Summary: Being passionate for God involves rekindling the spiritual fire within.
Some people love camping—I have not worked out why people would love camping,especially when you read some horrendous stories about camping. And I have read some horrendous story about camping. When I read these stories, I wonder why would people go camping?
For some reason, it will be fine—beautiful weather. Then you decide to go camping, and all of a sudden wet weather sets in. How many times have you gone camping and wet-weather set in?
If you go camping on the beach, it doesn’t matter where you go, you cannot escape the sand, sand in your tent, in your sleeping bag, on your plate, in your cup, in the shower, and in the toilet—that’s if you have one.
Don’t get me wrong. I do like the beach except for the sand and water.
As you can see, I am not much of a beach camper.
Nevertheless, there is one aspect of camping I really do like. After the tents and campsite have been set up and as darkness begins to engulf the campsite, usually someone builds a fire, which usually turns into a bonfire.
You know, there is something magical about a bonfire at a campsite. As that initial spark turns into a roaring fire, it’s able to draw people around it with laughter, stories, and great times of fellowship. The heat and light from the fire radiates throughout the campsite. There’s something magical about that.
However, as time passes, the flames tend to die down so someone needs to re-stack the fire again with more wood and once again the fire is blazing, radiating its heat and light throughout the campsite.
You know, our Christian lives are a bit like a bonfire. We can be on fire for God (radiating Christ to those around us), but over time if we don’t rekindle the fire or keep it blazing, the fire within us can dim. Our desire to serve God can wane. Our desire to follow God can waver. Other things will take priority; and before we know it, we have lost our way.
It seems that Timothy’s spiritual fire had cooled—this young man who came to Jesus Christ through the preaching of the great apostle Paul, this young man who served alongside of Paul in several missionary journeys, this young man who pastored the historical Church at Ephesus, it seems that this young man’s spiritual fire was wavering. It hadn’t gone out, but it was seriously wavering.
You know, lots of things can dampen the spiritual fire that dwells within.
1. Timothy struggled with ill health (1 Timothy 5:23). Who knows, this could have affected Timothy’s desire to serve God…even question God
2. Timothy was young, shy, and emotional (2 Timothy 1:4).
Sometimes Christianity can be an emotional roller coaster—highs and low.
If we are not able to deal with these highs and lows, it will affect our passion for God.
3. Timothy encountered difficulties and opposition while pastoring in the
False teachers gave young Timothy a hard time in Ephesus. In fact, it seemed they were determined to wear him down…wear him out.
These struggles really affected Timothy. In fact, to a point where his spiritual fire was wavering.
But the apostle Paul was not willing to give up on his young protégé. This young man whom Paul led to the Lord, this young man who worked alongside of him, Paul was not willing to give up on him.
Paul would have loved to have seen him personally (1:4a) but it seems Paul was under house arrest.
So, Paul wrote to him and encouraged him to rekindle the spiritual fire within.
You know, at times we all need to rekindle the spiritual fire within.
When I first became a Christian, I was blazing for God—I wanted to serve God in anyway I could. I wanted to follow God at any cost (Most new Christians think like this). But as time passed, the fire began to wane…the spiritual fire began to waver. However, I’m glad people along the way have encouraged me to rekindle the spiritual fire within.
In many ways, this is an ongoing process. If we don’t attend to a bonfire, it will go out.
If we don’t’ rekindle the spiritual fire within, it will wane…it will waver. However, I don’t believe it will go out.
Timothy was struggling but his faith was genuine as we read in verse 4, “When I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also.”
His faith was genuine and his struggles were genuine. But the problem was that he allowed his struggles to affect his fervor for God.
So Paul encouraged Timothy to rekindle the spiritual fire within?