2 Timothy 1:6-7
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.
My brother is quite a bit older than me so when he was in high school managing the varsity basketball team, I was still a little girl. I anticipated Friday nights and the excitement of high school basketball. I especially loved the cheerleaders because they were all so pretty and nice. I would start each game seated with my parents up in the bleachers and then I would shyly make my way down towards the cheerleaders seated below. By halftime, I would sit quietly next to them so they wouldn't notice me but I felt like a part of them. By the end of the game, I'd do the hand motions along with them and clap when they jumped and cheered for scored points.
One of my favorite cheers, even to this day, was "We're Dynamite". It was a crowd-pleaser and involved the cheerleaders building up the crowd chanting, "tick tick tick" and then everyone would yell, "BOOM!" and stomp the bleachers. I couldn't wait for that cheer each game. Later, when I was a cheerleader it continued to be one of my favorites. My girls would tell you, with eyes rolling, that I often break out into this cheer during the day at home.
So what's cheerleading got to do with Jesus? Well, maybe not much but I've been working through 2 Timothy and the verse referenced above caught my interest. Paul is writing to Timothy sending him instruction, encouragement, and wisdom for ministry. Paul reminds Timothy that he has the Spirit of God within him and that means he is effective and strong, not in his own strength but because of God's spirit. The phrase, "not a spirit of fear but of power" caught my eye. There's a lot of fear going on right now in our families, communities, nation, and even in the Church.
The original Greek word for power in this verse is "dynamis". There it is: Dynamite! We're dynamite, we're dynamite, we're tick, tick, tick...BOOM! If we have the Spirit of God within us, we are not to be given over to fear, worry, and anxiety. His grace and power is extended to us to be powerful. You might say you do not feel powerful, that you even feel weak. To that I say, 'welcome to the club', but God addresses that specifically. He tells us in 2 Corinthians 12:9:
"For my grace is sufficient for you, MY power is made perfect in your weakness.
The word power in this verse is the same: "dynamis". If you ever see my driving around town, you'll notice my license plate: 2C129. This is my constant reminder that I operate best in my weakness and God's power. That it is His strength that is made perfect through my shortcomings, my fears, and my timidity.
What's got you fearful, frustrated or feeling weak today? Is it the political climate, your kid's wayward walk, or an illness that won't leave you or your loved one? God's spirit is available for any who call on His name and surrender to His grace. The Holy Spirit is often referred to as the helper, but I believe God wants us to know He is more than a helper. Much like the excited crowd cheering on my brother's basketball team, there's an excitement as God comes along side us as we face this fearful world. He is for us. He is near.
As you face what fears you or what brings you down today, reach for the power...reach for the dynamite and BOOM watch Him work. But notice verse six. Paul tells Timothy that Timothy must fan into flame the gift of God within him. Timothy can not sit idly by, he must actively participate with God. How does one do this? It's through community with God's people, by reading His word and through worship. That's how we fan the flame - when we are focused on God, His people and His word we no longer focus on ourselves, our problems or where we fall short, we allow the Lord to take over and for the dynamite to work.
Think about how dynamite is often used. It's used to blow up the earth that can't be moved my hand or by machinery. It's used to expose something more valuable beneath the hard immovable layers. It's used to expose precious resources. Allow God to remove those layers of fear and anxiety - whatever is holding you back so that He may access what is precious within you to do His will.