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Fan Into Flame

Updated: Oct 16, 2023

"I'm writing to encourage you to fan into a flame and rekindle the fire of the spiritual gift God imparted to you when I laid my hands upon you." 2 Timothy 1:6

One of my daughter’s favorite phrases as a toddler was, “I got it,” as in “I can do it myself, Mom!” Although, when she was two, she couldn’t say her, “g’s;” so she would end up saying, “I dot it,’ all the time. While it was incredibly cute, she was unbelievably independent and not great at accepting my help. I had two more boys after her, and they also would really rather do things on their own. They want to prove to themselves their independence…except for when it comes to “carrying” things. Then they want mom’s help. Almost every time we get out of the car to go into our house, and I’m carrying two bulging armfuls of stuff we collected during the day, they get out with their “one” juice cup in hand, and ask that I somehow carry it for them. It’s pretty comical as I just stare at them over the stack of stuff I’m holding, just waiting for them to figure it out on their own. Even then, sometimes they try to reach up and pile their juice cup on the very top of my stack, making me bobble for balance. But other than carrying their stuff, they really would like to try most other things on their own, and I find myself relating to them in more ways than not.

I too, as a woman in my thirties, feel the need to prove my independence. I was up late one night staring into our fireplace as the flames danced, and I heard the Lord say this. “It was always my fire to begin with. You’ve been trying to start your own, when your real job is to fan into flame that which ‘I’ put within you. You do the fanning; let me do the fueling.”

As I mulled over this, I realized there were several things in my life that I was trying to start myself as well as sustain. And some of them were really good things or even godly things. But they were areas of my life that I had, without knowing it, taken out of the Lord’s hands and was trying to build and implement something that only He could do. 2 Timothy 1:6 says, “I’m writing to encourage you to fan into a flame and rekindle the fire of the spiritual gift God imparted to you when I laid my hands upon you.” This was an encouragement from Paul to Timothy to not let the gifts that God had given to remain hidden or dull. He encouraged him to fan into flame what might have died down into glistening coals.

I think sometimes, when my life looks like glistening coals with no flame, I automatically assume that maybe I had the wrong fire going in my life, and I just needed to abandon those coals and go start another. Maybe I had tried using a gift I thought God had given me, with no reciprocation or feedback from others. I was embarrassed from the lack of impact it might have made, so I just decided to try and build up another gift or fire…one that might be more noticeable. Or maybe on the simplest of terms, I had forgotten the importance of the greatest gift of God, His gift of salvation, and I went on to start my own fire of working my way back into His good graces. Whether it’s a spiritual gift for ministry or the gift of relationship with Jesus Himself, the thing that makes it a “gift” is that it is “given.” We must recognize that anything that has any value in our lives comes directly from our loving Father, and He hopes that in deep gratitude, we will fan these gifts into flame by allowing Him to use us mightily in His kingdom, sparking other fires across the world. “He” starts the fire, and “He” also sustains the fire. And the only way we take part in fanning the flame is by being willing to let the breath of the Holy Spirit blow on the fire in our hearts igniting a blaze that cannot be quenched.

Your Fellow Able Mom,

Celeste Claborn

Lord, help me to simply fan “your” fire and not try to start my own for my own glory. Let me carry Your flame for Your fame alone.

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