Advice Articles - Activate your gifts in the new decade
5 I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. 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 did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
These verses are Paul speaking to Timothy and commending his sincere faith and the unnamed gifts of God that are involved with that.
With these spiritual gifts, there might have been reason to hold back. It would only be speculation as to what could be the hold up and why, but with particular gifts, there might be an under utilization of them.
One might be fear of the gifts themselves that are in some aspects extraordinary in nature, and where there gifts might bring the person and whether the person believes that can stand in that new spot as these gifts are assigned or designated.
Someone might think who I am to have this gift?
There needs to be a respect for the gift itself and for the giver choosing to give the gift.
Timothy did have one key portion, a sincere faith which had also been found in his grandmother Eunice.
Within his sphere there might have been hesitancy towards bringing his gifts forward. Maybe it was a fear of the secular world of the Roman Empire but the origin of the fear is unexpressed in these verses. Maybe the gifts had a newness for him that was difficult to grasp at and Paul is pointing that gifts preceding him within the family and trails had already been blazed along the lines of these gifts.
The verses here indicate the Lord brings forth power with these gifts. It is not just a backing with the power, although it is that, it is an actual immersion into the power so the gift could be like immersing into a giant and powerful ocean.
Running through one possible gift as an example would be the gift of healing. That would bring forth the power of the Lord to heal individuals of a wide variety of ailments through the power of God.
Someone might have this gift, but not feel that they should be using it, for fear or being awestruck at the gift.
These verses are quite forward in saying to "fan into flame" the gift of God, which means to bring it into full activation. This is a very strong image of the intention of the Lord that the holder of the gift goes forward in using this gift, with the power, courage, and soundness of the Holy Spirit.
You are alive, but your gifts might not be, they might be deactivated. These verses are indicative of an invitation to bring your gifts to life.
A key thing behind this is the sincerity of faith and intention towards the Lord and towards the gifts of the Lord.
There should be an emphasis on the maintenance of the sincere faith as there is no guarantee that it will always remain sincere.
If that is lacking, then maybe all bets are off and there must first be a rekindling of that and then consideration of activation of the gifts.
Something to beware of and caution against is going into realms that will adversely affect your sincerity.
With the healing, maybe that could be someone who has the gift, then in effect is charging princely sums to the people who need healing, when this gift can be dispersed for free.
Or it may be subjecting to outside forces that cloud your sincerity towards the gift.
Someone with a great singing voice might be caught singing delirious songs.
There needs to be care in the tending of gifts.
But with the backdrop of a sincere faith, there is a call to keep the gifts alive, to actually "fan to fire" these gifts and bring them forth with trust in the power of the Lord, the soundness of the gifts and not to fear the use of the gift.
Gifts might not be extraordinary in nature, but a second look shows that even common gifts, although common, are still extraordinary.
For example, to pray for distant lands and people or even distant times, can be done by people with a relative paucity of means, but they do have this gift which is indeed extraordinary in nature.
These verses indicate that the gifts are not given as a stand alone, but with the accompaniment of power, courage, and soundness towards the gift.
Indeed in some cases you have to pull out of the hunt so to speak, but the Lord will give sound counsel regarding this and this is where the words regarding self discipline or soundness come into play. But the Lord will also give a soundness in the proper going forward process where there will be soundness throughout the whole process of using the gift. There is an understanding that there can be a fear of activating or exercising with the gifts, when at first look they may contain seemingly an uncontrollable and maybe untamable nature, and these verses speak of going past these fears with courage and bringing the gifts into fruition.
Going back to the example of the gift of healing, which is seen in current times, the person who goes around the world with a healing ministry has the accompaniment of the Power of the Lord, the courage and the soundness of the Lord which work in conjunction with the continued activation of the gift of healing.
The call for the new decade is to see our gifts in the positive light of the Lord's power and soundness for these gifts as well as the call to bring these gifts into fuller and further activation for the benefit both of the holder of the gifts and possibly many others.
Related Tags: gifts, help, peace, life, hope, use, new decade, substantial
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