Soon the cooler weather that seeks us in the early Arkansas mornings and hides away in the afternoon sun will be lingering throughout our days. With cooler temperatures comes the smell of fall and the warmth of bustling fires. I tend to be cold-natured so I find myself setting extra close to the heater so that I don’t miss much of the radiating heat.
I didn’t have the luxury of growing up with a fireplace but one of my aunts did. And I know keeping the heat going in a fireplace took tending. You didn’t just throw a few logs in and left it going for days. By that fireplace was extra wood, prodding sticks (I don’t know the proper name for it…lol), and a cover. Every once in a while the wood on in the fireplace had to be stirred around and more added to the fire. When the fireplace aim was meant for a source of heat and not just decoration, it required work.
Hindrances to Exercising Our Gifts
Many times we like the impact we get from a thing but don’t really desire to put in the work associated with it.
I was reading yesterday in where Paul encouraged Timothy to fan into flames the spiritual gift that God had given to him. (See 2 Tim 1:6). Then I read verse seven.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
I have seen or heard that verse many times but the correlation of those two verses just detonated within me. I had a light bulb moment. What stops you and I from fan into flames the gifts God has given us?
FEAR and TIMIDITY
At first glance those two words seemed very similar to me. Therefore, I did a little word snooping. Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines timidity as “lack of willingness to assert oneself and take risks. Wikipedia defines fear as “an emotion induced by a perceived threat which causes entities to quickly pull far away from it and usually hide.”
The Battle Weapons to Combat
Right after identifying the two opposing forces to using our gifts, Paul points out the antidote to conquer it.
- All three provided to us by God but we have to use them.
Picking Up My Fan
As I walked this morning I thought about the Doing You Well link-up that Michell host’s at Prowess and Pearls and in light of this I began asking myself what am I doing well or doing at all to exercise the gifts entrusted to me. You see sometimes I can be a lil Debbie-downer that only can see the areas I need to improve. But instead of focusing on that because hey we all have many ways to improve, I decided to think on the small steps I’m taking toward fanning my personal flames.
- For several weeks I have been taking an online web development class and I am just about to fully complete it. Here is example of one the certificates I have earned thus far.
- Over the weekend, I decided to defy timidity and take the risk of opening my own Etsy shop. I’m still working on adding more themes to the inventory. If you have a few minutes, I would love for you to stop by the shop and please like it and share with others who might like it.
How have you been keeping the flames of your gifts burning lately? Have you found yourself stuck in fear and timidity in a certain area?
May I say a prayer for you before you go? Dear Father I thank you for your Word that you left for us. I thank you that it is alive and active! I pray that for those reading these words that they would be stirred afresh dear God. May we each walk in the love, power, and self-discipline you have already provided to each of us. May we walk out in new places of courage and may you Lord be glorified through the works of our hands. In Jesus name, Amen.