“Therefore, I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:6-7
Paul loved Timothy like a son and he had a great desire to see him again. But, imprisoned and on death row, that reunion seemed unlikely to take place. So, Paul wrote one more letter to Timothy to encourage him to be strong, courageous, and to be faithful to the calling God had given him, to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The phrase “stir up,” brings to our mind a picture of fanning a fire that has gone out, that was growing cold, fanning it to bring back those flames to burn once again. I think we’ve all experienced starting a fire at home in the fireplace or outside camping. What happens when you leave it alone? It goes out! You can’t leave it alone… every few minutes you have to fan it, you have to move some wood around, you gotta throw more wood into the fire. If you stop, the fire starts to go down. The same is true with our zeal for Jesus Christ.
Paul is basically saying, “Timothy, stir up your zeal, your gift to God, your love for God, your devotion for God.” Timothy hadn’t turned to sin, he hadn’t turned away from God. He hadn’t rejected Christ. For his flame to die down, he just had to leave it alone. I believe it’s the same thing with our spiritual life. You don’t necessarily have to go right back into sin and a life of corruption or rebellion against God for your spiritual zeal to grow cold. You know what you have to do? Just put your spiritual life in cruise mode, just put it in neutral. Just go through life, don’t really pray, don’t really seek the Lord, don’t get into the word, don’t serve… and guess what? The flame of devotion will just begin to grow cold.
God’s word is charging His church us to get the fire burning again! God has gifted you, so fan the flame of fire that’s already there, and may it burn bright for the Lord. The world tries to dampen our flame, it tries to quench it. Christian, keep it burning, keep it fanned. Three simple ways to keep the fire burning: pray, read the Word of God and fellowship. This is a good time to do a fire check. How’s your flame burning for the Lord? Hot or cold? My prayer is that we would all burn brighter than ever and be used mightily by the Lord.
Pastor Danny Gamez