‘I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you. This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid hands on you. For God has not given us the spirit of fear, timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.’ 2 Timothy 1: 5-7.
I read this passage this morning and was overcome with an understanding that could only have come from the Spirit of God. It was a fresh insight that had never hit me before despite my familiarity with this passage – even to the point of singing the lyrics of “God has not given us a spirit of fear…” since I was 5 years old.
Even though the understanding of this passage came to me all at once, for this post, I will attempt to briefly divide it into three points:
The familial chain
The Spiritual gift
The Spiritual gift “coolers”
The familial chain
Many, like myself, can boast of being born into a strong Christian family, attend Christian citadels of learning, and basically have your entire lives framed around this great man, Jesus.The centre table in the living room of your homes had a huge Bible sitting at the top, and before meals were so much as served, a prayer thanking Jesus was offered.
THIS didn’t guarantee Timothy the Spiritual Gift; but yes, having Lois and Eunice as family, gave him the right faith-building environment – for he SHARED the faith.
Being born into a Christian family does not automatically confer salvation upon us. We need to actively SHARE the faith by allowing that positive influence affect us, by accepting Jesus as our personal Lord and saviour.
Timothy actively shared the faith of his mum and grand mum, and went a step further to let Paul pray for him in order to receive the spiritual gift.
The Spiritual Gift
The gifts of the Spirit is another long lesson that I hope to embark on once again (for myself) in the near future. I have attended many Bible study meetings and Sunday services where the gifts of the Spirit have been spoken about, but insight is sweeter when all that talk informs you to search for yourself.
For now, let’s see the Spiritual gift as the gift of the Holy Spirit coming upon Timothy, anointing him ( and of course, after the Holy Spirit comes upon you, gifts of different kinds are unleashed into your destiny – discernment, speaking in tongue, prophesy etc.).
Paul’s message there told me that it is possible to have the gift of the Holy Spirit, and live as one that had none. If it is not fanned into flames, you live like a slave when you should be a king riding on chariots. See Ecclesiastes 10:7 – ‘I have seen servants riding horseback like princes – and princes walking like servants’.
There was only one explanation I could find for this, LACK OF KNOWLEDGE OF ONE’S IDENTITY.
When you don’t fan your spiritual gift into flames, it lies in you cooly, dormant, and you feel like nothing about you has changed. But when you receive the Lord Jesus as your saviour and accept the gift of his Spirit, you become a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a PECULIAR people! Now, not knowing who you are in Christ sets you up for the Ecc 10:7 Situation, and that is exactly what happens when your spiritual gift is not fanned into flames.
Being a child of God is an active thing. Faith without works is dead. You don’t just LIP your confession of a great destiny, you DO it.
The Spiritual Gift “Coolers”
Paul went ahead to identify the possible factors that could prevent him from fanning the embers of his Spiritual gift – the Spirit of fear, the Spirit of timidity (cowardice, craving, cringing and fawning fear) – in its place a Spirit of love, power and self-discipline (calm, well-balanced, disciplined & sound mind). I thank Amplified version for the synonyms I have in parentheses.
Our spiritual gift should not be cool, they should be on fire.
As a kid, whenever my mother had to cook larger meals because we had loads of guests coming in and the gas cooker in the kitchen wouldn’t suffice, I would join her outside to use the coal pot. I remember always watching in fascination as she strategically arranged the coal into the outdoor cooker, and dropped the fire-match-stick in through a gaping hole in the tightly-knit bunch. At first, they wouldn’t burn. I then took up the assignment of fanning the coal. I fanned and fanned by faith, that inside the fire was getting set to catch. At that moment when I am almost giving up, I would hear the brief cackling sound – IT IS DONE. With the encouragement I would then begin to fan harder and the flames would start rising, you could feel the heat coal emit.
With our spiritual gift, let’s us watch and be prayerful so that fear and timidity don’t rub us of the great destiny God has promised us. When we have no love for our neighbours (enemies and friends alike), when we have no self-discipline (even over something as seemingly inconsequential as Facebook) and we lose our cool in the face of challenges despite knowing God is able (see my post on “Sit Down”), we are NOT fanning the flames of spiritual gift, we are killing it.
What are you doing today to fan the flames of your Spiritual gift? What do you need to do?
Dear Lord Jesus, I thank you for this revelation from your word this morning. I thank you for the privilege of coming to the knowledge of you and the freedom to worship you. We ask you Lord Jesus this day, that if any spiritual “cooler” be found in our lives, empty us of it. Empty us bitterness, fear…and renew your Sprit within us. Help us Jesus, fan the flames of gift in our lives through constant study of your word, active love for our neighbours, and grant us the ability to be self-disciplined, doing everything in moderation. Give us a sound mind Lord Jesus, where others lose their calm, help us to stand in Faith in you. Bless everyone in our lives whom you’ve used to be a blessing to us i coming into the knowledge of you. Thank you Jesus. For in Jesus name we pray. Amen.