by: Ellene Meece
Have you ever started a job without the slightest idea what was expected of you or what skills would be required? Perhaps you answered an ad that stated, "No experience required."
Sometimes when our role as a parent begins, we have the same sense of bewilderment and we wonder, "How could we be entrusted with protecting and training up this innocent child having had no previous experience?"
Our life-long journey of walking with God can fall into the same category. Where are all the answers? What formula do I follow to make my life count? How can I avoid pitfalls and mistakes?
If ever an occasion merited "on-the-job-training," it's our spiritual walk with God! We need a walking, talking manual, a live-streaming tutorial to train us as we go. Bottom line: We need God's life-giving Word to equip us for the job.
II Timothy 3:16-17 explains how it works, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."
Rick Renner, noted international Bible Teacher, has expounded on the word correction in verse 16, "The word correction is translated from the compound Greek word, epanorthosis, and it describes a person who has been knocked flat, but then is suddenly set back upright on his feet again. The Bible is literally teaching that when you take God's Word into your life, it will take you off your back if you've been knocked down, and it will set you upright on your feet again! The Scripture is profitable and powerful to rectify you and your circumstances when it is released into your life by faith."
I don't know about you, but I've been in job circumstances that could use a little "setting me upright on my feet again!" And I've been in life circumstances that could use the same course correction.
So, what are the final results of correction? That the man of God may be perfect and thoroughly furnished, states verse 17.
As many Bible scholars have pointed out, the word "perfect" does not mean perfection in this life (whew!). Instead it means complete in Him or mature.
Renner gives this apt analogy, "The words 'thoroughly furnished' come from the Greek word exartidzo, which means to completely deck out or to fully supply. It's a word that was most often used to describe a boat. Exartidzo was used to depict a ship that had previously been ill-equipped for traveling, but because its owner had decked it out with new equipment and gear, this ship had become thoroughly furnished to sail anywhere in the world. This boat was completely equipped and fully supplied.
"More specifically, exartidzo describes a boat that was thoroughly outfitted and furnished in stark contrast to one that was scaled down to the bare minimum. For example, there were simple boats that a person would row and row, yet they wouldn't take you very far. But then there were boats that were thoroughly furnished. They were completely outfitted with a sail and everything else that was necessary for going the distance. And because these boats were so well outfitted, they could survive the roughest waves and the worst storms."
This, my friend, is top class, superior "on-the-job training": First, to right all your circumstances, and then to equip you to go the distance, to excel, to shine in every area. Or, as II Timothy 3:17 Amplified reads, "So that the man of God may be complete and proficient, well fitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work."
Sign me up and let me keep the manual!
Ellene Meece lives in Meeker, Colorado and works with her husband in their natural resource company while running her own online store, Grandma's Treasures Online.
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