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. 2 Tim 1:6 NIV
Do not despise small beginnings
Great things hardly start great. Mighty conglomerates always have a humble start. There is nothing like great fire suddenly engulfing a large area within a second. It starts with fire that could be very tiny that one would even doubt whether it could light a cigarette. There is no coal that has a little fire on it that could not do much if exposed to oxygen.
Think about it, your life started as a seed sown by your father into your mother. It is rare for your mother to have known immediately that a spark had occurred. Look at yourself today. Every giant once was a baby that could do nothing on its own except crying. However as the mother fans the spark that is contact with fuel, the giant or genius began to grow and that is you because I can see you grow beyond what you can even imagine now if you would take this write up serious and apply the principles.
One major evil that the devil does to us to make us despise the days of little beginning. But what are we told in Zech 4:10?
Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin. NLT
In Mathew 25:24-30 we read of the story of the servant that was given a talent. Shouldn’t you wonder why the profitable servants (those with five and two talents) had only two verses devoted to their stories and the unprofitable servants has seven verses about him? God made me understand that it is because most of us have the tendency to be like the unprofitable one. Good wine needs no bush. Great produces need little or no advertisement. Success doesn’t have long excuses. This servant despised the spark, the single talent that he was given. Only if he was wise enough, he would have let that little light shine and it could have grown to what he would be proud of only if he had known Job 8:7 which says:
Though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end should greatly increase.
I believe that God is ever interested in ensuring that any gathering of believers is endowed with men and women that carry fires no matter how little. A great church never emerges where members do not have any fire except that of the pastor. If they have fire that cannot ignite the coals of cold Christians, then it surely needs to be fanned.
Laying hands is a means not an end.
We read in the news about a Nigerian went with entourage to South Korea to have hands laid on them. People struggle to have men of God anoint them. Why there is nothing wrong if whoever is laying hands on you is truly a man of God and I know a lot is imparted through laying of hands, it does not end there. From 2 Tim 1:6, it is not enough to begin to rejoice because a great minister of God has laid hands on you! What is dropped through impartation is a coal of fire. While it is hot and it could be felt in the life on the person receiving the laying on of hands, he is not expected to keep the fire at the coal level.
The salt in your pot of soup may not be tasted unless you stir the soup. Sugar could settle in your tea cup and without some stirring, its effect is not felt. In you are potentials that no one but you can fan into flame! For our anointing to be contagious and to do what it is expected to do, one thing we surely need is flame. The coal has to physically touch something before its effect is felt. When fire is however large enough and generates flame, it is the intangible flame that does much of the work. In Nigeria are great men of God but we need more! They are too few for the task ahead.
Don’t be intimidated
Even though your function may look too infinitesimal to present side by side with others around you, do not make this lead you to bury your talent.
I grew up in a choir where we had organists who had playing the instrument several decades before I was born. What skills do you want to present to 2 great organists that are old enough to be your grandfather? My day came when they could not come for a carol service. I vamped and though with limited skill, I surprised many and the congregation appreciated my little fire. The old organists got to know and one of them asked me to be coming to his house for free music lesson. 3 years later, I was organist in 2 fellowships as an undergraduate. It started with the little fire!
For those of us that have used firewood to cook before, it is a known thing that if a burning coal is left alone, it is matter of time before it dies off. That is what an idle gift becomes. There is a way you stir up firewood to make it produce more fire. If you no longer want to despise your current situation, then join as we lay a few principles that would lead to your latter end greatly increasing.
How to fan your gift into flame
Whenever we wanted to fan a coal into flame in the village, we always made use of several means. The most common is to kneel down, position your mouth to the fire and simply blow air. As you blow, you see the goal getting red, hotter, more impactful and gaining influence. You see fire growing bigger and illumination getting brighter, the heat getting stronger and the speed of cooking rapidly enhanced.
How does this compare to kneeling down before your maker, opening your mouth and blowing him thanks, praises, worship and even prayers! No one can be great for God who has not been great with God. Our gifts have limited reach when not backed with the power of prayers. An old organist requested that I played a hymn in his church years ago and I was amazed by the testimony of a born-again Christian who said something in him stirred up immediately my hands landed on the keys. He noticed a difference, a charge in his spirit.
Secondly, if the environment is such that it is difficult to position your mouth close to the fire, you then pick any object that can serve as a hand-fan. This could be a piece of strong paper, leather fan, etc. which you swing left and right to make the fire glow. It is like using a lever to achieve more than you could achieve without it. I think the word of God can serve this purpose. Knowing appropriate scripture has a way of firing you up. You are challenged to do more.
Likewise, reading works of great exploits of other believers in the area of your gifting, discussing with people that have been used in such area in the past etc. are means of getting a secondary fanning. When you are located where the Lord wants to use you, He’ll provide secondary fans to glow your embers if you would allow Him.
Another way of ensuring the fire does not go out is by arranging and rearranging of the wood. Dry wood are placed below while wet ones are on top so that they may be getting dried and ready for ignition eventually. You may need to rearrange your priorities and know the difference between what is urgent and what is important what is needful and what may be done. Getting to church on time may be urgent but getting there safely is more important. If you put the wet wood under the burning one, you have put the cart before the horse.
Iron sharpens iron. The people that we associate it, where we fellowship, the kind of pastor that we have etc. would determine how far we can go with our gifts. The man that is gifted in drama but attends a church that does not believe in drama is in a wrong assembly. A man that has the gift of prophesy in assembly where prophecy is treated as an anathema may need a change of environment!
Moreover, if you want your fire to keep burning, you should identify fire extinguishers and move away from them. In the best of churches, in the most spiritual places, there are still fire extinguishers. Joseph always have brothers that would see his dreams as unrealistic. Every David always have senior and more experienced ones that would tell him he cannot go far because if they could not fight Goliath, how would he? There is no point fanning a coal that is receiving baptism from fire extinguishers.
A footballer that plays no match for over a year would still definitely move. I am not aware of anything in life that does not move considering the fact that even our world and this planet we inhabit does move. One thing that is sure is that he would lose skills. His movement would be backward. The Bible talks about strong meat belonging to those “who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” Heb 5:14.
If I teach someone how to play the guitar and he understands the rudiments, that would not make him a world class guitarist. What determines the level any trainee musicians get to is his personal devotion to the instrument and rehearsals. That is the same thing with the gifts of the spirit. The more it is used, the more it gains ground!
This means that making good use of our gift at all opportunity that surfaces is a means of fanning it. I remember seeing a Christian brother who is much older struggling to play the keyboard many years ago. I simply fanned my gift by freely explaining some basics to him. That birthed a relationship that has existed for more than two decades and has afforded me an opportunity of being a musical instruments instructor in churches he’s pastored as well as those pastored by people that he linked me up with. I am talking of at least 10 trainings in big Anglican churches in Lagos metropolis.
It was writing a letter to the brethren from my village that brought an encouragement from a renowned journalist. This fanned my writing skill such that at least 80% of articles sent to newspapers in Nigeria are published even though I do not know anyone to ensure my articles are published.
In conclusion, no matter your relationship with men of God, if you do not do something about what you receive from them, it would not profit you anything. The man that buried his talent would have been better off if he never got a talent. Fan that God given gift, and it will open opportunities for you and bring you before great men. Proverbs 18:16. If you don’t fan it into flame, the only movement you’ll experience would be backward. If all you have is a spark, don’t despise it. That single gift could open you up to opportunities that you cannot imagine now.
God bless you.