So, I’m on a mission to develop my spiritual gift to speak/ teach about the Bible. In 2 Timothy, Paul calls it “fanning into flame” the spiritual gifts that God gives us. Until recently, I thought I’d wait to “fan” this particular flame until there are fewer risks involved. After all, an ember can ignite into a forest fire quickly. I’ve been afraid that if I throw my heart-and-soul into developing a speaking/teaching gift, I’ll mess everything up.
But fear can’t be my motivation for stifling, hiding, and controlling a God-given gift. So the other day, I did as the psalmist encourages and I poured my heart out to God, naming each fear that was keeping my ember-of-a-gift in the dark. I cried and used a lot of tissues. When the tears subsided and I could see clearly again, I searched for God’s opinion on the matter through the pages of Scripture. I discovered that my candid prayer opened my heart to this great truth: God’s love will drive out each fear.
That’s why I’ve been abiding in His love, and learning truths that are setting me straight. Over the next few days, I’ll share what I’ve learned about each of these fears, but for today it’s important just to recognize that when I got real, things began to change. Maybe that could happen for you, too.
Here are some of the big fears that have been keeping my ember, an ember:
* I’m afraid I’ll promote myself and not Christ.
* I’m afraid I’ll crave approval from people and not from Christ.
* I’m afraid I’ll teach something wrong, be a fraud, or mislead people.
* I’m afraid I’ll abandon my husband to study, write, and travel.
* I’m afraid I’ll short-change my kids in ministering to other people.
You’ve gotta admit: there’s an engulfing forest fire waiting behind each of those fears. Huge disaster awaits me if I let this thing get out of control. But I’m beginning to wonder, will there ever be fewer risks? Is a forest fire the worst thing that could happen? And, what does God have to say to my trembling heart?
Is a spiritual gift sitting inside of you as an ember and not a flame? What are you afraid of?
Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Psalm 62:8