Even though I had briefly read the directions the day before, I didn’t know how to operate my new stove!
(Panic!) I tried again. (Stay calm.) Fifteen people
would soon be knocking on my door and I don’t know how to turn on my stove! What to do? Now I
was eagerly reading the manual trying to figure out how to operate it. Why
did the manufacturer make it so difficult to understand? I handed the manual to some early arrivers, asking for their help. No such luck; they
couldn't figure it out either. After several more attempts to turn it on, I called the 800 number, no one answered (of course not, it
was Easter!). I read the Owner’s Manual some more. I was flustered and in panic mode.
("Is Kentucky Fried Chicken open today?" I wondered.) I kept
reading and punching buttons, and finally, the stove
turned on. It heated up. Yes, it was on! An hour later, the roast was finished. We ate and I received rave reviews from my guests.
(Whew, close call!)
As the days passed, I became more familiar with my new stove’s Owner’s Manual, it wasn’t as difficult as it originally seemed. In fact, my new appliance is quite easy to use! I just needed to spend more time reading the Owner’s Manual before using it.
This scenario got me thinking about the believer’s relationship with God. We have been given an Owner’s Manual for life—the Bible. When
we spend little time reading it, and life gets cooking, we might get flustered
as I did,
or call on someone who really can’t help, or blame God for our circumstances, the way I blamed the manufacturer for making the stove so difficult to use.
Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, tells us to put on the full armor of God, so
that when the day of evil comes (and if you have a pulse, it will come), we can stand our ground. Soldiers
learn to put on their armor long before the battle begins. The lesson here, don’t wait until the last minute,
when you're in crisis mode, to read the Owner’s Manual. We must be prepared, geared up, and made ready for life’s trials by reading, studying, knowing, and memorizing God’s Word,
and then we’ll be able to:
Not give in. To stand firm. “…so that the body of Christ may be built up... we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching…Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in
Jesus” Ephesians 5:13.