I have been praying and talking recently about some things that God has been encouraging me to do that I have been fighting. One of the areas is with my writing. There have been many times in the past when I have chosen not to sit down and write something that God was talking to me about simply because I was too tired, I was afraid to step out on a limb with an idea, or I knew it was going to be difficult. All kinds of voices try to discourage in those times, but I know deep inside my heart the truth. God has given me a gift and the desire to use it. What I lack is the disciple to push me forward.
God is the absolute best coach anyone could ever have; however, He is also the most relentless. He knows the potential that He has placed inside of me, and He simply will not settle for anything less than the best from me. I can fool anyone else in the world, but I cannot fool my Creator who knows me better than I even know myself. He is not the type of coach that beats His players over the head when they do something wrong or when they stumble; rather He is the great encourager that longs to see us become everything He made us to be. I am learning more every day what that means.
There are moments that I am deeply convicted of my laziness. This morning was one of those times. During our break time at school, I opened up my Bible to 2 Timothy 1:6-7 and it hit me like a freight train: “This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” I am not sure that I have ever put those two verses together in all the times I have read 2 Timothy, and here they are…together. It was like God was saying, “Ok, Chelsea. No more excuses. No more fear. No more laziness. I gave you a gift, and now YOU must fan into flame that gift. I am not the source of your fear or laziness. I created you to be powerful, loving, and disciplined. So do it.”
I read on into the chapter and Paul talked a lot to Timothy about being entrusted with the amazing truth of God. Paul is writing from prison where he continued to defend the cause of Christ, and this is most likely the last documented letter that we have of his before his death. He says in verse 12: “That is why I am suffering here in prison. But I am not ashamed of it, for I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return.”
As I read this verse, I was reminded of the two sides of the relationship that we have with God: what God has entrusted to us, and what we have in turn entrusted to Him. Everything is God’s. Period. Yet for some mysterious reason that I will never understand, God has chosen to entrust His message of grace and salvation to us. What a privilege and an incredible responsibility. In light of this amazing grace that He has given me in saving me and allowing me to be a part of His redemption plan, I have given Him everything. I have entrusted to Him my hopes, dreams, and plans. I do not take lightly the responsibility that God has given me; even moreso God takes serious care with our fragile hearts. He may replace some dreams with His best and others He might return to me later, but the truth remains: I have given all that I know so that I in turn might know Him more.
In verse 14, Paul encourages Timothy: “Through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard the precious truth that has been entrusted to you.” As I discharge the responsibilities that God has given me as a leader, I must be careful to guard the truth that God has entrusted to me. I must make sure that the theology that I live by and preach is Biblical. I must be responsible in my work. I must not waste anything. Lord, forgive me for the times when I have been less than obedient to Your leading or less than careful with Your precious gift.
God has asked me to step out and begin fanning into flames the gift that He has given me. I know that it will be difficult and exhausting, but He has called me to do it and He will give me the strength and wisdom to do it. I have not been giving God my best in the area of writing, and with His grace, I will step out toward Him in faith.
What gift has God been asking you to fan into flames?