“Stir up the gift of God which is in you.” II Timothy 1:6
“Stir up” – when I think of this phrase, a few things come to mind:
1. Directions for cooking = mix all the ingredients together really well, until they become one unified ingredient.
2. The times in my life where I become stirred in my anger, or anxiety, or depression, or rejection = I lose my temper, and I begin to stir up, or allow emotions to stir up within me, that are ungodly; therefore, causing the situation to go beyond what it should have – had I taken it to the Lord, washed it in prayer, and replaced it with the truth of His Word.
3. The places in Scripture, which I am most familiar, where the apostles warned against stirring up strife, gossip, anger, and the works of the flesh = something I struggle with on a constant basis….especially when dealing with rejection or the temptation to be nosy about things that are really none of my business.
But Timothy, in this Scripture says – actually commands the Believer “to stir up the gift of God, which is in us.” This is an instruction that reveals more about life than what first glance might reflect. First of all, it tells me that God has given us a gift, a personal, unique present that Abba Father has packaged, beautifully, inside of me! It could be my talent, the people that He leads into my life…
Second of all, it tells me that I must stir it within me. This tells me it is dormant, or still, until I obey GOD’S WORD, identify what it is, then wake it up. It has to be shaken, awoken, aroused – because it has either never been awaken or because it has fallen asleep. How? One look at the way I spend my time throughout a typical day would soon reveal the answers to that question. If my time and energy is devoted to pop culture, my friends, my chores, my previous commitments, expectations on myself (or from others), unrepentant sin, anxieties – get the picture?
Our gifts can be washed down the river of life and apathy, until upon glance, looks like it has ceased to exist. We fear that our choices, failures, lack, procrastination – have taken us farther down the river of failure than God’s ability to turn us back around. But Timothy gives the believer a promise and a hope here. He promises me that the gift is in me, and that it can be stirred up if I am obedient to God’s Word.
Thirdly, the prepositional phrase “of God,” cannot be overlooked. These two small words change the entire direction the passage could otherwise be interpreted. Timothy didn’t tell the Believer to run after his own dreams and selfish ambitions. He specifically exhorted the Believer to stir up the gift God has placed in me. I can think of many times in my life where I stirred up a lot of gifts that I don’t believe God intended for me to be using at that time and season in my life.
One specific time that sticks out in my memory is after having my long-awaited for and much prayed about arrival of my daughter, Alexandra. I was 26, and trying to be everything opposite of my mom – trying to pursue dreams that would gain the respect of my family and friends…stirring up gifts at the wrong time and the wrong season once she had arrived. In my heart, I believe that God wanted me to focus on the gift He had given me in my daughter and to purpose to stir the gift of motherhood in my heart. Instead, I was more influenced by what my family and friends thought about my achievements….so I feel like I really rushed through, wasted, or overlooked many years of operating in one of my most precious and enjoyed gifts – that of just being a mother – no other title – not teacher of the year, department chair, employee of the month –
“The gift of God, which is in me…” Focus on what He desires for my life because this is what truly leads to my peace and joy.
I’ve turned a year older at least thirty-seven times,
and found my self depressed because I didn’t have enough gifts to call all mine.
I’ve opened many a packages with lofty expectation,
hoping to receive my heart’s desire for that time, but only hesitation –
After opening only to find it really wasn’t picked out for me,
but a gift that was really picked out for just anybody!
It hadn’t been personally thought of with my personalities or tastes in mind –
and maybe in my heart of hearts, instead of saying “thank you,” I thought “waste of time.”
I know this attitude isn’t God’s best for my life.
I need to learn to be thankful when people at least try and be nice.
But in II Timothy one and six, something special and surprising is revealed –
that my Abba Father has really given me and awesome gift, despite what I sometimes feel!
He didn’t waste His time or money on pretty paper, ribbons, and a bow,
but instead He fashioned this gift inside of me – the Bible tells me so!
The package has more care and effort than any store-bought box could hold,
and it grows to contain the most precious gift within it as life unfolds.
But unlike any other gift, which after unwrapped we throw the package away…
God continually can use our package each and every day.
You see, until we have discovered the precious gift He placed within our hearts,
our bodies only serve as clay, and the real living of life cannot start.
Once we ask Christ into our hearts, and become Children of The King,
it then becomes the time in life, where God begins to identify the things
that He plans to do within us as our hearts we commit,
to Him and Him alone to do as He sees fit.
These things specifically designed by Abba Father’s hands,
become the very things He uses as forces of change throughout this land!
He has placed within each of us a very special gift indeed,
but we must take the time to stir it up, or it mine as well just leave.
Because if no one gets to enjoy us as God truly designed us to be –
how very sad this life would look – it it were truly just all about me!