Saturday, June 25, 2011

Fan the Flame

"For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline." 2 Timothy 1:6-7

Paul is found encouraging Timothy in this passage. Guaging by his words, it appears that Timothy was likely a warm and loving man, but may have had a timid or fearful streak in his personality and needed to be built up. Paul encouraged him to use the spiritual gifts God had imparted to him and often spoke to him about being strong and bold in that.

Timothy, timid in nature, needed to hear Paul's urging to "fan into flame the gift of God" so as to not let the fire burn out or grow dim. Passivity will not produce productivity for the kindgdom, regardless of one's gifts. The bearer of the spiritual gift must cooperate by will to fulfill the purpose of his God-given gifts. They must be stirred up, used often and kept fresh and in full flame to be effective.

When walking in the Spirit and doing kingdom work, God's Word says that fear is not from God. Verse 7 says I have not been given a spirit of timidity. I have been given power, love and a sound mind. Humanly speaking, we all deal with fear in one thing or another, but nonetheless I should press on and do what I have been called by God to do, even in fear. I can use the fear as a reminder to take my thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ and believe the fear is not from God. I can choose instead to take God at His Word and believe I have been given power, love and a sound mind, and walk in that.

The power Christ has given me is not for the purpose of controlling others, but to do His work, proclaim His Word and represent His kingdom well. God has my back and I am safe in His hands, doing whatever He calls me to do. He has also given me a spirit of love that I may serve others well. And I have been given a sound mind that in Christ, can remain calm and self-controlled even in crisis or confusion. It is my job to receive and walk in all that He has given me.

Fear and timidity will try to keep me from using my God-given giftedness to touch His people in a needy world. David Guzik puts it this way: "God wants [me] to take His power, His love, and His calm thinking and overcome fear to be used of Him with all the gifts He has given [me]."

Father God, I agree that I too tend to have a streak of timidity in me, but I also believe You are teaching me to have a voice. In this passage I am reminded that ministry doesn't necessarily fall into one's lap. I must do my part, walk in Your will and be disciplined in spending tme with You in order to keep fanning the flame. Set my heart ablaze for You, I pray. Help me to walk in the Spirit with strength and boldness, power, love and calm thinking so that I can serve You well. Use me Lord to touch this hurting and needy world. In Jesus' name, amen.

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