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. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:6-7
The reason Paul speaks of in reminding Timothy to do his work for the Lord in the power, love and self-discipline of the Spirit of God is a reminder he himself had as he thought about the “sincere faith” passed on to Timothy by his grandmother and mother. This is a much needed reminder for us, too.
I am speaking to those of you who have received salvation in Christ by the grace of God, and his Spiritual gift for service, also through your sincere faith and God’s grace. This isn’t a message about finding your Spiritual gift. It’s a message about how it can be effectively used to bring God glory and accomplish its purpose.
Too often we work hard at Christian ministry only to see little come from our efforts. And so we get discouraged and may even stop trying to serve God altogether. I believe there are some reasons for this, for I’ve seen it happen in my own spiritual journey:
- We perform under our own strength
- We fail to rely on the gift and power of God that comes through grace and faith
- We don’t pray as we should (or at all)
These reasons of course are all interrelated.
If you find your ministry or spiritual service for the Lord lacks results, and if you’ve become discouraged, I want to share with you three Scriptural truths that will re energize and fire you up for the work God’s called you to do.
1. Realize God never calls us to do anything not prompted by the faith we’ve received from Him
Paul to the Thessalonians: “With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.” (2 Thessalonians 1:11 emphasis added.)
Let that message from Paul sink in, deeply. It will free you from taking on anything and everything and trying to perform under your own power. And, more importantly, it will lead you to do only that which God prompts you to do by the faith he’s given you.
2. Understand the unique gift you have comes from the grace of God
Paul to the Romans: “We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith.” (Romans 12:6, emphasis added.)
The liberating perspective here is that what makes you special, important and unique in the body of Christ and the kingdom of God is spiritual in nature and is given you by the grace of God. Paul goes on to say, whatever that gift of grace is, use it in proportion to your faith.
3. Prayer powers faith-based efforts to use our spiritual gifts for the glory of God and to see our efforts succeed
Moses prayer to God: “Let us, your servants, see you work again; let our children see your glory. And may the Lord our God show us his approval and make our efforts successful. Yes, make our efforts successful.” (Psalm 90:16 NLT.)
With the understanding your spiritual gift comes by grace, and with it a prompting and proportion of faith to use it; the last piece is to put what you do in God’s hands and pray he will make your effort successful.
Sometimes, I think we’re just so busy doing this and that – all great stuff – according to the grace of God and our faith, but because we fail to pray our efforts lack the results we had hoped for.
So here’s a prayer to bring this altogether:
“Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of grace you’ve given me to serve you. And thank you also for the measure of faith I’ve received to act and serve you in what you’ve called me to do. Work through me for your glory. And may you show me your approval and make my efforts successful. Yes, make my efforts successful. Amen.”
I hope that gets you on track and fires you up for fruitful service!