I was asking God about some situations in our life… Decisions that need to be made. Believing and speaking out the things that need to change, move or come into the Callahan household. In the midst of this I asked the Holy Spirit what I should do. With my eye on how big God is in the midst of some of the pressures of life I was expecting a big answer. Or rather, a “big” something for me to DO to FIX things!
Do you want to know what God’s answer was?
It was surprisingly simple.
“Stir up the gift within you!”
That was it.
I am to simply do what God has enabled me to do, with what he has given me, in the place he has planted me.
So, of course, I had to go find some verses about this!
In 1 Timothy 4:14 Paul charges with this: “Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you.”
And, in 2 Timothy 1:6-7 Paul says to Timothy: “… I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”
And, of course, I had to look up words in the original Greek!
When Paul says to Timothy, “fan into flame the gift…” he is saying that it is Timothy’s job, not Paul’s or God’s job, Timothy’s job to keep the gift in full flame. It is OUR job, not our pastor’s, worship leader’s or even God’s job to keep the fire and passion of our gifts kindled and burning strongly in our hearts!
Do not neglect your gift! Do not be careless or make light of this gift! This gift is capable of dying out through neglect.
Do not neglect your gift… The Greek word translated gift is charisma. I just love that word! My favorite description of charisma is: “grace or gifts denoting extraordinary powers, distinguishing certain Christians and enabling them to serve the church of Christ, the reception of which is due to the power of divine grace operating on their soul by the Holy Spirit”.
In 2 Timothy the word gift means to supply or furnish necessary things and, to give forth from one’s self.
God has placed gifts inside of you. Gifts that motivate and color the way you interact with the world around you. These are gifts from God’s heart – a part of himself, planted in you! He has supplied all of the necessary things that you will need to fulfill the purposes he has given YOU to fulfill on this earth.
That is so cool!
I also find it interesting that Paul tells Timothy this in both letters. I’ve needed to hear these words LOTS of times! How about you?
Sometimes we don’t realize the importance of the gift that we have. Because it has been planted inside of us, and shapes and colors how we interact with the world, and how we approach everything, we don’t realize that other people don’t operate that way. . . they don’t have that gift, or that expression of that gift! So we think it’s nothing, and that we don’t really have much to offer the body of Christ.
Look back at these two verses. Did you notice anything? The gift comes with and operates in power! Extraordinary powers that distinguish Christians, enabling them to serve the church of Christ!
When Paul says, “Do not neglect the gift, which was given you through a prophetic message…” and again, “fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.” The word translated prophetic means to speak out the divine intentions & purposes of God to reveal things that are hidden.
God has given you a gift! It might be hidden, you might not know what it is, but it is in you to be revealed, and to begin to be stirred up and used.
Maybe you feel like it’s too late… that you’ve not been faithful over the gifts God has placed inside of you and they have burned out, never to burn hot again.
This also is not true! Let me tell you a story.
I remember when I first house sat for a couple at our church. I was in college. I just feel like you need to know that. I am so much more mature and wise now! They had a wood burning stove. Before they left they carefully went over how to properly build a fire to keep the house warm. They didn’t want their house to burn down. I didn’t either. But, before they came home I thought I would bless them. By cleaning out the stove. And putting all the ashes in a paper bag. Then placing the paper bag out on the back porch (which was wood). Maybe you know what I now know. That was a terrible idea! Even though those ashes seemed cool, they still had the capacity to burst into flame if given the proper fuel (Like a back porch made out of wood, for example.). Luckily they did not burst into flames, and the couple gently instructed me on why that was a really bad idea.
Get the idea? It’s not too late to start. Romans 11:29 says that God’s gifts and callings are irrevocable or without repentance. He has not changed his mind! With a little bit of the proper fuel, those ashes can still start a raging fire!
You, operating in the way God made you to work is a powerful force on this earth! And we need you! So please, start adding some fuel to your gifts!
Do not neglect your gift! Add some wood to the fire, get passionate and do whatever it takes to stay fired up!
Thanks for reading! What do you do to stay “fired up”?