Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things.
–1 Timothy 4:7-8
Where do we go to find that training that we need in times of crises in our life? We find it in God’s Word. In 2 Timothy 3:16, Paul said, “All Scripture is inspired by God.” You do not get to pick and choose which parts you think are inspired. We have a culture today that wants to do that. They want to leave out the difficult parts or the parts that do not coincide with the culture today. No, the Bible says all Scripture is inspired. Paul continued, “And profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (vv. 16-17). The Bible is what we use as our training manual, if you would, that tells us exactly what to do–how to train for righteousness. That word “righteousness” simply means right living before God.
Why is it so important that we be adequately trained before the crisis hits? Consider another aircraft in another threatening situation that had a completely different outcome. In October of 2018, the pilots of Lion Air flight JT610 took off from Jakarta. Two minutes after takeoff they noticed a sensation they had never experienced before: the automatic pilot started pointing the nose of the aircraft down. The pilots struggled to bring it back up. No matter how hard they tried, the nose kept pointing down. They searched frantically through the flight manual to try to find what they were supposed to do in that situation. But while they were searching the flight manual, the plane crashed, killing all 189 people aboard. If you wait until a crisis hits your life to decide to be trained for it, you have waited too long. You have waited too long, if you have wait until your employer tells you that your services are no longer needed. You have waited too long, if you wait until your husband or wife tells you they are leaving. You have waited too long, if you wait until the doctor tells you that the report is bad and that you have a couple of years or even a couple of months to live. You have waited too long, if you wait until the crisis comes to train in righteousness.
We have a good illustration of that in the character we looked at last week, Joseph. Remember what happened when Joseph found himself being assaulted with temptation? Mrs. Potiphar grabbed him and said, “Lie with me!” Just imagine Joseph had said to Mrs. Potiphar, “Would you wait just a moment? There is a verse somewhere on what to do when the boss’s wife makes a move on you, but I cannot find it. If you will hold on . . .” No. He would have been spiritual roadkill if he had waited until that happened. He had committed God’s Word to memory ahead of time and knew exactly how to use it to resist temptation. We need to do that as well. The Bible is our training manual for how to act righteously.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Survival Tip #5: Trust Your Training” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2019.
Harry Suhartono, Alan Levin, and Julie Johnsson, “Boeing Jet’s Faulty Sensor Wasn’t Fixed Before Lion Air Crash, Report Finds,” Bloomberg, November 27, 2018, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-11-27/lion-air-pilots-struggle-detailed-in-preliminary-crash-report.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.