Like most people, I love a good barbeque. The smell of the smoldering charcoal and the taste of burnt sausages coated in ketchup are enough to brighten just about any day! I am definitely not a professional though. I don’t have a fancy gas grill but I do it the hard way – charcoal bricks and about 3 boxes of matches! If I do manage to light a coal it then takes huge effort to get the fire going. The best method I’ve found is to get a plastic tray and to fan furiously until all the charcoal is ablaze. It takes time, effort and sweat to move from the small flame of the match to a charcoal fire which is useful.
In the above scripture we see how Paul was encouraging Timothy to ‘fan into flames’ the spiritual gift that God had given him. What does that mean?
God had planted in Timothy a spiritual gift - but that was not the end of the story. There was something that Timothy had to do. He had to fan it into flames. In other words he had to stir it up or rekindle the gift. To me, this is done through obedience. At some point, Timothy had to be obedient to the call God had put on his life, and walk in the gifting that he had been given. Through obedience (which can take time and effort) he is effectively fanning his spiritual gift into flames – flames which would be fruitful for the Kingdom of God.
So, what are you doing with the spiritual gifts that God has given you? Are you expecting God to take it from a small flame to a blazing fire or are you beginning to walk in obedience to Him and to exercise your gifting in obedience to Him. Often, fear is what holds us back but verse 7 encourages us that we have not been given a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the gifts you have given me. Help me to fan into flames the sparks of life, so that all my gifts will be a blessing to You and all whom You have sent me to serve. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
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