Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day.
By 1970, public interest in crewed spaceflight was declining rapidly. When NASA launched its third moon mission, it was met with a collective yawn by the American public. But an explosion on Apollo 13 two days into their flight changed all of that. Warning lights flashed. Oxygen pressure and power levels plummeted. Jack Swigert, the command module pilot, radioed, “Houston, we’ve had a problem.” The command module was dying. Mission Control in Houston determined the three astronauts had to shut down the Odyssey and move into the undamaged lunar module, called the Aquarius. It was designed to carry only two people for no more than two days; however, all three astronauts would have to survive the ninety-hour trip back to Earth in its cramped confines. After a day and a half, the lunar module had dangerously high levels of carbon dioxide. But the lithium hydroxide canisters, which filtered out the carbon dioxide, came from the Odyssey and would not fit the lunar module’s compartment. To keep the three men from dying of asphyxiation, Mission Control took inventory of the equipment that the astronauts had on board and began piecing together a contraption to fit the proverbial square peg into the round hole. The inventory consisted of the lithium hydroxide canisters, duct tape, plastic bags, two hoses for moon suits, two socks, the cover of the flight plan and a bungee cord used to secure the modified filtration system to Aquarius’s bulkhead. The mailbox, as this contraption was called, worked. The astronauts safely splashed down in the Pacific Ocean and were welcomed home by the American public. They were heroes of NASA’s most successful failure. The survival of Apollo 13 depended upon the ingenuity of those engineers to design a solution based on the resources available to the astronauts. They were limited to using the available inventory for their survival.
The same is true for anybody who finds himself in a survival situation. The Bible says whether you know it or not, you are in a survival situation. You face a culture that is opposed to everything that God values. You are surrounded by an enemy, Satan, who wants to destroy everything important to you. And if that were not enough, you and I as Christians carry around at least a remnant of a nature that is opposed to God. How can we ever survive, much less thrive, in that kind of environment? We are looking at ten survival tips with a biblical application. The first tip: don’t panic. Keep your emotions under control. Last week we looked at survival tip number two: gain situational awareness. Be aware of what is actually happening around you, not what you wish were happening. This week we are going to look at survival tip number three, one that those astronauts demonstrated: take inventory of your resources. I have some good news and bad news for you. The bad news is you have a supernatural enemy who will not rest until he has completely destroyed you and everything important to you. The good news is God has given you the supernatural inventory you need to defeat your opponent. This week we are going to look at the resources in that inventory.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Survival Tip #3: Take Inventory” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2019.
James A. Lovell, “Houston, We’ve Had A Problem,” https://history.nasa.gov/SP-350/ch-13-1.html.
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.