2 Tim.1:6 – For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
Fires ultimately go out if they are not maintained. There is an art to starting a fire in a fireplace or campfire and there is an art to maintaining that fire over extended periods of time. This is the picture Paul is painting for Timothy. Apparently Paul felt that the fire of Timothy’s early days as a Christian was not burning so hot at the writing of this letter. Paul reminded Timothy of the fire of God imparted to him when Paul had laid his hands on him. Now Paul says, “stir it up again”. Apparently the trials in Timothy’s world and the resistance to the gospel was taking its toll on Timothy. Without continual spiritual maintenance it gets to all of us. Here is how Albert Barnes describes this passage.
“That thou kindle up as a fire. The original word used here denotes the kindling of a fire, as by bellows, etc. It is not uncommon to compare piety to a flame or a fire, and the image is one that is obvious when we speak of causing that to burn more brightly. The idea is, that Timothy was to use all proper means to keep the flame of pure religion in the soul burning, and more particularly his zeal in the great cause to which he had been set apart. The agency of man himself is needful to keep the religion of the heart warm and glowing. However rich the gifts which God has bestowed upon us, they do not grow of their own accord, but need to be cultivated by our own personal care.”
The whole planet has had quite a year. Who would ever have believed that our entire world would actually be locked down? That experience alone has effected Christians adversely. On top of that was the shutting down of the churches. There has been an obvious targeting of church, especially in some parts of our country.
So the answer is how do we deal with these types of struggles? Paul give us the answer today. Stir up the gift of the Holy Spirit in your life. Pray in the Spirit. Pray in the Spirit for extended periods of time. This will strengthen you. Then you will experience what Paul went on to say to Timothy, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind”.