How to fan into flame the gift of God which is in you (2 Timothy 1:6-7)?

2 Timothy Chapter 1: verses 6-7For 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.

God has granted every person a spiritual gift in order to edify and build up one another. As a believer in Christ we become a part of the body of Christ and a member of His body. Why is this significant? It is significant because every member of a body has a function to perform and a duty to fulfill.

Romans 12:5-8 says “so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.”

Paul also in his first letter to the Corinthians wrote concerning spiritual gifts, saying in 1 Corinthians 12: 1 “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed.”  What Paul is saying here is that he does not want the Church to be ignorant about, or not have any knowledge about the spiritual gifts given to us. Therefore we are strongly encouraged to have knowledge of the gifts and not to ignore them or be unwilling to learn about them and practice them. (Refer to 1 Corinthians 12 for spiritual gifts).

As a Christian seek to identify your spiritual (1 Cor. 12:7-11), motivational (Rom. 12:6-8) and ministry (Eph. 4:11) gifts and use them to benefit one another. Paul encouraged Timothy with these words 1 Timothy 4:14Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you.

1 – Why should I identify my gift?

  • Your gift demonstrates God’s presence in you:
    • Each believer is the temple of the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 6:19 says “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own”
    • The Holy Spirit Himself is a gift from God and he indwells in each believer
    • The Gifts (motivational, ministry and manifestation gifts) are all means to demonstrate God’s love and power to the Church and to the world
    • Notice that at the moment of our salvation the Holy Spirit takes residence in us and immediately the Gift of motivation, to encourage and build up is in us
    • As Christians we are commanded to grow and mature in Christ as it says in 2 Peter 3:18 “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”
  • Your gifts equips you for ministry:
    • Identifying your gift helps equip you to carry out the good work that God has assigned to you
    • Understanding your strengths and weaknesses helps you become more efficient
    • Your potential to bring glory to God is multiplied when you “identify your gift and begin to use it freely”, to serve others with the unique insights and skills that accompany your gift
  • The body of Christ needs you:
    • God created you to bring Him glory. One way you can do this is to use your gifts to its full potential
    • Christ has placed you exactly where you are meant to be and it is His pleasure that you are there as it says in  1 Corinthians 12:18 says “But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.
    • To bless others through your gifting,
    • God wants you to experience the fullness of His joy, as it says in John 15:11These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

2 – How can we fan our gifts into a flame:

If you feel like the fire in you is only a small flicker, and you have lost the zeal or fire that you had previously, it is important to know that you can always fan it back into a roaring flame once again. Sometimes we need to come before God and allow His power and the breeze of His Holy Spirit to fan our gifts into a fire, rather than striving in our own strength. You can re-ignite your fire by TRUSTING completely in the Lord and returning to Him in prayer and re-building your personal relationship with Jesus Christ:

  • Bringing in the Draft by Opening Our Entire Being:
    • Thanksgiving: 1 Thessalonians 5:18give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

      • Recognize if you have stopped being thankful for what you have and stopped being grateful for all the blessings you enjoy
      • Are you focusing too much on what you don’t have and what God hasn’t given you for the moment
      • We can lose sight, that God is so good and that he will never forsake us
      • Start by thanking Him for everything in your life and rely on His wisdom
    • Repentance: James 5:16Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
      • Sin and selfish attitudes can quench your fire
      • The Bible says that God’s kindness leads us to repentance
      • When you start to thank God for everything, then conviction returns to your soul
      • Confession cleanses you and takes away your burden. God draws near to the humble and repentant heart
      • Pray like David did in Psalm 139: 23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!”
    • Understand: Proverbs 9:10The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.”
      • Sometimes our flame only flickers because we only approach God  to for “what He can do for us” and not “not for who He is”
      • Seeking God for who He is is a sure way to fan our flame
      • You can still bring all your needs to Him, but remember to lay them at His feet and to seek God’s heart for your needs
      • Do not rely on your own understanding, but rely on God’s faithfulness
      • When you get to know Him more, you will understand how He is working in your circumstances, not the way you want it but the way God wants to
      • To know Him better is to love Him to give yourself completely to Him and then you will be filled to the fullness of Him
      • Get on your knees and surrender your everything to Him (not just some, but everything…)
    • Stand: Psalm 138: 2 “…. for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.”
      • When you don’t feel God’s presence and His promises don’t feel true, it’s time to stand on the Word of God
      • When you are down, stand up and start to proclaim the promises over your life and what the Bible says
      • When you start to proclaim the Word of God, the flame starts to grow again and when you learn to stand completely on the Word of God and your relationship with Jesus, your flame will become a roaring fire
      • In Psalm 138:2 it says the God has exalted His Name and His WORD above all things, which means that it is unchangeable and there is power in it
    • Trust: Proverbs 3:5-6 ” Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
      • When you lose your perspective on life and and stopped trusting God for all things, here are some things to remember to re-build your trust in Him:
        • He has a plan for your life that is the best case scenario
        • He is faithful and true and has made Himself available to you
        • He is good, kind and true and you can trust Him with your life
      • Its time to re-engage your heart, to renew your mind and to humble yourself in His presence
      • Then rise up knowing that you are His and He is yours

3 – How can we keep the flame burning:

It is by feeding the flame – by the Word of God and Prayer.

In ancient Israel the priests were instructed not to let the fire on the altar go out as it says in Leviticus 6:9Command Aaron and his sons, saying, This is the law of the burnt offering. The burnt offering shall be on the hearth on the altar all night until the morning, and the fire of the altar shall be kept burning on it.

This required a lot of work and a lot of firewood and fuel to keep the fire burning throughout. Especially in a land where there are no thick forests.

Lets look at the fire on the altar as a symbol of our devotion to the Lord through which our gifts are being used at its full potential. Spiritual passion is not something to be treated lightly or taken for granted because it will grow cold if we fail to supply it with fuel.

First there must be a sacrifice on the altar. Paul talks about this in Romans 12:1-2 I appeal to you therefore, brothers,by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Secondly let us fuel the fire with the zeal for God as it say in Romans 12:11-13Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.Let this be our fire wood, which has to be constantly filled. Let us continue to fuel the fire by feeding it with the Word of God and constant prayer. Let us keep ourselves open for the breeze of the Holy Spirit to fan the flames into a roaring fire.

I encourage you to fan into flame the Gift of God on your life, so that you are a blessing to others and to build your relationship with the Lord.