What flame are you fanning these days? Is it a flame that will burn for eternal profit or is the potential flame you are trying to fire-up something that will burn out relatively quickly? How have you been spending your energies lately? What has been consuming your thought life? What gets you out of bed each morning? Where does your mind go when you have a few minutes to think? Do any of your daytime mind-dreams include an eternal dimension and a Christ-honouring motive?

One of the saddest conditions a Christian can slide into is the state of spiritual lethargy – a certain sluggishness or laziness that results in indifference and a failure to be excited or ignited by potential. Stuck in a rut or stranded on a plateau. Are you in danger of that? Can you sense you are heading in that direction? Snap out of it or you will lose your ‘snap’ as a believer.

The Apostle Paul was concerned about one of his sons in the faith. He had mentored Timothy. He loved him and prayed for him. He saw the potential Timothy had for God’s things. Paul was in prison with a death sentence hanging over his head. He would soon be martyred for his faith in Christ. He writes one final letter to Timothy.

As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith… 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, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2Timothy 1:4-7

With Apostolic authority, Paul had passed to Timothy a special ability equipping him to serve God effectively in the role the Lord had designed for him. As an Apostle, Paul was only the channel through which the Lord passed this gift to Timothy. (By the way, there are no apostles today, so no ordination process designed by man or church can bestow a gift on anyone.)

Time was passing by. Conditions were deteriorating, and Paul was about to die.

“Timothy, what’s going on? You are in danger of settling down and just getting into routines that can become so mechanical in nature. You were saved for a purpose. You have been specially equipped by the Spirit of God to serve the Lord. Beware of lethargy. Snap out of it. Stir it up again. Fan the flame. Get focused and ‘do’ what God equipped you to do. Don’t let the burning coals of fire turn into mere glowing embers. God expects it to be a full-fledged flame, leaping upwards in this dark world. Get fanning it until it’s flaming for your Lord!”

Dear Child of God, God has saved you for a purpose and He has equipped you to do exactly what He wants you to do. (Romans 12:3, Ephesians 4:7, 1Peter 4:10) Are you fanning that flame or has some other flame spread like a wildfire into your life having the potential to consume you and burn-up all your usefulness – to leave only cold charcoal embers heading into eternity?

Walk carefully and closely with the Lord today.

Warmly in Christ
Peter Ramsay

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