Fresh Fire

William C. Brownson

Read: 2 Timothy 1:6-7

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

Timothy has received a marvelous gift of God through the “laying on of hands”: the authority and power to proclaim the gospel. Paul likens that gift to a holy fire. He urges Timothy to “stir it up afresh” or “kindle it again” into a leaping flame. The prophet Jeremiah spoke once of the Word of God within his heart “as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones” (Jer. 20:9). He couldn’t hold it in.

Maybe for Timothy the gift had burned low. Mine sometimes does. Neglect, fear, or the chilling pressures of the world can diminish the flame of our witness. Paul reminded his young friend that such timidity was not from God. He gives us “a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (v. 7).

How can the fire blaze up again? The fire will blaze when we keep on using the gift, sharing Christ with others even when we don’t feel like it, “in season and out of season” (2 Tim. 4:2). Then there is the fuel of God’s Word and the wind of his Spirit. When we renew our focus on the Lord, and pray for a mighty anointing, the Spirit comes again and again with “fresh wind, fresh fire.” —Bill Brownson

As you pray, ask God to give you “a spirit . . . of power and love and self-control.”