2 Timothy 1:5-7
5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. 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, 7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
Paul reminds Timothy that God was moving in his family before he received Christ personally and that the gift of God he possesses needs to be stoked in order to keep growing in strength and effectiveness. Finally he reminds him that the Christian life is directed by the Holy Spirit’s movement which manifests in power, love and self control.
It is always important to remember where you came from. Following Jesus wasn’t my idea. It wasn’t a system of faith and life that I discovered or made up. I received Christ in a moment of a divine plan that included millions and millions of people. As Jamie led me to Jesus, someone else led him years before. The same for that man or woman before him. Sometimes it is comforting to know that this faith, this way of life, did not originate with me. People, generations before me, walked in the faith and their influence was used by God so that I would believe. My faith did not start with me and it will not end with me. This is comforting.
The next thing I realize is that I need to keep fanning into flame the gift of God in my life. I can not grow complacent, nor can I assume that simply being “saved” is the main goal. The Spirit, alive within me, has more to do. It doesn’t end with what is accomplished in my life. Therefore I must keep stoking the fire. How? Keep reading his word. Keep praying. Keep stepping out in faith. Keep pushing outside of the comfort zones of my life. This allows me to experience continued trust and growth in the Spirit’s work in my life.
Finally, I can’t forget that I am completely reliant upon the Spirit. My life, calling and mission is impossible without the Spirit’s presence and power in my life. Not only does He demonstrate supernatural power in my life, but He also leads me to love and exercise self-control, far beyond my own personal attempts. How do I know I am growing? How do I know I am fanning into flame? Three self-inspection questions…
-Do I witness the supernatural power of God’s Spirit moving in my life? Do I sense and witness a strength and fortitude beyond my own flesh?
-Do I Love like Jesus? Do I see past peoples faults and failures and love them like Jesus does?
-Do I say no to the things my flesh longs for and yes to the Spirit’s leading. Am I controlled by anything more than the Spirit?
Father I am reminded that my faith is a result of a multi-generation faith movement led by the Spirit. Thank you for that. I am reminded that growing stagnant is not an option if I want to grow and be effective. Finally, I need your Spirit today, as much as I needed Him on day one. May I see His power, love and self-control clearly at work in my life today.