Fan Into Flames

The following is a Scripture reflection that I wrote a few years ago for Wycliffe’s annual devotional book, “When God’s Word Speaks.”   It was published on Wycliffe’s Web page on September 30, 2016
Image of a mountain scene, tinged in red and orange

“What have you done to my husband?” The words spilled out of the young woman’s mouth as she burst through the door in Yepo and Marcelina’s home. “Victor came back from the recording session a completely different person. You must have spoken to him harshly or knocked him around a bit in order for such a drastic change to take place!”

Yepo, one of the translators in the Huaylas Quechua language, had met Victor several years earlier at a literacy workshop and remembered him as a dedicated young Christian who was an exceptionally good reader. At Yepo’s recent invitation, Victor had left his village and traveled to the capital city to take part in recording a dramatic reading of the newly translated Huaylas Quechua New Testament. He was a good reader, but Victor had stumbled in his Christian walk and was not living as a godly husband and father.

One morning during the recording sessions, the men read through Paul’s reminder of Timothy’s godly upbringing, and Paul’s admonition to “fan into flames the spiritual gift” of God that Timothy possessed (2 Tim. 1:6).2 Timothy 2:16Tears streamed down Victor’s face as he recognized how far he had strayed from his own godly upbringing. He recommitted his life to Christ that day.

No one had preached to Victor; no one had knocked him around or spoken harshly to him. The changes that Victor’s wife noticed as soon as he returned home were results of the gentle voice of God himself, speaking to Victor in the language of his heart.

What about you? Have some of the flames in your heart died down to mere embers? Perhaps the joy of your salvation isn’t quite as front and center as it used to be. Or maybe bitterness or a lack of forgiveness has crept in to replace the love that once resided there. Maybe just the busyness of daily life has drawn you away from a close relationship with your Lord.

Take heart; the embers are still glowing. And take a moment right now to fan those embers back into flame by spending some time listening to God’s voice in the language of your heart.

Let the Scripture that convicted and inspired Victor be your spark today — “fan into flames the spiritual gift” of God that you have. Ask God how you can use your spiritual gifts to serve his kingdom, and learn about opportunities to do just that!

Rachel, her husband, Ade, and their two sons live in the Andes Mountains of Peru, where they help minority language groups apply newly translated Scripture and other resources to their everyday life and culture. Rachel credits a missionary family from her childhood church with introducing her to the work of Bible translation, and Ade feels privileged to be bringing God’s Word to his own people in their heart language.


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