“Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the person dedicated to God may be capable and equipped for every good work” (2 Tim 3:16-17, NET, bold emphasis mine).
“You don’t have to stay down there,” Holy Spirit whispered to my heart. I was in the midst an intensely difficult season. Fierce battle was raging on every side of me. In the midst of it, He invited me higher. He invited me to sit with Him, above it all.
He was referring, of course, to the position Jesus already bought for me with His blood: “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” (Eph 2:6, NIV). This verse immediately follows the declaration, “It is by grace you have been saved” (v. 5b). This means that, part of His act of saving me was to seat me up there with Jesus. My position in God is inseparable from my salvation. It’s a done deal.
However, I don’t always live out of that position. I’m in a training process to do so. I’m learning, more and more, to operate out of that higher place, above the fray. I have found that I’ve needed His gentle reminder more than just that one time.
Do you find this is true for you, too? That when God teaches you something, you don’t immediately have it down perfectly? He began instructing me in this particular area, several years ago. And I find myself, still learning. Still wishing I was better at it.
That’s okay! See our verse for today? It speaks to the learning process. First of all, the Scriptures that shape us are inspired by God. As the NIV renders it, these words He wrote for us are “God-breathed.” He breathes them right into our spirits. And they are “useful for… training in righteousness.” You are I are in active training right now. Every day of our lives, He is informing our hearts through His Word. He is coaching us in His ways. He is training us in righteousness.
The end goal is in the next verse: “that the person dedicated to God may be capable and equipped…” As we eagerly submit to His training, He equips us. He raises us up according to His heart.
Purposefully recognize, then, His intentionality in every aspect of your life. I will preface this to point out that whatever the negative factors are, He did not create them. Remember that His intention for us was Eden. It was Paradise. It was perfection. However, since we now live with the effects of the Fall, He masterfully weaves them into His training process. Whatever the enemy meant for our harm, His hand unfailingly turns into beauty.
That person in your life who is so very difficult to love? Yep, that’s right. Part of His training process.
That change you’ve been longing for, still feeling desperately out of reach? Yes. If you let Him, that, too will be an instrument in His hands for astonishing good. As you trust in Him, He is shaping you.
That menacing mountain that seems to be looming over you, staring you down with an odious look? It’s just part of the obstacle course. You will learn to leap over it, to dance triumphantly on top of it, and then to order it out of your way. The day will come when it will no longer even exist.
On that day, you will suddenly realize how capable and equipped you have become. You will suddenly take note of what a high position you have learned to operate from. Seated with Jesus in heavenly places, you will fall down in overwhelmed gratitude to thank Him. You will worship the One who takes the very worst in life and uses it to bring forth unspeakable glory.
How is Holy Spirit training and equipping you through the particular adverse circumstance you are facing?