Read: 2 Timothy 1:3-7
Today’s Scripture: “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” (2 Timothy 1:6, NIV).
I wasn’t sure that I knew what I was doing.
When I began leading a children’s ministry, I was excited but nervous. Though I had volunteered in the ministry for a few years prior, I wondered if I really had the skills necessary to lead. I was young, and I was timid.
When those feelings of inadequacy crept up, God would bring a single memory to my attention: the day He called me into ministry. I can still remember where I was, when it happened, and how I felt. I knew I had been called. I knew He had given me a gift. And now it was time to use that gift.
No matter what feelings tried to dissuade me from leading, I knew God had given me all that I needed to succeed.
When Paul wrote his second letter to Timothy, Paul was imprisoned and nearing the end of his life. This caused Timothy to feel disheartened and downcast. He would have to lead the Ephesian believers without the help of his beloved mentor. It would not be an easy task. In fact, it was already difficult, even with Paul’s help.
But Paul had words of encouragement for the young Timothy. The gifts from God that Timothy would need to lead the Ephesians were already in him (2 Tim. 1:6). Timothy wasn’t unequipped or alone. He had the gifts he needed. He just needed a reminder to “fan them into flame” (practice using them). Paul reminded Timothy to practice using the gifts he already had.
God is able to give us what we need to do the work He has called us to do. Just like Timothy, we have the gifts we need. We just need to practice using them.
At times, we may feel timid about using those gifts. We may feel unequipped and discouraged. Before telling Timothy to practice using his gifts, Paul reminds him of his sincere faith (v. 5). Through faith, we can use our gifts despite timidity and fear.
Just like fanning a flame makes it bigger, the more we use our gifts, the more they grow. Faith is the spark that gets us started.
For me, this looked like stepping out in faith and leading a ministry when I still felt too young and too timid. What might it look like for you?
On top of all this, we can use our gifts in boldness. The Spirit who lives in us gives us power, not fear. That’s power to use our gifts even in the face of feelings of fear or inadequacy.
You are equipped. God has given you gifts. And with God, you can do it.
Today’s Thoughts: Are you facing feelings of disheartenment and timidity? How might you “fan into flame,” or practice using, your gifts? How might that change your work/ministry/life?
[Today’s devotion on gifts is a part of the Weekend Word devotional series. Come back every Saturday for fresh insights from God’s Word, or follow my blog via email or WordPress to get my content sent straight to your inbox.]