January 4

Are You Fanning the Flames?

II Timothy 1:6 Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands….

I Timothy 6:20a O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust….

I Peter 4:10 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

II Timothy 4:5b …fulfill your ministry.

Another translation (ESV) for II Timothy 1:6 is “fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you….” Timothy had spiritual gifts that, at least to Paul, were not being used enough and weren’t maturing as much as they could.

How about you? What gifts do you know you have? Forget the ones that you wish you had or are even seeking God about at the moment. What gifts do you know you have? Are you using them now? Are they going through a testing and growth phase? Can you look back and see progress?

If not, maybe you’ve fallen into the same trap as Timothy did. Paul felt the need to give Timothy a variety of encouragements, including calls to boldness and greater faith. Perhaps another reading of this letter would be helpful to us. Perhaps we need some of the same encouragements as Timothy needed to continue stirring up our gifts.

Perhaps the everyday aspects of life have distracted you from using your unique giftings. While we are called to be faithful in what we call the mundane aspects of life, we are also called to be faithful to those special spiritual gifts that God has given us individually. Is it evangelism? Or helps? Administration? Faith, knowledge, or wisdom? What about healings, or miracles, or prophecies?

Many believers have fallen into a common trap of our culture of always wanting to be stirred up by the new. But what God is saying at any given moment is what’s important, whether it pertains to anything “new” or not. It just might be time to ask God instead what He’s already given you that you might have let die down in intensity. What we hope for that’s new and exciting may not be something that’s fresh, but simply the next expression of an old gift.

We will never know what “fanning the flame” or “stirring up the gift” will look like until we do it; only the enemy would suggest that tomorrow will always be like yesterday. So let’s ask God to shine His light on a gift that needs fanning or stirring. Let’s receive His word here and start to fan and stir. What will happen will be newer and more exciting than we can know.

Prayer: Father, please help me to see what needs stirring up in me. Show me how to do that. I receive Your vision and Your encouragement for me to fan the flames of what You’ve already given me.

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