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
I remember the day I got baptized. I was 34 years old and at the same time my one year old and 5 year old received the Holy water. I remember standing on that stage full of the spirit of God. My heart was full. I was ready to jump in with both feet.
As a person trained in marketing and public relations, I decided a good place for me to volunteer at my new church was on the growth committee. The church membership had shrunk over the years and they were looking to reach out into the community. After four months of detailed work, we finally had the plan. And by “plan” I mean the plan and bylaws of how the committee would work. I was so dispirited.
My friend invited our family to come worship at her church which was the same denomination but was very large and vibrant. We loved it! My spirits soared again as I watched my kids get involved in various church groups and my husband volunteered as an usher. And then I flatlined. Attending church became something we tried to fit into our schedule. My faith life outside church was non-existent.
We gotta get our faith stirred up again! If I was just running on excitement, I would’ve run out of gas a long time ago. Once the excitement of God is over, real men and women of God kick into faithfulness.Joyce Meyer
We get tired of the “doing” in our everyday lives – making the bed, doing the dishes, going to work, brushing our teeth. But we still do it or else we become destitute. Some of us have become destitute in our faith because the excitement is gone. We all probably remember when we accepted Jesus as our savior or were baptized. It was exciting! And now, the day-to-day life has settled in. We need to keep “doing” our faith because we are assigned the work of God.
When I was thinking of this concept, I thought of my favorite college basketball team (Go Aztecs!). In March 2020 they were a powerhouse team, set to go to the NCAA tournament. My husband and I had gone to a lot of the home games. The SDSU Aztec games are well known for the influence of their fans. We can really rock the Mesa and spur our boys on! And in March 2021 we couldn’t go to any games. It felt weird watching on tv without the excitement of being able to high five strangers when one of the players hit an amazing three-pointer. It just wasn’t the same. So, our faithfulness of watching games waned. I’m sorry to say we didn’t even watch their NCAA tournament game. We had better things to do.
But the difference between being a fan of a team and follower of Jesus is the Aztecs, once a game was over and we all went home, didn’t know my name. They didn’t care to know me at all. Sure, they appreciated the support but they didn’t ride home with me. Except for the mailing list our name is on to ask us for money, our favorite team, that brings us so much fun and excitement, goes about their own lives not thinking of me once.
But after we commit ourselves to the Lord and experience that wave of excitement, He stays with us. He is with us when we don’t think about Him during our busy day. He is with us when we forget about Him completely. He is waiting for us to go to work for Him. He is waiting for us to turn to Him.
Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us. 2 Timothy 1:14
Last year I found myself a Christian without a church. And at first, I thought that meant my faith would become destitute again. I turned to God and said, “What now?” And He answered, “It’s time to truly grow.”
I had been relying on outside entities to stir up my excitement for God. To fan my flames for Jesus. When all along He was sitting there next to me waiting to build a bonfire together.
A few studies ago my BSGs were tasked to draw their faith journey as a graph. I’m happy to report we have all had steady growth. It was amazing to see how, in the time where we were all without “church,” our charts showed an upward movement. When we were stripped down to our lives being so simple because of the Covid pandemic God invited us to His campfire. And we all accepted the invitation.
For many of us our churches have re-opened. And the celebration of the beauty of the resurrection is in our rearview mirror. We need to ask ourselves are we expecting an outside source to fan our flames for God or will we turn and join Him at the campfire?