Fan into Flame
By Carin LeRoy –
My teenage son is a huge fan of the reality program “Man vs. Wild,” which shows people are surviving in isolated places across the globe. They scale rock faces, cross icy rivers, sleep in trees and eat strange, wiggly creatures. On almost every episode, they must make a fire. They gather bits of dry tinder, rub two sticks together until smoke forms, then blow gently until a flame sparks. Gingerly, they add kindling until they have a blaze large enough to cook food or warm themselves. That effort makes me thankful I have an electric stove where I turn a knob to cook.
In reading through Paul’s admonishment to Timothy, we see how he was encouraged develop the gifts given to him by God. He says, “I want you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands,” (2 Timothy 1: 6 NIV). I was reminded of the effort it takes to start a fire. It isn’t easy. They search for the right materials, rub sticks until their hands are sore and work hard to get that fire started. Soon they are rewarded with a blaze big enough to provide warmth.
We are each bestowed with gifts given to us by God in order to use them to minister to others. These abilities need developing; to be fanned into a flame. We start small and gain confidence. Soon we watch as God utilizes them in an even greater way. Just as it takes effort to start a fire, we must work to cultivate those areas where God has bestowed our spiritual gifting. Usually, these gifts are something that comes naturally to us, and we enjoy them!
Charles Spurgeon, the great British preacher from the nineteenth century, said that we should not only be using our gift, but we should also work to improve it. If you feel you are gifted in an area but lack the confidence to serve, then start small. Be diligent and soon you will see God using your gifts for an even greater impact.
PRAYER: Lord, thank You for giving me a spiritual gift to use for others. Help me to be diligent in using, developing and improving that gift for an even greater impact for Your glory.
QUOTE: “And then, again, we must stir up our gift because it needs stirring. The gifts and graces of Christian men are like a coal fire which frequently require stirring as well as feeding with fuel…there must be stirring and fires go out sometimes for lack of it. There are times with us when we become dull and heavy, doing little or nothing–restless, indifferent. Then it is that we require rebuking. If there is a solid bottom of real grace in us, we only need the poker that we be stirred up and straightway the fire begins to burn.” ~ Charles Spurgeon