February 23, 2009 • By Ed Wrather
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. …the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: "The Lord knows those who are His," and, "Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity." But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, PREPARED for every good work. Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. - 2 Timothy 2:15; 19-22.
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 complete, thoroughly equipped (PREPARE and equip - NLT) for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
In Colorado Springs, Colorado, they are considering imposing a fee on hikers who make it to the summit of Pikes Peak and then are unable to walk back down. Around fifteen thousand people climb or walk up the 12 miles to the top of Pikes Peak every year. One of those hikers last year in December made it to the summit after dark and then broke into the restaurant to keep from freezing to death. He was charged $500 for the ride back down and for the window he broke.
The Rocky Mountains in Colorado can be dangerous. One man reported that he had during his climbing and walking in the mountains experienced snow during every month of the year at one time or another. Pikes Peak has experienced deadly snow storms even in July. I have made it to the top of Pikes Peak twice. Once I was in a truck that my Dad was driving. He had helped a teacher move to Boulder from Oklahoma, and we did some sightseeing on the way back home. When my family was young I drove up to the top of the mountain during one of our vacations. Even for someone in reasonably good health just a hike up the road to the summit of the mountain would be a challenge. If you ran into an ice storm or a blizzard on the way up or down it would make the hike exponentially more difficult and hazardous. To make the climb up and down Pikes Peak successfully it will be necessary to do some planning and preparation.
The Boy Scout motto "Be Prepared" is a good motto for Christians too. When Baden-Powell the founder of scouting was asked what scouts should be prepared for he responded by saying, "Why for any old thing." Christians need to be prepared too. What do we need to be prepared for? We need to be prepared for everything that we may encounter in life. We do have an enemy and that enemy wants to destroy us (John 10:10a).
There is a story in the Old Testament in 1 Samuel 13 that illustrates that the enemy will try to make us unprepared. In an attempt to disarm the Israelites, the Philistines had cornered the market on blacksmiths and those who were capable of sharpening swords, knives, spears, and pitchforks. Just prior to battle nearly all of the weapons of the Israelites were in Philistine hands so that they could be sharpened. The scheme did not work because God kept it from working, but it is an example of what the enemy will attempt to do. The enemy will try to disarm you, make you ineffective, and unprepared for the battles that you will face in life.
Don’t be fooled! Instead be prepared. Study the Word of God, turn from being a vessel of dishonor, and be a worker who needs not be ashamed (Romans 1:16) - a vessel of honor.