“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in your through the laying on of my hands.”
2 Timothy 1:6
Paul is writing this to a son in the ministry. This is a pastor writing to a younger pastor. This is a letter from the mentor to the disciple. Timothy needed reminding to continually be strengthening his spiritual life, while performing the daily acts of ministry. It was Timothy that Paul would hand the reigns over to for control over the ministry he had built. When reading a passage like this, we seem to ask “Why does Timothy need reminding?”. The reality is that he needs no reminding. Timothy knows what is coming and knows what he needs to do to continue this ministry. However, Paul thinks it necessary to remind Timothy to pay careful attention to his spiritual health.
In fact, it might be a good idea for us to take note of something here. During times of difficulty, or times in which we are spiritually low, we tend to depend on our emotions to give us a picture of reality. While emotions do have a place in our mind and thoughts, they cannot always give us a correct interpretation of the situation in which we find ourselves. So Paul is encouraging Timothy to base his reality on the faith and the calling that God has given him.
For ministers (Paul was writing to Pastor Timothy) this is a reminder that we must heed on a regular basis. There are many battles ministers face that others simply do not know. But for the Christian, the command is just a great. We, as people of God, battle the devil on a daily basis and it is crucial for us to remember Paul’s words in verse 6. Paul is encouraging Timothy to keep his gift burning.
Fire can almost be self-sufficient, as long as there is wood for it to burn. For Timothy, he needed to feed his calling into gospel ministry the spiritual wood so he could carry on the ministry that Paul would pass down to him not many days later than this letter was written. For us a believers, we need to feed our own spiritual fires the wood of God’s word on a constant basis or our spiritual fire will burn out. Dr. Stanley Outlaw comments,
“A fire will burn well of its own initiative if we will just supply the fuel. That is also true with the spiritual fire within each of us.”
The only way to truly keep our spiritual lives healthy is to continually feed our spiritual fires the wood of God’s Word so much that it continually keeps our flame from burning out.