“Stir up the gift of God which is in you” Paul wrote to his dear son, Timothy. (2 Timothy 1:6) Other translations exhort him to “fan into flames the spiritual gift God has given you.” 1 Corinthians 12:7 A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. Somebody else needs you to use your gifts.
A few weeks ago my power went out. Fortunately I have an alternate heating source, a wood stove insert. I have been saving some wood for just this scenario, but I struggled in getting the fire going. Starting fires from scratch can be difficult. My paper source was limited so it took me quite awhile to get that fire going. I had tiny matches, which with the draft from the stove kept blowing out before I got to the paper! But, I was determined to get the fire going so I could have heat and a place to boil water for my coffee!
In our earlier married life, my husband and I lived in several places where we used wood heat as our primary heat source. The difference between then and now (besides the fact he was usually the fire starter) was we kept the fired “banked” at night. There were usually coals that with a little encouragement or “fanning” the fire would quickly catch the new logs on fire. Paul’s encouragement to Timothy to “stir up the gift of God which is in him” speaks strongly to us today. Have the circumstances of your life caused you to let your gifts go dormant? These gifts can range from all of the spiritual gifts listed in Romans 12 or 1 Corinthians 12, of course. The gifts of encouragement, exhortation, comfort are so needed these days.
Stirring and fanning are very deliberate actions. We, as individuals are to stir up or fan our own flames. How do we do that? First we must believe there is a good gift that needs to be stirred. If your “fire” has gone out or dwindled to almost nothing, please know your gifts are important to those around you. Take time to pray, asking the Lord to bring His truth to the situation is vital. Satan would love for your fire to go out completely. Your influence to be shut down and the help it brings to others to be thwarted. I say it again, your gift is important. Your words of encouragement and caring may be the very thing that spurs another on to stir up their gift. Natural fires go out if the logs are separated. Spiritual life also diminishes if we try to do life alone. Timothy needed Paul’s encouragement. We need to encourage others to keep burning bright. Stir up any dormant gifts you have been keeping in reserve. Activate them, see what God will do in and through you.