“Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.”
(2 Timothy 1:6)
The New International Version (NIV) reads, “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you.”
Stir up the gift of God.
Fan into flame the gift of God.
What is the “gift” Paul is speaking of? He uses the Greek word, charisma (khar-is-mah) which means “a gift of grace, a free gift, undeserved benefit from God.” (commentary, Spirit Filled Life Bible)
Oh, I like that…a gift of grace, an undeserved benefit from God…
My mind is tumbling with thoughts of undeserved benefits from our Father. Thoughts of mercy, compassion, faithfulness. Thoughts of wisdom, lovingkindness, protection, provision…the list goes on, doesn’t it? All of these come under the greatest gift of all – our salvation – offered by grace, fulfilled by love.
I love the fact that the NIV refers to “fanning into flame the gift of God.”
I immediately thought of all the verses that refer to God as a consuming fire. Did you know that our Jewish brothers and sisters believe that each of them contain a spark of His consuming fire? They, like us, believe that they are to be a light to the world. Isn’t that fascinating?
So, if we, like the Jews, have a spark of God within us (through the Holy Spirit) it makes sense that Paul would encourage Timothy to FAN that flame. Have you ever stoked a fire, especially one where only a spark remained? If you close the damper a little, or if you gently blow on it, the spark begins to blaze. It, too, becomes a consuming fire. But it requires action, attention.
What would happen if the spark were left to blaze on its own? It would go out, wouldn’t it? It would become something cold and hard. It would not become the blaze – the light, the consuming fire – it was meant to be.
Often things come into our lives that threaten to quench the flame within us. We suffer hardships, losses, depression, illness or whatever – anything that desires to separate us from the Lord. But sweet friend, the spark is still there. Jesus said He would never leave us nor forsake us. His spark (His gift) is still there, but it might be dim, it might be hidden under a load of care.
Stir up that fire! Fan that flame!
And if you are too weary to blow on it, ask your precious Father in heaven if He might breathe the breath of life upon your spirit and cause it to blaze once more.
Father, I love this! And I love the fact that we share this truth with our Jewish brothers and sisters. THAT is precious knowledge. Help us to see the image of Your flame within us and help us to understand our responsibility to keep it blazing for Your glory. And Lord, I am so thankful that when we are weary, You are faithful to fan the flame for us, if only we will call out to You, run into Your embrace and rest in Your everlasting arms of love.