Tag Archives: stir up the gifts

Raising Your Lid

In his book “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership”, John Maxwell starts with the Law of the Lid. It basically states that your leadership ability determines your leadership effectiveness. There’s a lid on your ability to be an effective leader. The good news is that it’s based on your abilities. Every one of us have unique abilities, and we are able to increase our abilities thereby increasing our effectiveness. The problem most people face is that we get stuck in our ways and become complacent with our level of effectiveness. The choice is up to us to do the work, enroll in classes, read and spend the time and effort it takes to raise our lid. When we do, it exponentially increases our effectiveness.

There’s a spiritual law that works the same way. Our spiritual disciplines determine our spiritual effectiveness. There’s a lid on our ability to be effective Christians. Just like the other lid, it can be raised but it takes efforts on our part. In both of his books to Timothy, Paul was writing to him to help him increase his level of effectiveness. We know 1 Timothy 4:12 where Paul tells him not to let anyone despise his youth, but to instead be an example to all. He was reminding him that age has nothing to do with his ability to be effective. It had everything to do with how we utilized his spiritual gifts and attended to his spiritual disciplines.

2 Timothy 1:6 says, “I’m writing to encourage you to fan into a flame and rekindle the fire of the spiritual gift God imparted to you when I laid my hands upon you” (TPT). There are things we must do to keep the spiritual gifts we’ve been given active and effective. We must fan them, add fuel to them and rekindle them. Our daily spiritual disciplines will do that. When we add fuel to our fire by increasing our knowledge and understanding of Scripture we increase our effectiveness. When we increase our time in prayer, we increase our ability to hear God. When we increase our study and meditation of God’s Word, our lives increase exponentially. If we want to be more effective as believers, we must raise our lid through spiritual disciplines.

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Fanning The Flame

I consider myself somewhat of an expert when it comes to building campfires. I spent years in a scouting program, and I know to build a fire it requires three things: oxygen, fuel and heat. One of my favorite things to do on a camp out is to restart the fire in the morning from the embers. I move back all the ashes, find a small ember, add some kindling and blow on it. It doesn’t take long before I get a roaring fire and can start cooking breakfast. To me, there’s just something cool about starting that fire from the embers. It reminds me that it doesn’t take much to get a fire going.

When I read 2 Timothy 1:6, I think of starting that fire in the mornings. It says, “That is why I remind you to fan into flame the gracious gift of God, [that inner fire–the special endowment]” (AMP). Paul was reminding Timothy, and us, that each of us have God-given gifts inside of us that we have to keep going. They may be embers right now, but they can be fanned into a great flame. Just like a campfire, they need oxygen, fuel and heat in order to keep growing and to stay ablaze.

The heat comes from God. He’s the one who put the gifts in you. It’s up to you to add the fuel. The kindling required to ignite it is spending time in prayer and reading God’s Word. The oxygen needed to keep it going is putting your gifts into practice. When we neglect the gifts in us, we choke out the flame by cutting off its oxygen. God has created you for a purpose and has given you the tools you need to accomplish that which He created you for. It’s up to you to breathe new life into them and fan into flame those gifts.

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