2 Timothy 1:6-7 Therefore, I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God which was given you by the laying on of my [Paul] hands. For, God has not given us a cowardly spirit, but a spirit of power, love, and discipline.
2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord [to which I’ve been referring] is the Spirit. And where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
In the Bible, the Holy Spirit provides freedom. How? He does so by providing human beings with a renewed spirit or inner life.
This inner life is not a one-time infusion of spiritual rectitude. It must be fanned into flame and if not, a Christian can become morally weak and spiritually destitute. The idea is that God provides the Christian with the capacity to exercise power, love, and discipline.
Why do we say that the Spirit brings freedom? Because the spiritual life of the human being who obeys the Spirit of God is a life of discipline. And discipline brings freedom. People who quit smoking have the freedom to breath without coughing, people who drive the speed limit have the freedom to not pay tickets, people who exercise have the freedom of not feeling old, people who practice Spanish have the freedom to speak it, and so-on. There is freedom with the Spirit of the Lord because the Spirit of the Lord plants the seeds of discipline in the spirit of a man.
In contrast to the idea that discipline and routine are dangerous to the Christian life, the most important inference one can make from this is that if you exercise no spiritual discipline, then you are not walking in step with the Spirit.
Here’s a good mindset shift for the Christian in temptation:
When you find yourself struggling to do something unpleasant but good, remind yourself, “I have been given a spirit of power, love, and self-control.”