Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. (2 Timothy 1:6)
It saddens me to hear believers say they don’t have any spiritual gifts, or that they aren’t gifted for any purpose. The gifts of God come with and are inseparable from the filling by Holy Spirit. If we have the Spirit, we have the gifts. The tragedy is that we don’t always realise that, like Timothy, we must stir up the gift of God. Every single one of us has a particular purpose over and above the common purpose to preach the Gospel and make disciples. Now, more than ever, we need to take hold of the truth that God has already gifted us to walk in that purpose. The embers are within us. We need only stir them up into a pure flame.
We cannot live in the purposes of God and fulfill our unique calling unless we stir up the gift.
Much of the confusion comes in when we persist in believing only in the ‘big’ gifts – that prophecy, healing and deliverance, preaching, evangelism, teaching, and signs and wonders are the only ‘real’ gifts granted only to a few, and the rest of us simply do our best to do ‘good works.’ This is a tragic perception that robs too many believers of their destiny in Christ. Before we can stir up the gift that God has placed within us, we must first take hold of the truth that He has placed one in each of us.
Because we don’t have a calling to ‘full time ministry’ does not mean we don’t have a ministry and we don’t have gifts. We each form part of the body of Christ. Every single believer has an integral part in the functioning of His body. Without even one of us doing our part and exercising our gift, His body cannot function as a whole, perfect body. He needs His fingers and toes as much as He needs the larger members. It’s critical that we realise this and embrace our purpose. The passion and faith this brings is essential if we desire to stir up the gift.
The next thing we must do is to seek God to show us what that gift is. In doing so, we must consider the ‘ordinary’ along with the extraordinary. One person may have been given the gift of encouragement. Another may have the gift of hospitality. Yet another may bring joy to the aged or the infirm. Our gifts are for the purpose of revealing Jesus, and this can happen through a simple kind word or shopping for a neighbour recovering from surgery or illness. Perhaps it’s taking out the trash for an elderly widow, or doing shopping for someone who struggles with a disabiity. When we stir up the gift within us and step out in it, Jesus is revealed in a way that His nature, grace, and power are made manifest.
While we seek God in this, we must also ask that He help us to both discern and stir up the gift. This means spending time with Him and being willing to honour it with our obedience, even when it may seem inconsequential or insignificant. The wonderful truth is that nothing God does is without particular purpose. Everything He initiates is of priceless value in His kingdom. That one smile may be the thing that turns a stranger from suicide and towards the arms of God. When we seek God for His will and for Him to reveal our gift, He will always honour that.
The reality is that any calling starts with small steps of obedience. David started as a simple shepherd boy. Moses ended up taking care of his father-in-law’s goats. Joseph was a slave and a prisoner. Yet all of these men rose to prominence in the purposes of God because they were faithful wherever God placed them. The looked to Him in absolute faith that He would complete His work. They chose to stir up the gift He placed within each one of them, and resolved to remain obedient and let God decide the when and the how of it.
There is no doubt that the world needs Jesus now more than ever. In a time of declining morals and increasing depravity, when God is reviled and scorned and the person of Jesus mocked and rejected, His body needs to stir themselves and find the passion and zeal to live out our purpose. There is someone out there who needs the gift that God has placed within us. We have been raised up and sent out specifically to meet that need, but we must stir up the gift within us and begin to walk in the calling of God on our lives.
We stir up the gift by using it – every day, in small ways, being obedient to the prompting of the Spirit. No matter what it is, it has a divine purpose, and it’s only in using it that His purpose is outworked in us and in the world around us. Constant obedience is the key, stepping out in faith even when the results aren’t apparent or large. The more we use it, the more our zeal will grow. God Himself will honour what we begin to use for His glory.
Draw near to Him today and ask. There is someone who needs what God placed in you, and He will give you the courage, strength, and passion to walk in your calling, whatever it might be.
Lord, forgive us if we have grown complacent, or misunderstood the nature of Your gifts. Help us to draw near in humility in faith. Stir up the gift in each of us, and the passion to live it completely and fulfill Your purpose for our lives.