In 2 Timothy 1:5-6 (NIV) Paul admonishes Timothy with these words, “I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.”
As I read this endearing letter from Paul to his spiritual son Timothy, I can feel the warmth and paternal nature of Paul’s heart. He very deliberately reminds Timothy of his heritage and legacy that connects to his grandmother, mother and Paul himself. It is evident that the purpose of this section of the letter is to call Timothy into remembrance of his spiritual foundations and to allow this to spur him on in his walk with God.
I do not make a habit of living in the past. However, I also never allow myself to forget where I came from and how throughout my many years of serving God that He has been faithful on so many levels. It is this reality that oftentimes gives me strength and endurance, especially when I find myself in battles that exhaust me and reveal the weakness of my humanity.
I have also found that the primary element in the life of a follower of Jesus is that we must steward and guard our hunger for the Lord. The heart cry of Moses was, “Lord, show me your glory” (Ex. 33:18b). In essence, he longed for God himself and not just the benefits that He provides to His followers.
God will answer the prayer that comes from the heart that hungers and thirsts for Him above everything else. James 4:8a (MEV) declares, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” This promise reveals God’s faithfulness to His children throughout the generations. However, the foundation of the narrative is that we must draw near to God and seek Him incessantly as His children. It is this prayerful posture that positions us for eternal treasures that cannot fade.
As we deliberately remember the wonders of knowing the Lord, it is impossible to maintain a strong hunger for more of the Lord when we allow our lives to be filled with distractions that continually pull us away from Him. We must have a single eye for Jesus alone and refuse to be distracted by lesser things that have a tendency to become idols in our lives.
Meditate on the following verses and allow them to stir a fresh hunger in your heart for the Lord and His wonders:
—”My soul is crushed with longing After Your ordinances at all times” (Ps. 119:20, NASB).
—”At night my soul longs for You, Indeed, my spirit within me seeks You diligently; For when the earth experiences Your judgments the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness” (Isa. 26:9).
—”Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth” (Ps. 73:25).
—”My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; When shall I come and appear before God?” (Ps. 42:2).
—”Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life'” (John 4:13-14).
—”Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal” (John 6:27).
5 Dynamics of Remembering the Wonders of the Lord
- The greatest impact we can have on others is that of knowing God in an intimate way.
- We can teach our natural and spiritual children to do ministry; however, if we don’t impart into them a pattern of deep intimacy with the Lord, we are guilty of imparting learned behavior patterns void of the experience of God Himself.
- When “deep is not calling out to deep,” we easily fall into the trap of doing good works void of the secret place of intimacy with the Lord.
- It can become easy to compromise our devotion life when we learn how to do the works of ministry (ministry success can actually bring about a deception).
- When ministry becomes a pattern that is void of deep passion, then it can become stagnant and can lead to frustration and burnout. The only real place of joy and satisfaction is in knowing Jesus personally and all the activity that surrounds Him will never take the place of Him. “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him” (Ps. 34:8).
Keith Collins is the founder of Generation Impact Ministries and Impact Global Fellowship. He is actively involved in itinerant ministry, teaching and writing. In recent years, Keith served as the president of the Brownsville Revival School of Ministry and as the director of FIRE School of Ministry, which were both born out of the Brownsville Revival in Pensacola, Florida. His recent book, Samuels Arising: Waking Up to God’s Prophetic Call, is now available on Amazon, and his podcast, titled Maintain the Flame, can be heard on iTunes and at cpnshows.com. You can contact Keith via his websites at keith-collins.org or impactgf.org.