A fire will not continue to burn strongly unless it’s stoked. Similarly, a believer’s fervor, if left untended, can diminish.
New Christians often share their faith passionately and sense God’s joy and peace. Yet this zeal can fade unintentionally. From today’s passage, we gather that Timothy had let his flame of faith cool slightly (vv. 6-7).
Believers can experience “cooling” for several reasons. When tragedy strikes, a person may feel that his prayers went unanswered and that God doesn’t care. If he then prays less, it’s easy to drift away from the Lord. At other times, Christians can be sidetracked by the world’s priorities—Timothy’s enthusiasm wavered because of false teaching and fear. Whatever the apparent trigger may be, Satan is the underlying cause; he lures believers away from single-minded devotion to Jesus.
Drifting can be subtle and hard to detect. Six questions can help you assess whether your enthusiasm for God remains strong:
1. Do you have joy in the Lord and a desire to serve Him, share the gospel, and help others in need?
2. Do you spend time in the Word daily?
3. Do you pray, knowing that God is listening and working in your life?
4. Do you faithfully attend church and tithe?
5. Do you experience joy, peace, contentment, and hope in Jesus?
6. Do you stand firm in your godly convictions?
If some of your answers recently changed from “yes” to “no,” your fire may be diminishing. Acknowledge this to the Lord. Ask for His help to fuel your passion.