Fanning the Flame
Have you ever been singing a song your whole life and then realise... you have no clue what the lyrics mean?!?
That was me with the song “Consuming fire” by Tim Hughes.
The chorus goes like this:
“Consuming fire, fan into flame a passion for your name.”
What does that mean?! Well I found out a couple of weeks ago...
We were in Glasgow seeing family and we were all sat out in my grans garden around a fire pit whilst we ate dinner. As the night drew in the fire started to die down and we all began to feel really cold. My gran attempted to relight the fire by poking it with a stick, which actually made it go out faster. My papa then took a turn, and slid in little bits of paper to get the fire going again, but by this point my gran had pretty much extinguished it so it wasn’t working. Until my 14 year old cousin decided to have a go...
He walked into the kitchen and came back out with a tray. He then started to fan the fire as fast as he could! I remember thinking at the time “yeah nice try Ben, like this is going to work...” But then all of a sudden, the flames burst to life! It didn’t just slowly and gradually start again, no, it roared out of the fire pit! Then all my family started clapping and cheering and he got really embarrassed... but anyway...
As I watched this happen, the words of that song came back to mind, and it finally made sense. What would my passion for Jesus look like if I fanned it into flame? Well, it wouldn’t be fizzling out... it wouldn’t be slightly alight. My passion would be bursting and roaring to life... uncontrollable!
2 Timothy 1:6
“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God...”
Let me give you some context from this verse:
Paul wrote this to Timothy. Paul was actually about to retire, so he wrote this letter to Timothy who was a godly young man. Let me remind you, the bible never uses words when it doesn’t have to. For example, God never says to a person “stand up,” if they’re already standing.. He never says to a person “lay down” if they’re already lying down. So when Paul says to Timothy, “Timothy, fan into flame the gift of God...” Timothy must have needed reminding. See, as great and as godly as Timothy was, he was in danger of getting himself stick into a rut, which I often find we can be in danger of. Sometimes we are so busy “doing stuff” for God that we forget to be with God Himself. And as great and amazing as it is to do stuff for God, what is the point if we neglect our Lord and Saviour.
So my little thought for today is that as believers we should always be fanning our flame of passion for the Lord. The key to any good fire pit is the fire, and the key to a good fire is to fan the flame. The same goes with our relationship with Jesus.
I like to compare it to my relationship with my husband, Connor. How insane would it be if I said “Connor, I love you...” and then didn’t spend any time with him?! That would be crazy, because if you want to know someone you spend time with them. My relationship with Connor would be pretty non-existent if we didn’t continually fan the flame. It’s the same with God. Our relationship with God should be ongoing, ever growing.
I’m sure you’ve all heard the phrase “burnt out.” People often use that to describe themselves when they feel they have no fuel left in the tank. When you stop fuelling a fire, it burns out. When you stop fuelling your relationship with God, you yourself start to feel burnt out.
So take this as an encouragement - you have a God who made you and loves you more than you know. He’s desperate to spend time with you today. Why don’t you take a few moments to thank Him now for all He has done, and begin to fan the flame.