Fan The Flame

2Ti 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, (ESV)

As a young man in the village, I learned how to light charcoal stove and keep it going the old fashion way. Now lighting charcoal took time and technique. Once a few caught fire, we fanned air into the little flame to get it going, igniting others until all the coals caught fire and burned without additional assistance.

This is exactly what Paul is telling Timothy to do. The young evangelist was becoming daunted by the gathering difficulties of the time. This weakened his faith and effectiveness. The fire was already present but somehow showed signs of dying. The instructions from Paul were to add more coals and blow them into flame, which would ignite others. That is the gift of God, all the spiritual gifts, which the grace of God has given to you.

The Lord speaking to the church in Sardis after a rebuke had this charge, Rev 3:2, ”Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God.” Timothy, compared to Paul, was just too young to quit. His work was not yet complete. The Apostle Paul at this point of his life could say to him, 2Ti 4:7, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”