1 Timothy 1:6-7
“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”
This is Paul reminding Timothy of what God instilled in him at salvation. It was a Paul’s way of encouraging Timothy to go on, even though Paul himself was imprisoned. To look inside to the gift of God to strengthen himself.
During this time Timothy had to feel downcast; uncertain of what the future held, uncertain of what to do next. (Does this sound familiar?) He was cut off from the person who had been his teacher and mentor, with whom he had spent a quarter of a century ministering. In some ways I am sure he felt isolated, thrust into the position of leading alone, figuring out what to do next. We can feel that way in our current circumstances. All of us at times can feel isolated, unsure of what is happening, uncertain how to hear God in this time, downcast & discouraged.
Paul reminds Timothy to fan into flame the gift of God. Paul wants him to know that he is more than able because God has placed everything needed within him.
As we face this time of crisis we can all begin to feel a bit weary with the length that things seem to be dragging on. How do we not just survive this time but embrace it?
We fan the flame! We stir up the embers inside and add fuel to strengthen the fire, to give it something to feed on. We must always, now more than ever, dig deeply into the Word and give our spirit something to feed on.
We are constantly barraged by news reports and words of death, despair and hopelessness. However, we are called to be of another sort, we are called to speak life, hope and truth!
How can we do that if we have nothing but embers in our spirit? It can become easy to allow a church service to be our “pick me up” but as believers our source needs to be a deep and abiding relationship with God, paid for by Jesus’ sacrifice and strengthened by His Holy Spirit who is within us.
It is vital that we seek His face, not just for Him to move in the way we expect but to know Him. Over and over in Scripture we see that is His desire, to know and be known. He longs for relationship with us, not just to do things for us.
How do we fan the flame?
1) Spend time in the Word. Get to know God through His holy Scriptures!
a. Hebrews 4:12 tells us “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” It is important that we know how to apply the Word! If you need wisdom? Are confused by what is happening or just feel adrift or lost; read His word.
2) Spend time praising Him. No matter what is happening around us HE IS WORTHY to be praised. – When you don’t “feel grateful” start recounting all the He has done for you in the past. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Doing this recounting reminds us that God will meet us in this time, just as He has before.
3) Spend time in prayer – have a conversation with God. Even in isolation we are never alone. He longs to speak to us, to share with us the things of His character, nature and Kingdom. “Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things which you do not know.”
Look for answers in these places and not from a church service, conference or even another person. Don’t get me wrong I am going to be smiling huge when I can once again meet with my family and church family! But they cannot be the thing I turn to as my source. God loves His kids and He longs to talk with them! Now is a time to realize that you can hear the voice of God! READ, HEAR AND APPLY THE WORD. Fan that flame until it burns bright!!