The following is Part 2 of a series prepared for an ordination service in the life of the church based on selected texts from 2 Timothy. You can access the other parts here:
VI. Flee and Pursue
2Tim 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"
Paul tells Timothy that he must “fan into flame” the gift of God that has been given to him. It is not good enough for Timothy to simply rely upon the gifting that he has received and never work at it at all. If he does this, Paul warns that he will lose his effectiveness. Rather, he says to Timothy: “What is your gift? What is your passion? Fan these into flame.” Paul does not tell Timothy that he needs to take one hundred different spiritual gifts surveys, the Meyer-Briggs or Keirsey-Bates temperament indicator. (These things are not bad in themselves, but let us not dismiss the Holy Spirit’s placement of passions within our life in order to drive us in pursuit of gospel ministry.)
What is your gift? Is it teaching? Preaching? Mercy ministry? Hospitality? Whatever it is, fan it into flame. Firefighters know that if they can remove an oxygen source from a fire it will quickly dwindle out. Every year we hear of forest fires in California consuming thousands of acres of land. And the worst report we can hear is that there is no rain in sight but there are strong gusts of Santa Ana winds coming from the Pacific Ocean. These winds, fan the fire into flames. These flames are what once began as a tiny campfire can become an all-encompassing, all-engulfing, massive swath of power and uncontrolled fire. Is it not interesting that our God is referred to as a “consuming fire” (Dt 4:24; Heb 12:29). Identify the gift that God has given you, and through the power of the Holy Spirit, fan it into flame.