“Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of hands.” 2 Timothy 1:6
Paul was a squeaky wheel mentor to Timothy in his exhortations to this spiritual son. Giftedness requires the recipient’s stirring it up, whether a spiritual gift or otherwise. It was a devotional that I read this morning on the ever-famous 2 Timothy 1:7 (“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”) that drew me to read the verse before it, which, in truth, I believe is why the Holy Spirit was “tweaking” me to crack open my Bible to the entire passage. I wanted the context of the verse and suspect, well, perhaps knew, He was confronting me on the reality of my own spiritual gift and causing me to ponder in His Presence whether I am actually “stirring it up”, or perhaps have grown a bit lazy. This is the sort of stuff that happens on our walk with God. In His gentleness He nudges us along, although sometimes His poking becomes sharper if we are dim to Him.
I had actually been wondering about whether I might need to step up my exercise of my giftedness – and then this confrontation. My, what a coincidence! Am I able to believe God for yet beyond that which I can ask or imagine? I recall my long dead mentor, George Muller, commenting once that He could believe God for so much at that time whereas in earlier years he could only believe God for a fraction. The challenge to step up our game is the fear that He won’t respond. It’s like we don’t want to be disappointed, therefore we don’t take the next step. That, I believe, (it comes to me even as I write this) is why Paul goes on to tell Timothy that God doesn’t give us a spirit of fear… Timothy must’ve been fearful of stirring up his gifting. He, like me perhaps, didn’t wish to risk disappointment. But fear, hesitation, reluctance is not rooted in God. Power, love and self-discipline (sound mind) are. It is not by my strength that I stir up that gift granted me to accomplish His purpose. It is by His. He has a vested interest in seeing us successful. We are each of us cast in His great redemptive play and need play our part to our utmost.
God loves us with a fury you know. He will even love me if I don’t stir up His gift to me. Yet, the thought of seeing His smile at some point in the future drives me to want to show up and say, “Father, I really did give it my very best.”
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