Fan into flame
“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:6-7 (NIV)
2 Timothy was Paul’s second letter to Timothy shortly before his martyrdom. From what Paul wrote in this epistle, we can see that he was concerned that Timothy might be weakening spiritually. Paul knew that Timothy needed to carry on Paul’s work to further the gospel message. As any spiritual leader should do, Paul exhorted him to fan into flame his gift (1:6), replace fear with power, love, and a sound mind (1:7), to not be ashamed of Paul or the Lord (1:8), and to hold on to the truth (1:13,14).
We aren’t Timothy and under the threat of Roman persecution, but we sure can accept the spiritual authority given to Paul by God and apply these Holy Spirit inspired mandates to our own circumstances right now.
"I may not face Goliath. But I’ve got my own giants" “Same God” by Elevation Worship
Fan into Flame the Gift of God in You
There’s much to study within 2 Timothy, but the focus in this article is just on 1:6-7. In 1:6, Paul tells Timothy to “fan into flame the gift of God” which is in him. He wanted to remind Timothy that we cannot let the gifts God has given us go unused.
“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” Romans 12:6-8 (NIV)
Do you believe God has given you gifts to use for His eternal purposes? Do you know the gifts God has given you?
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 4:10-11 (NIV)
And once you’ve discovered your God given gifts, never forget to always love the Giver more. For without Him, you have nothing.
Power, love and discipline
In 1:7, Paul is fully aware of the escalating persecution, hostility and deception that Timothy faced as a leader. But he still said that if he was fearful, it was not from God. Instead of fear, Paul says, God gives us power, love and self-discipline. He wanted Timothy to know that God had given him all that he needed for every trial or threat he faced and that he didn’t need to fear because nothing happens outside God’s sovereignty.
“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” 2 Peter 1:3 (NIV)
So in times of fear, in order to put on power, love, and discipline, we, too, must focus on the sovereign nature and perfect purposes of our heavenly and eternal Father. With this focus, as believers we are able to live our lives with godly wisdom and confidence in every situation. However, this mindset sometimes takes time to develop. This takes experience and evidence to rely on. Are you giving God opportunities to show you His great sovereign nature and perfect purpose over your life? Or are you holding onto what is only an illusion of control over your life? Have you taken time to look back on your life and see God’s fingerprints all over the good and bad?
“For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:16-17 (NIV)
Just as he did with Timothy and Paul, God has given you spiritual gifts that are designed to be used to further His Kingdom on earth and bring Him eternal glory. Your gift is not to be wasted. And even further, He has given you everything you need to carry His purposes out. The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives in YOU. Do you believe it?
“And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.” Romans 8:11 (NIV)
If you don’t believe, that’s okay. Just don’t stop there. Find out what’s stopping your belief. Pray. Ask God to help your unbelief. Ask questions. Seek. And allow him to move in your heart and mind. As I can confidently say from my own praying, asking and seeking, you won’t be disappointed. The evidence of Him and His goodness is all around you. Hold fast, and your love will only deepen.
“So why should I fear? The evidence is here. Why should I fear? Oh, the evidence is here.” "Evidence" by Josh Baldwin
My prayer for us all is what Paul prayed over the Ephesians. It is long but worth all the time to digest and pray into:
“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” Ephesians 1:17-23 (NIV)
Yes, and amen.
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