“Fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:6-7 NIV)
When Timothy joined Paul on his missionary journey, he was still a very young man. Paul sent him to a city called Ephesus to help start and lead a church. Even though Timothy had a problem with fear, God was still able to use him. There are three lessons we can learn from Timothy about how to fulfill God’s calling on our lives.
1. If you’re going to fulfill your calling, you must develop the gifts God gave you.
“Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but be an example for the believers in your speech, your conduct, your love, faith, and purity. Do not neglect the spiritual gift that is in you.... Practice these things and devote yourself to them, in order that your progress may be seen by all” (1 Timothy 4:12, 14-15 TEV).
Paul also told Timothy to “fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:6-7 NIV).
As a believer, you have a responsibility to develop the talent and gifts God has given you to use the rest of your life.
2. If you’re going to fulfill your calling, you must refuse to be distracted.
God tells Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:16, “Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you” (NLT).
It’s easy these days to get sidetracked by a desire to build your business, your family, your career, and your savings. But you will never fulfill your purpose when you’re wasting your life on the Internet and on your phone. You’ve got to keep the most important things in focus.
3. If you’re going to fulfill your calling, you must give God your very best.
“Run your best in the race of faith, and win eternal life for yourself; for it was to this life that God called you” (1 Timothy 6:12a TEV). God has called you to a specific task, and it can only be accomplished when you give it the best of your time, effort, gifts, and focus.
Paul says about Timothy, “I have no one else like Timothy” (Philippians 2:20a NLT). Can you imagine a greater epitaph? There was no one in the world like Timothy. He was focused. He was committed to the call of God on his life, nobody could distract or discourage him, and he gave God his best.
As you follow God’s calling, God will bring out the best in you.
Talk It Over
How are you developing the gifts God has given you?
In what ways can you eliminate the distractions that are keeping you from focusing on your calling?
To what daily tasks do you give your best? Do you give the same effort to your ministry and calling?