Stir Up The Gift!
“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. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”
– 2 Timothy 1:6-10
Think with me for a second in your mind. What makes the perfect dish? What makes the perfect dish so good that you want more and more and more and more of it? Is it the key ingredient that gives it that extra “kick?” Is it the passion that is placed in preparing the dish? Maybe, it is the dish in itself? You know, the mere fact that said dish is amazing simply because. Can I make a suggestion? What makes a dish perfect is not simply one thing, but it is everything from the chef to the ingredients to the techniques used in preparing said dish. For instance, if we are going to bake a cake you need three essential things. First, you need a chef. Second, you need ingredients. Last, you need techniques. All of these taken together will most likely yield the best results in achieving the goal resulting in a divinely tasty cake. Remove any component and you are guaranteed a disaster. Now, please understand beloved that if you are the person who cannot simply boil water, then you wouldn’t understand this analogy and therefore you should just erase what was just read and start at paragraph two. Why? You have not mastered the basics so we do not need to cloud your mind anymore with a task so huge as baking a “tasty” cake. Don’t worry, God Still loves you and so do I!
In the text that we have before us today, is Paul encouraging Timothy that it is time to light fire to his purpose or calling of God. Why is this encouragement necessary. You have to understand who Timothy was. Timothy was a young man who probably was secluded as a child. He didn’t hang with the hit and it crowd. He didn’t party all night until the early morning. He didn’t socialize with any and everybody. Truth be told, he probably didn’t social with hardly anybody. Thus, it is safe to assume that He didn’t have too many friends. Timothy was a shy and distant adolescent, and this behavior probably crossed over with him into adulthood. Now, although Timothy didn’t just have it going on socially, Timothy had something that was unique. He had a call of God on his life, was chosen by God to carry out an assignment, and was ordained or commissioned at a young age. Question: Could that be why he acted the way he did when he was an adolescent (shy, secluded, and non-socially with his peers)? Just something to think about.
As Paul is encouraging Timothy, he makes mention of a few key witnesses to him as a means of helping Timothy to light that fire. He makes mention of the upbringing and traditions of Timothy’s family. To do this, he brought up Timothy’s mother and grandmother and the sincere, genuine, authentic, unapologetic, wholehearted faith that they displayed in Christ Jesus. From this aspect, we see that Timothy was most likely reared up to be a man of faith. He then begins to tell Timothy that it’s time to stir it up in himself and get about God’s business and the purpose that He has purposed him for. Then, Paul continues his encouragement towards Timothy by bringing up his own faith and calling. Not only does he make mention of his faith and calling, he adds that there is also a level of persecution that comes along with it. At first glance, one would think that hearing about the guaranteed persecution to come would deter anybody from wanting to pursue that route. Can I give you the first shout cue? When you are determined to do God’s will for your life, you view that persecution not as a “stumbling block for a setback” but a “setup to be used as a stepping stone.” You Missed It! It will register with you later.
Oh, I know that somebody is asking what do you mean Kean? Don’t worry, I’m getting ready to explain it for I feel the spirit tugging at me to help us right here. Stumbling blocks are little devices that the enemy attempts to use to sway, distract, and confuse us regarding the things of God. He uses them as scare tactics that he hopes will eventually cause us to give up, throw in the towel, alter, detour, and overall end the journey towards destiny fulfillment. Oh, but God. God is already hip and wise to his tactics and snares. That why He allows the writer to come along in James 1 to say “Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing” (verses 3-4). In other words, I know the enemy is going to come in and test your faith, but just hold tight and keep your eye on the prize. Why? If you hold on and faint not, not only shall you reap a harvest but you will also see that all things work together for the good of them that love the Lord and are the called according to His purpose. That’s why Paul says for Timothy to stir up the gift. What he is trying to tell Timothy is this: Everything that you will ever need to make it and take it has already been deposited in you, but in order for it to work you have to stir it up.
Somebody Shout Stir It Up! Yeah! Stirring it up requires a certain level of patience and tenacity that not just anybody has. It requires a certain level of faith in getting to the end result that not just anybody is in possession of. That’s why you have those who can cook and those who can simply eat what was cooked. What’s the difference? The ones who can cook understand that the best dishes are those that have to be slow cooked, stirred occasionally, and kept watch over with a meticulously watchful eye. They also understand that when you are stirring the dish, you don’t just stir what you can see (the top of the dish). No ma’am and no sir! You have to stir the entire pot scrapping the bottom, at times, to ensure that nothing is left untouched. Meanwhile, those who can simply eat what has been cooked haven’t grasped this concept yet. They prefer to microwave everything, because it’s quicker and requires little to no effort. They are only interested in the finished product, which is why their pots scorch when attempting to cook. They try to do too many things at once, and end up forgetting about the dish that requires the most attention cooking on the stove. Let me leave that alone. Oh, I’m getting ready to “hope” us on today. Yes, I said “hope,” because what is about to be revealed is not for the people that are simply waiting on God to show up in a dream and make their dreams come true. This is for those of us who have a word, a calling, an assignment, and a destiny from the Lord and don’t have time to sit around playing “patty cake” all day long.
What’s about to be revealed? I’m not sure if y’all ready for this or not. Can y’all handle what comes next? Ok, here we go. Whenever you begin the stirring process, you are met with some slight and persistent resistance that makes the first stir a little difficult or require a little more force. However, once you are in motion and complete a full turn, the stir becomes easier and easier, and soon you find yourself stirring with ease. In other words, Paul was warning Timothy that once he begins to stir up his gift resistance is going to present itself. It’s going to require more effort than what was originally intended. However, don’t let it stop you or cause you to feel that God has not called you or even spoken to you. Instead, I need you to preserver. Why? Although you will face some push back, keep stirring because you will also find that everything you need is also in the pot. Power to persist and desist any and every attack that comes your way. Love to enable you to continue on even in the midst of your enemies. Finally, a sound mind to ground you in the fact and faith that what you are doing is not about you getting the glory or you saving face while you are in pursuit. However, everything that you are doing is for the glory of God, and the more you stir the more those ingredients begin to blend and unify with one another. Thereby, causing the aroma of God’s will, God’s plan, and God’s way being in full effect in your life and yielding the results that what you have been working, praying, and waiting for was not in vain but for validation. Oh I feel my help coming now!
Can I close this thing out? I think I can. Shout Stir It Up! There comes a time in the life of every individual when what God has for you and has called you to will require you to step in front of the stove and begin stirring the pot. Shout Stir It Up! Why do you have to step in front of the stove Brother Kean? Didn’t you leave out the part of prepping the pot brother? No I didn’t. You see God has already gathered and placed all the ingredients inside you. He has already gotten the pot that is the correct size for you. He has already put in the correct amount of essentials needed. However, He is simply waiting for you to begin stirring the pot. Shout Stir It Up! In other words, more than half of the battle was already done before you even set foot in the kitchen, but in order to get the complete victory or sense of accomplishment there must be an action on our part. The action is our ability to trust God and have the faith in Him to know that He who has begun a good work in thee, shall perform it unto the day of Jesus Christ! Once we have that mindset, it’s time to take a step forward and begin stirring the pot.
Can I go higher? Climb brother! I think I will. Shout Stir It Up! There is an old saying: “If you can’t take the heat, then get out the kitchen.” Well in God’s kitchen, the heat may rise. The steam may spread. The smoke may blow. However, you have some reassurance. What reassurance? God is there with you! Shout Stir It Up! You remember the three Hebrew boys don’t you; Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego? The King told them that everybody must bow and worship his idol God. Well they begin stirring the pot. They said, you may bow and everyone else may bow, but as for us and our house we shall serve the Lord (I’m paraphrasing a little). Therefore, we will not bow and worship any God except the Alpha and Omega, Beginning and the End, Almighty and All Powerful, living True God. For He is able to deliver us out of thine hand, but if he doesn’t just know that we did not and will not ever bow to your idol gods. Shout Stir It Up! You know the rest. Nebuchadnezzar got mad and threw all three of them in the fire. However, upon closer inspection he said I see a fourth in there with them. He called them forth, and there was not anything wrong with them. They had no signs to signal that they had been in the fire. Shout cue on the way! The reason they didn’t have any signs was because God had to fulfill his word. What word? “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty” (Psalms 91:1). So, whereas Nebuchadnezzar thought he had thrown them into the fire, God stepped in and covered them or hid them under His shadow.
I’m going higher! Shout Stir It Up! The good thing about God’s recipe and ingredients for destiny fulfillment in our lives is that we don’t need to taste test and keep checking to make sure everything is coming together nicely. All we have to do is stir the pot. Why? Shout Stir It Up! He knows the way that we take, and when He has tried us we shall come forth as pure gold. In other words, our destiny is not our business to ensure that it comes out or is fulfilled according to our plans; instead, it’s His business to work everything together according to how He sees fit in order to bring us to our expected end. Shout Stir It Up! So, in spite of whatever I may face my only job is to keep my focus on the end result and by all means keep stirring the pot. How does this look? When I begin walking according to my calling and the enemy brings things up against me, I don’t let it distract or detour me. Instead, I stay focused and stir. Shout Stir It Up! When I’m faced with lack, Stir It Up! When I’m faced with denial and rejection, Stir It Up! When I’m faced with persecution and all kinds of opposition, Stir It Up! When my friends walk away, family don’t understand and ridicule me, and every one seems to think I will fail. I don’t respond or reassess everything to make sure that I am who God says I am. No! I simply Stir It Up! Why? It’s God’s job to define me and no matter how much I feel confined, I rely on His validation to lead me towards verification in the presence of those once opposed my destination.
As I close, the takeaway from today is to understand there is a gift inside each and every one of us. Our job is not to prove we are in possession of said gift, but to begin operating in it so that God can fulfill the work that He started in you. No matter what comes your way, the only thing you need to do is ensure that at all times you Stir It Up! Be blessed and Stay encouraged! God Bless You!