FAN THE FLAME
“That is why I now remind you to stir into flame the gift of God which is within you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit that God gave us is no craven (“cowardly, mean-spirited”) spirit, but one to inspire strength, love, and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:6-7, NEB).“Fan into a flame the gift that God gave you” (Jerusalem Bible). “Fan into flame the gift of God which is in you” (NIV). “Keep alive the gift” (GNB). “Stir up – rekindle the embers, fan the flame and keep burning – the [gracious] gift of God, [the inner fire]” (AMP.). “And the special gift of ministry you received when I laid hands on you and prayed – keep that ablaze! God doesn’t want us to be shy with His gifts, but bold and loving and sensible” (The Message).
THESE translations all exhort us to fan the flame, to keep alive, to keep ablaze, to keep the fire of God burning! The gifts of God always function the best when we are on fire! There is an ongoing need for us to be inspiring and encouraging one another to make good use of the gifts that God has already given to us. It is too easy to slip into a place of lethargy, to let the fire of God burn low. The Bible strongly tells us we have to stoke the fire within us, to fan that flame to the point the gifts of the Holy Spirit within us will be actively released to bless those around us. Far too often we are guilty of waiting for God to do something, when He is actually waiting for us to use that which He has already placed within us. A fire does not stoke itself! It has to be fed with more fuel. Likewise we have to fuel the fire of God that has been placed within us by the Holy Spirit. John the Baptist preached that Jesus would “baptize us with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Matthew 3:11).
Where is that fire right now?
How bright is it burning?
Have you stoked it lately, so it can be fanned into flame?
The key to the power of God working in and through us is determined by what we do with it. Do we retain it, or release it? As I look back over more than 43 years of preaching the Gospel, all the highlights of my life have included the recognizing of the voice of God to me and the releasing of the gifts that are within me. I know I am not waiting for God to give me a gift, or an anointing, but that He has already poured that into my life, and it is now my responsibility to release that which He has given. When I do that I always see lives impacted by God in a wonderful way. Signs, wonders and answers flow into the lives of others. If I am not actively cultivating the gifts of God, then my life will slip into a powerless, religious rut, which benefits no one.
Christian, it is time to fan the flame, to stir up the gift of God that is in you, to step out and use that which He has put within you. Be finished with excuses! Stoke the fire and let its warmth be a blessing and comfort to others. The gifts God has put within you and me are our “tools of the Christian trade.” They are what others are needing to receive – the benefits of your spiritual gifts released out of your life to bring to them words and actions to the “right person in the right place at the right time.” There is always a positive result when we release from our heart (of love) that which God has given us.
Today, take some time to check the state of the fire of God within your life. Then understand that the fire will not improve until you stoke it and fan it into flame. It is when you are burning bright with the fire of the Holy Spirit that you are the most effective, and you accomplish so much more to the glory of God. Burn bright for Jesus! – Rodney W. Francis.
Bible Readings: Exodus 3:1-10; Jeremiah 23:29; Acts 2:1-4 and 1 Corinthians 12:1-11
Please Pray This Prayer:
“Dear Lord, as I look at my life, I realize I am not as on fire for You as I should be. Help me to see the true state of my heart and attitudes, so that I will be moved to action. Show me the need to fan into flame those things You have given me, so that I can be of greater benefit to my fellow human beings. Forgive me for allowing the fire of the Holy Spirit to burn low in my life. From this prayer on, I am going to stir myself, to stir up the gift of God, to fan into flame the things You have given me. I want to be a greater blessing in Your Kingdom! Thank You, Lord, for helping me to be just that. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”