There are so many “Christianese” sayings that I think we have mutated from their original scriptural meanings. Of course I can’t think of any right now…(other than the one I ran into this morning in 2 Timothy 1:6)…can you?
Here’s the one that got me:
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, for God gave us a spirit not of fear, but of power and love and self-control.
Two things jumped out at me this morning…
1-“Fan into flame“…he is talking about the gift that Timothy has. He is commanding him not to ignore it, but instead to fan it…make it bigger, stronger, burn brighter. This is the time of year when I reflect on the past year…God has stretched me this year…big time. I literally felt the gifts he has given me growing – have you? What gifts have you grown in this year?
2-“for God gave us a spirit not of fear, but of power, love and self-control” – here’s where the mutating comes in. I have often been in situations where fear has crept in and I have found this verse, neatly chopped off the “Fan into flame” part and clung to the “God gave us not a spirit of fear part.” This morning it hit me that the original concept here is tied to the fanning into flame of the gifts – when God stretches us, grows us in our gifts, puts us in new situations and opportunities to use them – to “fan them” to grow them – it’s scary. I have had several moments this year where I was like “what the heck am I doing…I can’t do this.”
Its in those moments that God reminds us that when we are doing his work, growing his gifts – that’s a GOOD thing – he gives us the spirit to do that and that is not a spirit of fear, but instead a spirit of:
It brings to mind 2 Peter 1:3 —
His divine power has granted us all things that pertain to life and godliness, thru the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.
God promises to provide all things to live for him.
Where has he grown you this year? What gifts are you fanning into flame? Any that have kinda died down to an ember? It would be scary to get them burning again, eh? Remember the promises of 2 Timothy 1:6