I have a confession to make. It’s been a long time since I posted an entry on this blog and my confession is that I’ve been dragging my heels a bit. Ok, a bunch! You see after I got this blog up and running I began to have doubts. Doubts that I could do what I think God wants me to do with this. Doubts that I could reach many, or any for that matter, with what I have to say. And fear that what I’m doing here might not measure up to God’s standards.
Do you see my problem here? I have been focusing not on what God wants to do, but on my own lack of ability to accomplish something. Have I not learned “Apart from Me (Christ) you can do nothing” and “With God all things are possible?”
Recently our Monday night class did an extensive word study on 2 Timothy 3:16-17. “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteous, that the man (woman, person) of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” (Parentheses mine) We looked at what each benefit of Scripture means to the believer and what it means to be adequate and equipped. This study got me fired up as I thought about my life verse – Ephesians 2:10 “We are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which He prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
When we look at the two principles of these verses together we see that when we interact with Scripture such that we are transformed by the teaching, reproof, correction and training it provides, we are then adequate and equipped to walk in the good works that God has prepared for us.
That word ‘adequate’ in the Greek, artios, means sufficient, completely qualified. And ‘equipped’, exartizo, from the same root word as ‘adequate’, conveys a heightened understanding of the word with a slight nuance. It means ‘to furnish or fit completely.’ We might paraphrase the verse this way:
“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable … that the believer might be completely qualified because they are fully outfitted for every good work.”
A favorite store in the county we used to live in bore the sign ‘Western Outfitters.’ They had every conceivable accessory for the modern cowboy or girl: boots, jeans, work shirts, rodeo garb, tack, saddles. You name it, they had it. They carried every possible accoutrement that could make a person completely qualified in the horse business, whether they were a rancher, a rider on the rodeo circuit, a horseman of any kind. Of course, we went only to be outfitted to watch the rodeo.
The apostle Paul was telling his protégé Timothy that God’s word completely outfits the believer for every good work that God Himself calls us to. Not only that, but when we have applied ourselves to Scripture, conforming our lives to the text, we are completely qualified to carry out that work in confidence.
It isn’t that I haven’t been in the word, it’s that I was forgetting that anything I had to say was from the word itself. Why would I doubt that what I had to say through the word could reach anyone? O, me of little faith!
A few days after our study of this text, I read in David Platt’s book Radical Together, the example of a guest speaker at a gathering Platt was attending. The speaker started out by apologizing that he had forgotten his Bible and declared that through a process of prayer he felt that God must not have had anything to say to them that night. The speaker prayed and sat down. Platt rightly appraised that this speaker’s apparent neglect of God’s word had influenced his presentation and went on to say that God through His word always has something to say. Leave it to God to give me a double whammy!
The day after reading this example, a dear friend and accountability partner left me a message in Facebook calling me out for neglecting my ministry on the blog – and she’s not even studying 2 Timothy or reading Platt’s book yet, I might add! Luckily God had already been prompting me, so that I was able to see her message for what it was, a gentle reminder that God has work for me to do. Ok, it felt more like a kick in the bottom, which is precisely what I needed!
How about you dear sister? Is there something that you know God wants you to do, but you are at a loss as to how to do it, or having doubts that you can accomplish it? Get into His Word! Let it teach you, reprove you, correct you and train you in His righteousness that you will be completely qualified and perfectly outfitted to do His will.
I gave myself a little pep talk from His word this morning. From 2 Peter 1:1-8:
To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:
Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.
For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true
knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Rejoicing with you, Tina