By Scott Wagner
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” - 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Last night as I was working through lesson four of the FCA’s “The Starting Line,” the ministry’s resource for new Christians, I was given an analogy that really brought into focus what it means to be properly equipped in both life and sports. For me, that involves hockey.
Proper equipment is mandatory on the ice—a non-negotiable for playing—just like reading God’s Word is a basic, a non-negotiable for living a godly life and being spiritually successful in this world. It is vital to our growth as Christians, just as learning proper form is vital for being a good skater. However, just as it is so easy for us to bypass working on the basics in whatever sport we play, it’s also easy for us to bypass the basic spiritual disciplines such as reading the Word of God and spending time in prayer.
In sports we might devote a couple of minutes to drills that develop our basic skills, but, if we’re being honest, we usually just want to move on to the fun stuff. Yet, it is those drills that make us better and stronger. Being properly trained and equipped in the basics is essential to being competitive in every sport. What if I was your hockey coach, and I told you, “Don’t worry about putting your skates on today for the game; just go out there and do your best.” You would not only be unable to compete, you would also be in the way—more of a handicap to your team than an asset.
The same principle applies to us as Christians, too. We can either be properly equipped through the basics and be assets to our team (the Body of Christ), or we can be unequipped and reduce the effectiveness of that team. Today, ask yourself if you are helping your spiritual team by being equipped or if you are holding them back through lack of spiritual preparation and attention to the basics.
Even if you take a second to read a verse or two on your way out the door in the morning, are you really studying it and taking it with you? I believe that one reason the Church today is full of lukewarm Christians who believe it is not possible to walk in holiness is because of a lack of training in the fundamentals. Through His power, though, we can be so much more than we think we can be! It’s just up to us to seek God and get back to the basics.
- Would you ever compete without the proper sports equipment?
- How can you “compete” as a Christian without being properly equipped?
- How does being equipped spiritually help you handle life’s challenges? How does it make you an asset to the Body of Christ?
- When can you set aside time to train by studying the Word of God and cultivating a relationship with Him?
Joshua 1:8-9 Job 23:12 Psalm 1:1-3; 119:11 John 8:31-36 Hebrews 4:12; 11:6 James 1:25