Where there is fire, there is people.
There is something about fire that inspires and attracts us to its mysterious and majestic flame. Whether a camp fire that lights up the night sky, a fireplace that warms up a home, or a candle that sets the mood for a romantic dinner, fire always seems to be the centre of attraction.
The thing about a fire however, is that it needs a lot of care and attention. If left alone, a fire will always eventually die out.
This is why Paul encourages Timothy (a young church leader) not to neglect his spiritual gift, but to take the time and attention to ‘re-kindle’ the gift within:
“I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you” – 2 Timothy 1:4
Timothy needed to intentionally foster his gift. He needed to take it out for a spin and use it. He needed to start now, rather than waiting for perfection. In doing so, the oxygen of the Holy Spirit could begin to move in and through his ministry.
This was also not just about Timothy, but the generations that would follow. Paul didn’t want Timothy to take his faith for granted, but to be a ‘carrier’ of the faith for this generation, not relying on the momentum created by his Grandmother and Mother, but taking up the torch for himself:
“I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you” (1:5)
Paul wanted Timothy to ‘set himself on fire’. This would not only create heat and bring light that would benefit others, but would also create an irresistible attraction that would draw others into the love of God and set them on fire also, igniting the gift that lies within every one of us.
Someone once said, “I set myself on fire and people come to watch me burn”. As Paul encouraged Timothy, if you want to really make a difference in this world, don’t worry about the fire in the people around you. Instead, set yourself on fire by fanning into flames the embers of the gift and call within yourself.
Re-ignite your gift and be a carrier of the faith. The generations to follow are depending on you!