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 God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. (2 Timothy 1:6-7 ESV)
If you’ve been a Christian for very long, you’ve probably heard some sayings or phrases that Christians like to toss around that deal with fire.
Light the fire (in my soul) . . . a youth camp song.
Holy Spirit fire
Fires of revival
Baptized with fire
You get the picture. The Bible is full of images and metaphors that deal with fire. Paul draws on the image again here with Timothy. He says fan into flame the gift of God which is in you. In other words, God has put gifts and desires inside you, Timothy, so do things that continually kindle the flame of those desires and gifts. Read things that fan the flame. Be around people who fan the flame. Sing songs that fan the flame. Do good works that fan the flame. Do everything in your power to fan the the gifts of God within you into a white hot, flaming, burning passion for Jesus.
During the month of September we, your NHC pastors, will be filling your digital world with verses, stories, quotes, that have fanned the flame of our passion for Christ in hopes that it will fan your passion as well. We want you to set an alarm on your smartphone or computer or whatever device you use to help you keep up with your schedule to pray every day of September at 1:06 PM. Pray about what? Pray that God would fan the flame of your passion for him. Pray that God would fan the flame of our church’s passion for Jesus. Pray that we would begin to see our altars full again with people repenting. Pray that our baptisms would be lined up with people who have been newly saved. Put simply, pray that the Holy Spirit would accomplish everything he wants to accomplish in your heart and in the life of NHC.
Where do we begin? You don’t have to wait until September 1 to do this. Today, begin praying for repentance among God’s people. If judgment begins in the house of God (1 Peter 4:17), then repentance must begin with God’s people. Repentance is the defining characteristic of believers. A lot of things can be faked in the Christian life, but true repentance has fruit that is unmistakable. True repentance brings awakening.
Whatever it is that happens among us, if there is no repentance, we may not call it revival. For every soul that has ever been awakened to the presence of God, repentance has been the cry of the heart. It is the only sure gauge by which we can measure the manifestation of God in his people.
In other words, if real repentance is happening, God has been at work and revival is birthing. Pray for an outpouring of repentance in your life and in all of our lives at NHC. It is the only way we can hope to see the Holy Spirit truly spark awakening throughout our community. Pray Psalm 139 and ask to be filled with the Holy Spirit. This is what we desperately need.
Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! (Psalm 139:23-24 ESV)