WOW…it’s already the month of August!
I feel like 2021 is flying by — and so much has already happened this year! The enemy has tried to upset the world and to lure many off track, but there is a powerful band of believers who are on fire to fulfill God’s plan! Denise and I are among them who are alive with divine fire! I know your heart’s desire is to be an inferno for Jesus, too, so that’s what I’m going to talk to you about today.
But first, you know that I always ask how we can pray specifically for you because we are extremely serious about praying for our friends and partners. Prayer is a top focus with us. God has given us spiritual responsibility for so many people, and undergirding them with our heartfelt prayers is something we feel very serious about. So if you have a need, would you please let us know so we can undergird you more effectively with our prayers? We are waiting to hear from you so we can agree with you in prayer.
Denise and I and our team also want to thank every partner on our “giving team” who has sown into the Ministry Expansion Project. If you would like to see the up-to-date progress on this project, please go to renner.org and click on the Ministry Expansion Project link. We are so thankful for your continued prayers and your generous giving to help us expand as we reach and minister to more precious souls around the globe. And if you feel led to become a part of this exciting project, it’s not too late! You can give financially through this link as well.
Today I want to talk to you about stirring up the fire of God inside you! In Second Timothy 1:6, Paul wrote, “Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.”
The words “stir up” are from the Greek word anadzoopureoo, a triple compound of the Greek words ana, zoos, and pur. The word ana carries the idea of repeating an earlier action or doing something again. The word zoos is from the word zao, which means to be enthusiastic, to be fervent, to be passionate, to be vigorous, to be wholehearted, or to be zealous. And the word pur is the Greek word for fire.
But when these three Greek words are compounded, they form the Greek word anadzoopureoo — the very word Paul used in Second Timothy 1:6 when he told the younger minister to “stir up” the gift of God that was in him. It implies that the fire in Timothy’s heart had ebbed to embers or was on a low burn. That is the reason Paul told Timothy to begin to passionately and rigorously stoke and stir up the gift of God in his life. Paul was telling Timothy that just as one would stoke the embers of a fire in a hearth or fireplace, it was time for the younger minister to take action. Paul was commanding Timothy to reach within himself and to begin to rekindle, or kindle anew, the fire in his heart.
At the time Paul wrote to Timothy, the younger minister was surrounded by a great deal of chaos and confusion because of the intense persecution that was taking place. It is probable that Timothy was physically and emotionally exhausted from dealing with an onslaught of problems and that his own spiritual fire was beginning to wane. That’s why Paul told him to take action before the fire inside him that burned for the things of God went out completely.
Paul was commanding Timothy to reach within himself and begin to rekindle, or kindle anew, the fire in his heart. In other words, he told Timothy to open the door to his heart, look inside to determine the condition of his inward fire, and then take action to stir up the gift of God inside him. Like a person stokes the coals in a fireplace, Timothy was being called to stir the embers and then “put more wood on the fire.”
This would not occur accidentally. Timothy would have to be intentional and proactive to keep that flame burning. But if he would heed Paul’s command, that inward fire — which was beginning to wane — would blaze once again in the core of Timothy’s spiritual being.
In our early days of living in the former Soviet Union, our family lived in a house that only had heat due to wood we burned in our fireplaces! We learned if we wanted to have heat, we had to be proactive to make it happen: We had to find fuel; we had to open the fireplace door; we had to put the fuel on the fire; and we had to stoke the fuel regularly throughout the day to keep it burning. We knew we’d reap a lot of cold, unnecessary discomfort — and even serious trouble — if we chose to neglect what was happening deep inside those fireplaces.
If we discovered that the fire had ebbed too low and the coals of wood were turning cold and hard — that we had “hit a low burn” — we would have to begin the process all over. So the choice to be proactive was wiser than reaping the consequences produced by negligence. The truth is, we made the choice to do whatever was required to stay warm — because otherwise, we knew we’d freeze!
If your spiritual fire is at a low burn or close to going out, it’s time for you “to stir up” the gift of God that is inside you. You cannot depend on someone else to do the stoking and stirring for you. It is so vital that you take responsibility to look inside yourself, to determine your fuel supply, and to do whatever you must to stir your spiritual embers and keep your fire burning.
The Holy Spirit will show you how to open the door to your heart and take an honest look on the inside to assess your condition and need. Then you must let Him show you the steps to take and the kinds of fuel you need to activate and fully utilize in your life. You are called to consistently stir up those embers and to fuel that fire so you will remain a blazing inferno for Jesus!
Perhaps you can remember a time when your heart was literally ablaze with a passion for the things of God — but if you were honest with yourself, you’d admit that since that time, the fire has diminished. Oh, how vital it is that we determine to stay ablaze with the Spirit and power of God!
In First Thessalonians 5:19, Paul admonished us, “Quench not the Spirit.” The word “quench” comes from the Greek word sbennumi, which means to extinguish, smother, suppress, douse, put out, snuff out, or quell. It is most often used in the context of extinguishing a fire by dousing it with water. In some places, it means to evaporate or to dry up.
Paul was telling us that if we ignore the Holy Spirit’s voice long enough and often enough, eventually we will become spiritually hardened and will no longer be able to hear Him when He speaks to us. It will be like His voice evaporates or dries up, and we will no longer be able to hear it.
If you’ve ever seen a campfire, you know that its flames can burn very bright and hot. But what happens if someone keeps throwing water on the coals? Initially, it will only dampen the heat of the flames. But if the person continues to throw water on the flames, eventually that water will quench, smother, or put out the fire altogether.
So I ask you to do everything you can to stoke, stir, and add more fuel onto the fire of your heart! When you adopt the attitude that you’re going to start fueling your fire, consistently utilizing to the fullest all the fuels God provides, I guarantee you that your inner man will burst into spiritual flames! But you are the only one who can choose to “add the fuel” and “stoke the coals” to keep the Holy Spirit’s fire burning brightly in your life.
Today I want to encourage you to make a serious commitment before the Lord that you will stay ablaze with God’s holy fire for the rest of your days on this earth. Set aside time with the Lord to ask Him for His help and His strategies as you purpose to add more fuel to your fire. Then determine to do whatever the Spirit of God tells you to do to keep your inner man burning like a spiritual inferno!
- I know you can do it!
- The Holy Spirit will help you to do it!
- We are here to pray with you!
If you want us to pray with you for that divine fire to be re-released in your life, let us know and we’ll join you in fervent prayer as soon as we hear from you. Of course you can pray alone, but sometimes it really helps to have agreement in prayer. We’d love to be that voice of agreement for anything on your heart!
And as always, I ask you to pray for us too. Denise and I, and our family and team, are giving our all to do what Jesus has asked us to do. It is so exciting and such an honor to do the work of God, but it takes God’s power and, of course, money to do it. Your prayers and your financial support mean so much to us. Thank you!
We love you and thank God for you!
We are your brother and sister, friends, and partners in Jesus Christ,
along with Paul, Philip, and Joel and their families