|Ciara Lilly is a Charlotte-area writer. Her faith-based column, Fishers of Men, is published here each Monday. Opinions expressed are solely her own.|
Text: “2 Timothy 3:16-17” (AMP)
“Every scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in thought, purpose, and action. 17: So that the man of God may be complete and proficient, well fitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Have you ever played games? Yes, games: videogames, board games, card games, etc. Now, try to remember the first game you played. What was the first thing you did before playing the game? I’d guess most people read the instructional manual inside the case? What’s the reason for reading the manual? I mean, couldn’t you play the game without reading it?
The reason is simple: You read it to learn how to play the game. You’re going to play the game, but you just need instruction, especially if you want to win.
This is how God’s instruction works. Before you stop reading, hear me out. I promise it will all make sense.
Have you ever heard the saying, “the game of life”? Well in this instance it’s true; our lives are the game. And our lives come with an instructional manual (the Word of God), which if followed, ensures our victory. See, we’ve received our games (lives) as a gift from Jesus. And let me just say, the cost of games nowadays fail in comparison to the cost Jesus paid.
When you gift someone a game, do you force them to play it? Do you force them to read the instructional manual? No! They have a choice to play the game; they have a choice to read the manual. The same applies with God. He has given us the gift, the game, our lives. But He has also given us a choice, which is known as free will.
One of the first games I played as a child was Super Mario Brothers on the Nintendo. Being that I was new to the gaming world, I valued the instructional manual that came with it. Without it, I was clueless. Now, I’ve played the original Super Mario Brothers enough to know the ins and outs, but no one is playing that version. In order to succeed in playing the current version, I’d have to read its instructional manual.
Why is this important? Often times, we apply old instructions to new situations in our lives. The Bible is one huge, powerful, instructional manual. Within it, you have instructions for every situation you could ever face!
Understanding that, if we read the Bible in 1995 looking for instructions on how to beat sickness and disease, how can we then use those same instructions to help strengthen our love walk in 2012? We cannot. In order to succeed, we have to flip through our Bibles and find the instructions for walking in love.
In every game, there are difficult levels. Likewise, in the game of life there are difficult moments. But don’t give up; don’t throw your game (life) away. You have the manual, and that’s all you need to win.