This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. (NLT)
Some time in the past, Paul had commissioned Timothy to do the work of pastoring and teaching. It may be that Timothy had more or less taken it for granted. For any of us, our faith has to be rekindled from time to time. The fire can go out or be reduced to a flicker.
For Timothy, he had to be reminded that God’s enabling and empowering was still valid. But it didn’t operate automatically: it needed his cooperation. None of us can sit back and assume God will fan the flames of faith again. We need to be willing participants who step out and do what we believe God wants us to do and what he has equipped us to do.
And we do so aware of God’s power. Which is not force of personality or autocratic control, but is the capacity to lead others in the way of encouragement and faith and hope. The power is accompanied by love and wise thinking or self discipline. Power without these extras is dangerous.
Life throws a lot of threats at us. God will help us face them without fear or timidity. He gives us the right sort of power exercised with wisdom and love. He does not command without also equipping.