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 the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. II Timothy 1:6-7
And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. Luke 24:49
Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit…. Acts 2:3
This Scripture jumped off the page at me. I have been studying prayer, all that is available to us through Christ. I am a former Girl Scout. I started as a Brownie and ended as a leader of thirty of the best girls on the planet. I know about building fires. It is work and when left unattended they die down quickly. The really amazing thing about a fire is just how long is required to “burn out,” and how rapidly they can spread out! When you get up on a cold morning, the fire you built the night before looks cold and lifeless but needs only to be “stirred up” and new “fuel” placed on the embers and in no time at all, you can once more have a roaring bonfire, warming all who stand near. The key is in the “fanning or stirring.”
The Word talks of the fire of the Holy Spirit. The gift given to believers for power to proclaim the gospel and use with the Word to fight the enemy and bring down strongholds. Paul is admonishing Timothy to “fan the flames of the Spirit of God” within himself to become bold and utilize this power, love, and disciplined living. The gift given to Timothy was the Holy Spirit of God! The same gift given to every believer.
Timothy had a good foundation. His mother, Eunice, and grandmother, Lois, had nurtured him well. (Deuteronomy 6:7 & II Timothy 1:5) They had introduced him to the Savior, taught him the Scriptures, and provided godly role-models for him to imitate. Despite persecution, they had continued to follow the teachings of Christ. Now, Paul is encouraging Timothy by preparing to take him on as a traveling companion to insure the continuation of the spread of the gospel. Paul is “fanning the flame” with encouragement. Lois and Eunice have “stirred up the flame” through their daily life, and it is now Timothy’s responsibility to use the bellows to fan his own flame. It is time for him to eat the meat of the Word. It is time for him to wield the Sword of the Spirit. It is time for him to have boldness, courage, and do all the things he has been taught by example to do so the Kingdom can continue to expand geographically and numerically, and he will be transformed into the image of Christ. (Hebrews 5:12)
As moms, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, co-workers, daughters, and girlfriends we can “fan the flames” for those we love. We can share all the Lord has poured into us through others. We can take the tinder, the young and old in search of a Savior, and add the heat of our passion for Christ (flame of the Holy Spirit) and as the fire takes hold and begins to smolder, add the next layer of fuel, the kindling, by praying for them and with them to receive the gift of salvation. As the flames rise from the tiny branches, another layer of fuel is placed into their hands through the Word. We must encourage feeding on the Word the way the flame feeds on the twigs and small branches now ready for the limbs of service. (Psalm 39:3 My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue) Through service the new found heat ignites the heart into a roaring bonfire warming those around and drawing them into the circle of love created. Yes, the fuel is consumed and all that remains are the smoldering embers. It is these embers used to ignite the next fire and the next and the next. Only the glow of the Holy Spirit and the fire of His passion remains as all the dead and lifeless is burned away. II Corinthians 3:17-18 “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate[a] the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
Fan The Flame in Me
Without fanning our own flame, the embers look cold. Only when stirred and the breath of God breathes on them once more will they begin to glow and be ready for a new assignment.
Are we neglecting our gift? Are our embers nearly cold? Do we need to get busy and stir up the fire? Who around us needs the warmth of our fire? Who needs a red hot coal from our fire to ignite their own? Whose slowly dying flame do we need to bellow? I pray we will be like Jeremiah who said:
“Then I said, “I will not make mention of Him,
Nor speak anymore in His name.”
But His word was in my heart like a burning fire
Shut up in my bones;
I was weary of holding it back,
And I could not.” (Jeremiah 20:9)
May we be weary of being silent. May we pick up the bellows and fan the flames of the church into revival beginning with our own fire first. It only takes a spark to get a fire going……
(The inferno in the Great Smoky Mountains 2016 started by small fire and conditions were perfect to allow the fire to spread quickly consuming 30,000 acres and interrupting the lives of entire communities.)
It Only Takes a Spark by Kurt Kaiser
Have you laid a foundation like Eunice and Lois and now the embers appear cold. Do not give up! Fan the flames of those embers back to life with the prayer of faith not doubting (James 1:6). Trust me I am preaching to self!
We Will Fan The Flame
Fan the Flames by Robert Gay
Treading in the glow,
Dedicated to Minta R. McDavid who fanned my flame.