Faith. Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1) There is no better resource to explain what faith is than the inerrant Word of God. However, knowing what faith is and living and walking in faith are two entirely different things.
God continues to leave many of His children here on earth to walk in faith. God will allow us to experience trials and tests to develop our faith. With that in mind, it is our responsibility to fan the flames of our faith in Jesus Christ.
Just last week, I was coming to the end of a painful and furious health battle. After seeing the doctor earlier in the week, it seemed recovery was imminent. There were feelings of joy at the prospect of being able to attend church with my family on Sunday. I awakened quite early that morning, excited for the opportunity to hear truths from God’s Word as we go through the book of Hebrews. It had been a month since I was physically able to attend.
The next thing I knew, I was struggling to get dressed. Where did this come from, are you kidding me? What I began to feel was entirely different from my previous health issue from the week before. I had experienced pain several times, but not like this-not in my heart! It felt like someone had taken a razor-sharp spear and shoved it through the left side of my heart. I continue to try and get dressed for church, maybe I had pulled a muscle, or I was hoping that was the case.
Facing the Storm
Within minutes the pain wasn’t just throbbing; it was constant. So, I texted my sister and asked her not to pick me up because I would not be going to church. I tried various things to ease the pain, but it was relentless. I began to pray, asking the Lord for relief from this excruciating, downright scary pain. In my hope of this not being serious, I tried to continue with my morning disappointed that church was not in the cards for me that day.
I got in my wheelchair that I had kept since my stroke almost nine years ago, and I began to watch Charles Stanley’s Sunday service on television. The title of his message was When Facing Storms in our Life. The word He shared and the scriptures He referenced began to give me some comfort that morning.
I bowed my head and thanked the Lord for allowing me to hear such words of wisdom and encouragement. However, I knew something was seriously wrong with me. Despite my fears, I texted my sister again letting her know that I needed her to take me to the ER at the hospital. She was surprised to receive that text because she knows the extreme trepidation I have when it comes to stepping foot in a hospital.
After convincing her I was serious, she said she would be on her way. Little did I know that my text had interrupted the ladies Sunday School class as they were asking for prayer requests. My sister asked the ladies to pray for me as she hurriedly rushed over to get me. By this time, I was struggling to walk even with the assistance of a walker.
Affecting the Lives of Others
I’m not going to give you a blow by blow recap of what took place, but I want you to know how scared I was at that time. Thankfully there was not a long wait, and with minutes of seeing the doctor, I was admitted to the hospital. During my stay at the hospital, I was under the continuing care of several head nurses.
They varied in all different sizes, shapes, races, and age. Despite the differences in their personality and bedside manner, they all positively affected me. As I lay there in the hospital, I wanted to record my podcast for the week. I was feeling a little better, but not well enough to record anything. Besides, I was being awakened every 3-4 hours for medications, injections, and blood tests.
The care of the nurses got me thinking of our responsibilities as Christians. God brings people into our lives every day, and He desires for us to affect their lives positively as well. Those nurses went through months and years of training to be in the position to help. So what are we doing as Christians in preparation to be a help to those who need it?
Fanning the Flames
Some Bible verses that have been resonating with me is a passage in second Timothy. The Apostle Paul is instructing his protege, Timothy regarding his walk as a Christian. Look at these poignant and powerful words of wisdom.
For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well. For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God that is within you… for God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and discipline. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in the suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted to us in Christ Jesus for all eternity. – 2 Timothy 1:5-9
There are numerous tentacles throughout the health industry, and the nurses are a vital part that makes up the medical fraternity. We as Christians are blessed with the privilege of belonging to a divine spiritual fraternity. A fraternity where God desires for us to live as salt and light. Matt 5: 13-14 Click To Tweet
The ESV version of this passage reads fan into the flame the gift of God that is within you. Don’t you love that? Picture yourself fanning the flames at a campfire site so that everyone can feel the gentle warmth of the flames.
I am not an outdoors type, but I remember the joy that everyone felt once the campfire flames began to burn. The reassurance that there will be food for nourishment, fire for heat to keep everyone warm, and a light shining in the darkness.
God has entrusted us to live our lives in a way that draws people to Christ. Our faith should be burning so bright and offering a warmth that brings people closer to Him. So, what can we do to fan the flames of our faith? I have created an acronym that I hope will help us to remember to Fan the Flames.
Fan-Focused time in God’s Word. We have to make it our priority to not only read the Bible but meditate and memorize the truths from God’s Word.
The-Time in Prayer. Quality, purposeful time in conversation with God. Understanding and remembering what a privilege and honor we have in kneeling at the throne of God.
Flames-Fellowship with other Christians. Don’t diminish the necessity to be around other believers in Christ. The enemy, Satan, wants to isolate us. However, we are stronger together.
One Last Thing
In conclusion, I want to let you know that I am back at home now. The searing pain has subsided, but I can still feel the effects of whatever took place that Sunday morning. Doctors confirmed I had no heart attack but had experienced an atypical heart event. I will be visiting the cardiologist in a few days, and I’m looking forward to getting the care. So far, all my tests have been good which is somewhat confusing. I have no fever, and my blood pressure is normal. So, I thank God that He has given me the opportunity to continue serving Him. I want to furiously fan the flames of my faith so that God is glorified by the Light emanating from my heart.
We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. -Ephesians 2:10
If we are fanning the flames, good works that glorify Christ should be prevalent in our lives. They do not get us into heaven but are evidence of our salvation. We are an integral part of God’s family. So, let’s honor Him in everything we do.
I hope that this love letter to Timothy will inspire you to fan the flames of God’s gift to you. Be a beautiful, vibrant, and warming flame to everyone within your sphere of influence.