the Holy Spirit Helps Us Navigate Change
In 2 Timothy 1:7 we find three provisions of the Spirit we need to navigate change well.
1) “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power”
Sticking with status quo may seem like the path of least resistance. Change may be needed but for some, insecurities hold them back.
- As we let the Spirit have control, we find courage to break out of our comfort zones and soon our perspective changes from dread to joy and thanksgiving (Eph. 5:18-20).
2) “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives … love …”
Some of the greatest problems in the Church come from the way we handle change. The need to change might be correct, but how we manage it can cause more issues than the change itself. Think of the difference a bit more love in the process can make. Remember, love is patient, kind, not envious, boastful or proud. It honors others and isn’t self-seeking or easily angered. Love always protects and perseveres. (1 Cor. 13)
- As we walk in the Spirit, He bears His fruit within us, the first listed being love, and soon we find ourselves acting and reacting with Christ-like attitudes (Gal. 5:22-23).
3) “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives … self-discipline.”
Change may be needed and the path we believe we should take may be correct, but sometimes we’re off on our timing. How easy it can be to keep pushing forward, nonetheless, not waiting for God’s timing and people’s readiness.
- As we walk in the Spirit, He bears the fruit of self-control and patience within us and we soon finding ourselves keeping in step with the Spirit rather than pushing ahead with our own agenda (Gal. 5:22).
How can we dare to proceed without these provisions of the Spirit? He not only helps us navigate change, but to do it well.