I love golf, so when the US open is on it is hard for me to focus my attention anywhere else, and this year the drama surpassed most. Fellow Texan Jordan Speith claimed victory, in part because of a melt-down by Dustin Johnson, but mostly because the kid is a beast. He played in the tournament to win and ended up proving for the second time this year that he has what it takes to be a major champion.
Now imagine if Jordan showed up to the final round with no clubs. He still had immense talent, knowledge of the game, and an incredible amount of athleticism, but no clubs in tote. No amount of skill would give him a victory in the tournament. Clubs are his tools. They are what equips him for victory. Without them he is destined to fail in the task put in front of him.
You may not be on par with Jordan Speith in your golf game, but as believers, we have to make sure we possess the tool that will set us up to be victorious. Paul says this about why Scripture was given to us:
“All Scripture is given…that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16
It is the written Word of God that equips us for good works. We can be good worshippers, spend ample amounts of time in prayer, and serve our wives and children well, but without knowing the Scriptures, we will simply not be equipped for the task that has been laid before us. We must know what is in our Bibles if we are to succeed as the men of God that we are called to be. Here are three keys to equipping yourself with The Word:
- Develop a habit of reading the Bible. This takes discipline. Let’s face it, we do not wake up every morning jumping with eagerness to read our Bible, just like the athlete training for a marathon is not over-the-moon excited to train. It is for times like this that Paul says that we are to discipline our minds in the same way that na athlete disciplines his body. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27) Set aside time everyday to read the Word, and do it, even when you don’t want to. As you continue, you will find yourself delighting in what you read. (Ps. 119:16)
- Memorize The Word and recite it when in trouble. Jesus did this, so can’t we? Matthew 4 describes the time that Jesus was led into the wilderness and was tempted by the devil. Being Jesus, He could have done a number of things and come out victorious, but He knew that the most powerful weapon He had was the written Word. Three times, once for each temptation, Jesus responded with the simple but powerful words “It is written.” We can get legalistic when it comes to Scripture memorization, but the bottom line is that when we come across the schemes of satan, having our sword ready and available is the best way to defend ourselves.
- Make sense of difficult passages. Most of the Bible is clear-cut and easy to understand. Some people will talk about how complicated the Bible is and how it takes a scholar to understand it. I do not buy that one bit. There are, however, some passages that on a first reading make us ask ourselves “what did I just read?” When you come to a passage like that, re-read it, and then re-read it again. Every part of God’s Word is a message from Him to us, so we short change ourselves when we skip over passages instead of taking the time to understand what they say. Don’t forget, ask the Holy Spirit for understanding, something that He promises to give to us.
Don’t get caught on the golf course without any clubs. Know your Bible. Know what it says about you, about God, and about the life that we, as men, are designed to live.