With so many distractions in our everyday life, it is easy to become a “Sunday Christian” or to simply grow “comfortable”. It is easy to become passive and simply resort to the practices and mentality of this world – or a state of constant tiredness, struggle and worry of the unknown. But God wants us to enter a place of his love and grace that we can be part of if we are willing to. In this chapter, Paul reminds us that we need to be proactive and strive to follow His calling for us.
9 He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time
By responding to his calling, we can enter a life of spiritual abundance that we are entitled to by God’s grace — not because we have done anything to earn it (verse 9). For many believers like myself, this is a truth we have probably heard many times over many years and yet it seems so easy to slip into a state of apathy or inactivity… and with it a sense of undeserving or even guilt. And before we know it, we feel disconnected from God and His Word. This is why we must make an active effort to put God and His calling as a priority in our life. More importantly, we must be aware of when this happens and to act on it. Revelation 3:16 says that we must not become accustomed to this lifestyle — or “lukewarm”.
So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
In fact, just the speaker at church last week reminded us that it’s normal to slip into these phases — that it happens to everyone. What we need to do is to constantly renew our pledge and commitment to Him, to pray that He can sustain us.
6 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. 7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
With intervention of the Holy Spirit we can grow strong in our faith and be able to exercise love and self-discipline (verse 7). This strength will allow us to rise from timidity and stand strong in adverse situations and remain unmovable.
We can start growing in this way by acting on our calling. God has given each of us unique gifts and we are not to just sit around and wait for something to happen. Even for those of us who are not sure what this is exactly, we can start building cultivating our passion towards His purpose. I particularly like the image of a burning and consuming fire described in verse 6 as it reminds me of the power and potential God has reserved for each of us in pursuing His calling.
The rest of the chapter further contextualizes this strength: that our gifts and calling all builds towards having confidence in spreading the gospel and standing strong even in the face of persecution.