Latent Spiritual Power
2 Timothy 1:6
Why I put you in remembrance that you stir up the gift of God, which is in you by the putting on of my hands.

What is the course of the development of this spiritual gift, or, better, this gift of the Spirit? What is the manifestation and unfolding of this new energy of God in the highest branch of man's nature? It is quiet and gentle as all God's operations are in the hearts that yield to Him; only an earthquake does it become when opposed by rocky natures, a desolating whirlwind among the stubborn oaks and cedars. It unfolds in willing hearts as seed in congenial soil, always with a promise of more and more; the blade, the ear, the full corn in the ear; the full corn in the ear multiplied thirty, sixty, an hundredfold, and each corn the promise and potency by a similar method of a hundred more. See how it increases. A young convert begins in an unobtrusive way to speak to a few wild boys whom he gathers together, one and another of whom become Christians; the number grows, and with growth of responsibility the convert receives increase of power. The class becomes a congregation; the few trembling, kind words he managed to speak at first become the powerful address; the boys are joined by men and women; the address becomes a sermon. That may be one way in which the gift of God may be developed and displayed. It is only one. For I hold the gift of the Spirit, which comes at conversion, to be also a gift for service. It is the same grace working through us to produce in other hearts precisely the fruits He has produced in us — repentance through our repentance, faith through our faith, love through our love, hope through our hope. The regenerated soul brings forth graces after their kind, just as the earth grass, and herb, and tree, yielding fruit whose seed is in itself, after its kind. But if all require His presence and help, none so manifestly require them as the minister who has to feed the flock of God. His nature ought to lie open to Divine influence at every point, and every call of his ministry should be a call to try and prove what the Spirit of Christ which is in him can accomplish for him and through him. He sometimes finds out the vastness of his supernatural resources through being made painfully conscious of the inadequacy of his natural powers for the work to be done. He sees the truth dimly, and therefore seeks for the light of the Spirit to be shed upon it and irradiate it. And here I would say that I am free to admit, as has been always held by those who intelligently believe that the God who created our natural powers is the same as He who sanctifies them and works through them, "that the greater the gifts by nature and cultivation, the greater the number of points at which the Holy Spirit may move us, and that Divine power is conditioned by human receptivity." The gift of the Spirit to Timothy was the same as to Paul; and yet since Timothy's measure was not as capacious as Paul's, and, perhaps, because he did not so diligently stir up his gift as Paul, his lifo, beautiful and useful though it was, lacked the luxuriant fruitfulness of Paul's. The condition of our doing our best is that we allow God to do the best He can through us. And be our other gifts few or many, brilliant or humble, the reason for stirring up the flame of the great gift is just the same in all cases. For you would not have your poor gift without the fire that can make even it glow with fervour, as I have often seen the lips of poor, illiterate, feeble-minded men burn with rapture which gave beauty and charm to all they said. And you would not have your finer gifts, if you possess such, bereft of that energy which is a touch of omnipotence, nor left without that inspiration which is a pulse of the heart of infinite love. No one can tell the wealth of his gift in the possession of the Spirit of God. Let us put ourselves in remembrance that we may stir up the gift of God. Let us remember the day of our first submission, and how it ought to have implied a life-long submission, a continual yielding up of self and self-will. Let us remember the day of our consecration, the hopes which then gleamed in our heaven, the vows which then trembled on our lips. If the promise of these times has been blasted or dimmed, let us seek the renewing of our hearts by the Spirit which dwelleth in us. If the promise has been fulfilled, or even more than fulfilled, still let us honour the Spirit by whom we have been kept, sanctified, and used.

(J. P. Gledstone.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: 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.

WEB: For this cause, I remind you that you should stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.

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