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Rekindling the Flame of Ministry

For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.

2 Timothy 1:6-7

What do you do when you’ve lost your enthusiasm for ministry? Perhaps difficult circumstances have led to discouragement or frustration. Or maybe you just keep going, but the Holy Spirit seems absent and no fruit is visible. In today’s reading, Paul tells Timothy to “kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you” (2 Tim. 1:6), but how is that accomplished?

Refill. Ministry is exciting when we’re filled with the Holy Spirit, but everyone springs a leak now and then. Get on your knees before the Lord and ask Him to refill your heart. Examine your life, repent of any sins, and submit to His leadership in every area of your life.

Refocus. Nothing dims the flame like fixing your eyes on the problem. Whenever we focus on obstacles, they grow larger. But when we shift our eyes to Christ, He becomes bigger than any problem we face.

Reject. When we’re down, the devil whispers lies into our minds: You can’t do this. No one appreciates you. Why not call it quits? We need to recognize all discouraging thoughts as coming from him—and not let them take root.

Retreat. Turn off the phone, electronics, and entertainment, and get away with the Lord to rekindle your intimate relationship with Him.

After going through all these steps, you will be able to return to ministry with new enthusiasm and commitment. Hard circumstances may remain, but you’ll be equipped to handle them because the Spirit’s flame is burning brightly within you. Rely on Him, and He will empower you for service.

Charles Stanley

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