Today's Foundations Devotional: Rekindle into flame

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Memory verse:

Now Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses

had laid his hands on him; so the children of Israel heeded him, and did

as the Lord had commanded Moses.

(Deuteronomy 34:9)

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Yesterday we finished with the statement that the life of a Christian - and especially the life of a servant of God - is a constant struggle against invisible powers of darkness and evil. These opposing spiritual powers are described by Paul in Ephesians 6:12, where he says:

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places (Eph. 6:12).

Two main weapons used by these unseen forces of darkness are doubt and fear. Many times in his ministry Timothy most likely passed through periods of great difficulty and opposition and of apparent failure and frustration. At such periods he could easily be tempted to doubt the reality of his God-given calling. For this reason Paul reminds him of the prophecies which had outlined beforehand God’s plan for his life, and he urges him to be encouraged and strengthened by these so that he may go on to the fulfilment of his God-given task.

In particular Paul warns Timothy against yielding to fear. Immediately after he urged him to stir up the gift that is in him by the laying on of hands, Paul says:

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Tim. 1:7).

What is the remedy that Paul recommends against the insidious attacks of this spirit of fear? The remedy is twofold: 1) that Timothy should stir up – rekindle into flame – the spiritual gift that he had received through the laying on of hands; 2) that Timothy should recall and be encouraged by the prophecies which outlined in advance the course that God had planned for his life.

We see, therefore, that the ordinance of laying on of hands was combined in Timothy’s experience with the gift of prophecy as a means whereby he might be directed, encouraged and strengthened in the fulfilment of his God-given ministry.

According to God’s Word, the same means to direct, to encourage and to strengthen are still available today to God’s people, and especially to God’s appointed ministers. Furthermore, God’s people and ministers still stand in need of these things as much today as in the days of Paul and Timothy.

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Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Holy Spirit who wants to

guide us, not only by speaking in our minds, but also by words

of prophecy and encouragement that Spirit-filled brothers

and sisters speak to us. Help us as Your body to grow in these

precious gifts Lord! Amen.

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