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 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
For what reason? Why did Paul tell Timothy to fan into flame the gift of God that was in him? In the previous verse Paul wrote that he had been reminded of Timothy’s ‘sincere faith.’ That kind of faith is special! Most human beings do not have faith in God, let alone a ‘sincere faith.’ But Paul saw that in Timothy… and because of that Paul tells Timothy to ‘fan into flame’ that gift. Ministry and serving Christ begins with faith.
It’s been cold here in Eugene this week. Bitterly cold! It’s what’s making the news these days. It’s 11 degrees this morning which is up from 8 degrees yesterday! Our woodstove has had a workout this week. Again this morning I rose up (too) early to stoke the fire and add more wood. There was no fire, just some dimming coals. I almost waited too long! I added some small pieces and began to BLOW – and after a couple dozen exhales, the wood burst into flame. If I hadn’t added the wood and supplied significant amounts of air, the dimming coals would have gone dark and the much needed heat would be no longer.
What type of wood do I need to add to my fire? From where will the air flow from? Fire naturally diminishes. Don’t blame the woodstove.
Timothy had sincere faith, but the ‘heat’ of his ministry was dimming. He was a special young man, but his service for Christ was becoming invisible. ‘Fan into flame the gift of God that is in you…’
We understand from verse 7 that Timothy struggled with fear. Maybe he had self confidence issues. Paul tells him to be strong! Be a good soldier for Christ (2 Tim. 2:1-4) because God has given us a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline (2 Tim. 1:7). In life and ministry there are all kinds of reasons to be fearful. There are all kinds of causes to be timid, but this is not from the Lord. Power. Love. Self-discipline.
Lord Jesus, I ask that You give me ‘insight into all this’ (2 Tim. 2:7). I begin with faith. May my faith be as sincere as Timothy’s! From that place instill within me power, love and self-discipline. My confidence is in You! There’s nothing to fear, really. I fix my eyes on You and trust You to do Your work in me and through me – all for Your glory and my enjoyment. Thank you! I live for You this day…