March 8, 2023
God Wants You To Open the Gift
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"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)
For months, the box sat in our basement, unopened and collecting dust. At the time, it was just something else to organize.
Until my son discovered it.
"Mama, guess what I found?" he said. He led me downstairs and showed me the numerous photos and pieces of memorabilia from my childhood - which my parents had brought during their last visit to my house.
As I studied my son’s smile, I realized that to him, this box was a treasure. Together, we combed through the contents, countless memories coming back to me in an instant.
At first, I had seen the box as an inconvenience. But the more time I spent looking through it, the more I realized this collection was a gift. I remembered moments I might have forgotten otherwise. The box’s contents reminded me of the difficult seasons God strengthened me through and how He empowered me at times when I was afraid to respond to His prompting in faith.
It also reminded me of the way I treat some of the gifts God gives me. He gives me the gift of His Spirit, but do I really believe He can do what Scripture says?
Sometimes I read accounts of miracles the disciples performed and think, Yeah, but they had just seen Jesus. They had the benefit of firsthand interaction. And God gently reminds me, But you have the same Spirit in you.
In Paul's letter to Timothy, I sense the urgency in Paul's words as he told Timothy about the gift God gives each believer:
"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).
The beauty of these words is that they're not simply for a believer who lived thousands of years ago; they’re for each of us today. They're truth to help us get out of our own way.
In other words, wipe the dust off the box, and open the gift.
But what does opening this gift look like in everyday life? For the mom who has young children or someone who works a nine-to-five job, how do we live like we believe this passage?
As I dig into God's Word, He is teaching me:
- When we receive prompting from God and it lines up with His Word, we can act in faith without repeated confirmation. (James 2:14)
- The power of the Spirit in me is activated when I step out in faith before I know what the outcome will be, not after. (Hebrews 11:1)
- God's power is displayed in me and through me even when my acts of faith bring different results than I envisioned. (Ephesians 3:20)
After I looked through the contents of the long-forgotten box, God prompted me to take a step of faith.
I made a doctor's appointment I'd been putting off for months, hoping the chronic pain I was experiencing would go away. Although I feared an unwelcome diagnosis, those fresh memories helped me recall all the struggles God had walked through with me in the past. God didn't abandon me then, and I knew He was with me as I scheduled the appointment. My friend, He is with you too.
God, thank You for giving us the gift of Your Spirit, even though we sometimes attempt to live without the Spirit's help. When we're prone to forget the power residing within us, help us instead to live like the sons and daughters we are ... so that others may see who You are. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
OUR FAVORITE THINGS
Abby McDonald's book Shift: Changing Our Focus to See the Presence of God offers more insights into how a simple shift in perspective can allow the power of God to reign in our lives. Pick up your copy today!
Are there areas of your life where you can't seem to find a breakthrough? Visit Abby's website to take the "5 Days to Life Unstuck" challenge.
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FOR DEEPER STUDY
Ephesians 1:19-20, "I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God's power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God's right hand in the heavenly realms." (NLT)
If you knew the power of the Spirit within you could help you do whatever God asked you to do, what bold step of faith would you take? We would love to know - share with us in the comments!
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Proverbs 31 Ministries
P.O. Box 3189
Matthews, NC 28106