“I have been reminded of your sincere faith… for this reason I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.”
2 Tim. 1:6
Paul was writing a second letter to Timothy. It was a letter of encouragement. Timothy was struggling with his faith, probably questioning everything he had believed because his dear Paul was yet again in prison and could die this time. Their dreams of ministry together hadn’t worked out. Their hopes of taking the world for the gospel seemed but a preposterous dream when staring at the cold facts. Yet Paul prays for him and is reminded by the Lord of Timothy’s great faith. He is persuaded of his faith despite this recent set-back of heart.
I think Paul gives Timothy great advice that will help him strengthen his wavering belief. Paul tells Timothy to fan in to flame or stir up the gift of God in him! What does this have to do with faith? Everything!
Timothy’s sight was focused on his shoelaces (except he didn’t wear shoes with laces). Okay, Timothy’s sight was focused on his sandals. He couldn’t see beyond the dirt under his feet. Anybody relate to the young man? Has EVERYTHING gone wrong? Does it seem all you hoped for a believed just won’t come to pass? Are you asking, “Where is the ability to heal?” “Why aren’t prayers making a difference?” “Why is there so much pain and suffering in this world where Jesus won the victory over death?” “Aren’t things supposed to be good if we are in the will of God?”
My advice? Stop asking the questions. And if may, borrowing from Paul’s words of wisdom: “Get busy doing what you love to do!” What gift has God given you? Is it counseling? Is it in the arts (painting, photography, music, writing, drama)? Is it teaching? Praying? Visiting? Preaching? Having people over? Bible study?
If you don’t know what your gifts are start with what you love. Ask the Lord to reveal other things to you. Ask a mentor or leader in the church to anoint you with oil, lay hands on you and ask the Holy Spirit for the spiritual gifts God has for you. Even if you are homebound, God has a plan for you to minister to others for the kingdom. It may be in prayer. It may be in making encouraging, caring, praying phone calls.
I can’t explain how it works, but I know this: When I begin to do what I know the Lord has placed in me to do, my faith soars. Using my gifts stirs up my faith.
Something strange has happened since Friday’s post. I’ve been inspired. It’s almost as if someone turned on a light switch! (Is it possible to inspire yourself?) Huh! Funny, my blog is as much for me as it is for you! And to be honest, your ministry will bless you more than you can know. Step out in faith.
If you want to grow in faith, ask the Lord of hosts for opportunities to use your gifts. We all have them. Watch expectantly! The doors will open. They may not look like you had planned- so be on guard. Be ready for the unlikely and do it even if it isn’t what you had planned. Big or small.
What would stir you faith?