How Do We Fan Our Gifts into Flame? By Babatunde Olugboji
At a recent group discussion in our local church, a believer asked the question above, referencing 2 Timothy 1: 6: “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”. Another Bible version of the same verse says Paul asked his protégé Timothy to ‘stir up’ the gift of God in him. At the same group discussion, a brother proffered an answer to this question, saying: “By putting it [your gift] into practice,” referring group members to Hebrew 5:14: “But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have ‘trained’ themselves to distinguish good from evil.”
This week, we are starting a series seeking to answer this important question and other gift-related questions such as, how do I know my gift? Am I even gifted? How can I keep the flame burning? Why should I bother about keeping the flame burning when the Bible says the gifts and calling of God are without repentance? (Romans 11:29)
Fanning an object like a flame is a deliberate action. So not doing so is being inactive, which is a dangerous thing. The phrase to stir up connotes the idea of stirring up a fire to keep it burning bright and strong. A fire left to itself will eventually burn out, but God wants us to keep our gifts burning strong for Him. “The Greek anazopureo (stir up) means either ‘to kindle afresh’ or ‘to keep in full 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 reignite your fire by trusting completely in the Lord and returning to Him in prayer and re-building your personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Maybe you are not aware, God has granted every believer a spiritual gift in order to edify and build up one another. As a believer in Christ, we become part of the body of Christ and a member of his body. This is extremely significant because every member of a body has a function to perform and a duty to fulfill.
In Romans 12, the Bible says we have been given different gifts, including the gifts of prophecy, service, teaching, exhortation, leadership, etc. And Paul in 1 Corinthians 12: 1, encouraged us not to ignore our gifts but to practice putting such gifts to use.
As a Christian it is imperative that you seek to identify your spiritual (1 Corinthians 12: 7 – 11), motivational (Romans 12: 6 – 8) and ministry (Ephesians 4: 11) gifts and put them to use.
Why don’t you declare this week: ‘I will not neglect the gift God has given me, I will stir them up, and with God’s help, put them to good use.’ (1 Timothy 4:14)
Have a great week.
Kingdom Dynamics, a weekly column written by Dr. Babatunde Olugboji, the President, Kingdom House, a non-profit organization in New Jersey, USA.
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