Eye For The Spirit-Part 13
Posted Byon Wednesday, April 13, 2016
I remember a girl in Bible school when I was a student in 1927. She had been used in the gift of tongues and interpretation. She had a lovely gift. But somehow, some of the students were jealous and they would say something like, “You don’t think that was the Spirit, do you?” and “We don’t think you have a real gift. You’re making it up. You want to be somebody.” The words stuck into the girl’s heart, and she said to the Spirit, “Oh Spirit, don’t bother me anymore with the exercise of the gifts.” And He didn’t.
She stood up in chapel one day. That’s how I found it out. She stood up and wept bitterly. She told us how she was hurt because of criticism. She told us what she said to the Spirit, “Don’t bother me with these gifts anymore,” and then she sobbed almost hysterically, and blurted out saying, “The Spirit took me at my word. He hasn’t used me for weeks. I have asked Him to forgive and to use me again, but He hasn’t done it. Students, please pray that the Spirit will use me again.” The Spirit did not use her for the remainder of her time in school. What happened afterward, I did not know.
She did not only neglect the gifts, she even suppressed it and spoke to the Spirit not to bother her anymore. The Spirit, obviously, was so vexed and so hurt, that He took her at her word, and did not bother her anymore. It’s a terrible thing to willfully resist the Spirit of God in areas like that, or in any other area for that matter.
Now in the case of Timothy, it was not quite as bad. Timothy was afraid. Paul was in jail. Timothy was afraid that if he wasn’t careful, he might go to jail also. You find that in the context. I am not reading it to save a bit of time. So Timothy went easy on the exercise of the gifts and neglected its use because of fear. He did not want to be persecuted like Paul, and possibly go to jail.
Here I want to read to you some of the other translations:
1) “Keep alive the flame of God’s gracious gift” (Berkeley)
I’ve had people say, “Brother Beuttler, the Spirit of God has taken my gift away from me.” Personally, I do not believe the Spirit of God will take away the gifts of the Spirit from any person, except perhaps in the case of outright rebellion, or the unpardonable sin-something which is very difficult to commit. Generally speaking, when people used to be used, and are no longer used, it is not that they have lost the gift, or that the Spirit has taken it away, but that it has become dormant through neglect.
Lack of prayer, lack of consecration, lack of waiting on God, the intrusion and encroachment of the things of this life gradually bring a gift into disuse. It’s not lost, it’s buried, and very often it is buried under a lot of rubbish. If we remove the rubbish and clean out the heart and get rid of the clutter that has come into the heart, we will discover the gift is still there.
2) “Stir up like a fire the gifts of God” (New World Translation).
3) “Kindle into a brighter flame the gracious gift of God” (Weymouth).
4) “Rekindle and keep burning the fire of the divine gift” (Williams).
Paul writing to Timothy, “Bring that gift back again into use.”
5) “Fan the flame of that special grace which God kindled in thee” (Knox).
6) “Blow upon the embers of that inner fire” (Pulpit Commentary).