Take to your heart all the words with which I am warning you today. . . . For it is not an idle word for you; indeed it is your life. -Deuteronomy 32:46-47

I was invited to be on a men’s ministry Q and A panel several years ago, and the topic was purity. There were three of us on the panel, me, an addiction counselor and a church pastor. Why they asked me, I’ll never know! But, before the meeting, I spent hours praying and asking God what in the world He thought I should say when called on or asked a question.

I put a few thoughts down and while I was driving to the event, God dropped a thought in my heart.

The thought was about training. From my experience networking with different churches over the years and from the many men’s ministry books I’ve read, I’ve concluded most churches don’t have well oiled training for their members. Especially around the topic of purity and obedience. So most of us men are just allowed to be thrown to the wolves as men of God in today’s challenging world.

As I was thinking and praying about the topic of training people in the church today, God began to unfold an analogy.

It went like this. Imagine, the military picking a young untrained kid off the streets. Flew him to the Pentagon, dressed him in fatigues, then flew him to San Diego, then placed him in a Navy Seal team. The next day flew him and the team to Iraq to help clear a rough neighborhood!

The kid would be dead in a matter of minutes. Training matters, especially in our special forces and even our walk with God.

But, unfortunately just like the untrained kid, that’s how most of us feel when it comes to using Gods Word to help us when we are tempted…untrained.

God’s Word serves as a sure defense against temptation. David wrote in Psalm 119:11, “Your word have I treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.” Martin Luther once wrote about a young man who had a hard time with lustful thoughts, so he asked a hermit for advice. The older man said, “You can’t stop the birds from flying over your head, but only let them fly. Don’t let them nest in your hair.”

That is pretty good advice. We cannot always control what thoughts come into our mind, but we have a choice: we can either hold on to those thoughts until they metastasize into full-blown immorality, or we can confront those wrong thoughts with the truth of God’s Word and dismiss them. That is how we use the Bible as a defense against temptation.

But, we have to know Gods Word for this to help and even memorize key verses to recall when needed.

We have a great illustration of trusting our training to resist temptation through the life of Jesus Himself.

How did Jesus repel the temptation of Satan? He did it by quoting Scripture.

If knowing God’s Word was essential for Jesus’s spiritual survival, how much more important is it for you and for me? Remember this simple formula: memorize God’s Word, recall God’s Word, obey God’s Word. That is how you train in righteousness. -Pastor Robert Jeffress

Taken from “Pathway to Victory” by Pastor Robert Jeffress

Pastor Jeffress says, If we are going to resist temptation and thrive in a hostile environment, we need to train in righteousness. Let me give you four practical tips for how to engage in your own training program in God’s Word.

First of all, have a scheduled time and place for memorizing the Bible. Maybe five minutes, maybe ten minutes. Maybe in the morning, maybe at night. The key is commit to a time and place where you are going to spend a few moments reading God’s Word.

Second, start small. Did you know most of the books of the New Testament could be read in less than twenty minutes? Start with a book like Philippians or James that is very practical. If you cannot handle a whole book, just take a chapter. Here are some chapters you might want to consider: If you are facing a crisis, read Psalm 46. If you are facing temptation in your life, read James 1. If you are worried or concerned about finances, read Matthew 6. Start small.

Third, read the verses out loud, especially these verses you are trying to memorize. As you do that, it will help hide God’s Word in your heart.

Finally, remember the value of God’s Word. You might be thinking, “Pastor, I cannot memorize anything. I am just not good at memorizing.” If somebody told you they would pay you $100,000 if you could memorize Philippians, do think you could memorize Philippians? It is not a question of ability; it is a question of motivation.

Moses said it this way in Deuteronomy 32:46-47: “Take to your heart all the words with which I am warning you today. . . . For it is not an idle word for you; indeed it is your life.” This Word is life to us. The goal is not to memorize verses just to know a certain number of verses. The goal is to memorize verses so that when you encounter unforeseen turbulence, you can trust your training until you land safely. That is the value of God’s Word.

Please let me know your thoughts about training in righteousness. I’d love to know the steps you take to gaurd your heart as you live your life in today’s world.

Training not only strengthens your heart in Christ, it deepens your confidence as a man of God.