Fan the Flame to Change the World

I love my wood stove. Not because of how it looks, although I do like that, but because of the heat it puts out in the winter.

In December, I was putting more wood on the fire. The coals had burned down until only a tiny thread of heat glowed from a few spots. I put in a few pieces of crumpled paper, laid down some kindling, and then topped it off with a couple large pieces.

Nothing happened.

The next step is to grab the handheld bellows and gently pump a bit of air into the wood stove.

Within one pump, the tiny line of heat in the coals burst into flames. It only took a few seconds to hear the cheerful popping of wood.

I watched that fire for a while and thought of one word.

Ignite.

It’s been a while since I published a book.

I have series that need to be finished, sequels that are begging to be written, and great new ideas that I’m so excited to begin. Oh, and plenty of blogs to write too, of course.

It’s been a while since I wrote. Moving, remodeling a house, having three little ones, and homeschooling fill the hours. And then my brain gets shot with questions like…

  • “Why does 2+2 equal 4? I think it should equal 5 cuz that’s just how it should go.”
  • “What colors do black and purple make?”
  • “Why can’t I get into the bath with all my clothes on?”

So, yes, it’s been far too long since I have written anything much other than blogs.

Ignite.

To catch on fire. Kindle. Spark. Excite. Inflame. To set into motion. To give life or energy to.

(And don’t doubt that this girl saw the word “kindle” and instantly thought of eBooks.)

Paul writes to his young friend in II Timothy 1:6,

“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,”

Fan into flame. Ignite.

Paul had already written to Timothy and urged him to “not let anyone look down on you because you are young.” I wonder if Timothy had lost some of his fervor as is common to do as you age because Paul is now saying to stir up the fire again so that the gift God gave him ignites into flames.

But what was this gift that Timothy had?

As I researched this question, I found many answers to this question. Some say that when we receive Christ into our lives, we are given gifts of the Spirit. Certainly, there are gifts, and this web site gives some great information and even a test to see what your gifts may be.

Other people look to II Timothy 1:7 for an explanation of the gift.

Paul continues in the next verse to say,

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”

They say that the gift Timothy was supposed to fan into flames is this Spirit of God that makes us brave, gives us power, love, and self-discipline.

These are great explanations of what the gift may be, but I wondered if there’s one more possibility.

We all have something that we are good at – chef for your family, artist, mom, organizer, manager, graphic designer, comedian, musician, and on. I believe that God has placed special abilities in our lives. Maybe these gifts need to be developed. Every great musician still needed to learn about music.

What are you doing with your gifts?

For years, I struggled to write because I was either too busy or too tired to be creative. And we all have these seasons. However, I believe my word of the year for 2022 is…

Ignite.

I believe that this is the time for any Christian to be fanning the flame of their gifts.

This is a time for Christians to flood the world with their great books, songs, and masterpieces.

I could continue forever. But I think I’ll just echo Paul’s words.

“Fan the flame.”

This is not the time for retreat or giving up.

This is the time to stand up, develop our gifts, and show the world who Christ is.

The enemy is attacking with a good arsenal right now. If we begin to fan the flame, what’s going to happen?

Paul knew. Timothy knew.

They lived in a time that was very hostile to Christians.

Do you know how Timothy is said to have died?

I looked it up because I’ve very little about Timothy other than he was young. Tradition holds that when he was 80, he tried to stop a procession in honor of a goddess. He went out and preached the gospel. They beat him, dragged him through the streets, and stoned him to death.

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” II Timothy 1:7

Most of us don’t face death. But even if we did, that shouldn’t stop us from fan the flames of what God has given us. Timothy’s life and ministry has gone through the centuries as a witness to how Christains should live.

We are not scared of what may happen when we use our gifts. Instead, we hold our heads high when facing an angry mob. Not because of ourselves, but because of God’s power and love inside us makes us brave.

Our pastor in church on Sunday challenged us to live a life filled with God. He said, “What if 100 people in this room were completely committed to God and doing His work?”

I like that challenge. What if 100 people, or dare we say 1,000 people, to fan into flames their gift? A gift of prayer, of healing, of writing, of singing, of encouraging, of comedy, of teaching, and the however else God has chosen to use you.

Our world needs your gift, my gift. No fear. No holding back. It’s time to…

Ignite!

Are you with me?

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