2 Timothy 1:6
“For this reason I remind you to fan into the flame the gift of God, Which is in you through the lying on of hands.”
Recently I had a conversation with a Christian friend in his late fifties, who said he was perplexed by life, as he had a feeling that what he had accomplished in life was not enough. To most, his life would be labeled as successful. Forty-one year of marriage, four children, ten grand-children, two- great grandchildren, a successful owner of a once small business that experienced mega growth, regular and vacation homes. He was known for his service to his community though business and civic organizations, and most of all; a faithful hard-working member in the church where most of the family attended. Yet, he says he was puzzled because he felt that God seemed to be telling him he had not done enough or more specifically that there was unfinished work to be done.
In 2 Timothy 1:6 Paul’s letter urges Timothy in his work, by reminding him, his work was not done. Paul tells Timothy that he should “fan into the flame the gift of God…..” which reminded Timothy that the flame of his salvation needed a fuel source, which only God could provide. When I was of scouting age, we learned to make campfires by starting with a little flame in one small part of our wood pile, and fanned into the flame to provide more of the oxygen fuel source. The more we fanned the larger the campfire became. Providing God’s fuel source is the only way that the trying, unfinished parts of God’s call in our life can be accomplished. For the completion of some of God’s calls, the flame must be fully developed or fully-burning. Like fanning into the flame of the campfire made it bigger, “fanning into the flame the Gift of God” makes the previously undeveloped flames of life become full-burning. Contentment grows only as the gift of God through the Holy Spirit is enhanced, and it is mandatory to have God as the fuel-source which causes the small flame to reach a full-fiery blaze. It is only through God that one is able to feel their work in done.
My friend, in all that he had accomplished, has not adequately “fanned into the flame” to fully develop his God given gift. He forgot that age, and what was accomplished in the past doesn’t necessarily mean the gift of God has been fully “fanned” into his Christian life. John the Apostle did well as one of the 12 Chosen and a personal friend to Jesus; but it was after Jesus’ death and resurrection that he began to “fan into the flame the gift of God”. After he had fanned God into the flame of his belief, he became the prime candidate to receive Jesus’ Revelation, the final book of the New Testament. Paul life as a Pharisee was driven by love for God, although it was misguided. But it was after his meeting Jesus on the Damascus road that he began to “fan into the flame the gift of God” with missionary journeys, Christian church plants and letters which became the basis for much of the New Testament.
What about you and me? Have we slowed down or given up because of age or some circumstance in life? Do we feel we have done enough for Christ, but still feel incomplete? Could it be that the fire of our Christian walk has not reached a blaze yet? Remember, no matter what age you are or how long you have been saved, never stop “fanning into the flame” for Jesus.