Necessity of Training

The Following is taken from Book 1 on discipleship "A Journey of Growth" chapter 5 "Show Me Those Muscles

Heb 5:14

But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. NIV

I can not help but laugh and at the same time love it when I tell my grandson to show me those muscles. As a three year old he is very big for his age. Many mistake him as much older because of his size and height. Yet when I ask, He automatically puts his arms up half way in a normal “pop your biceps pose”. Obviously, being three there is not much to see but given the right amount of time, one day he will have something to show.

God is no different He is looking at us and saying, “Show me those muscles”! Obviously being new to Christianity we do not have much to show, but God knows with the right training we will have something to display one day. Training is one of the greatest fundamentals of our Christian walk and can be one of the more neglected practices. Why is it we have Christians who have sat in churches for years yet do not know much about scriptures or how to share their faith? Some Christians act like they are being burdened when suggesting they form a habit of prayer, worship, and reading their Bible. One of the saddest positions you run into are those who agree they need to practice these things, and their response is, “tomorrow”, but they never follow through.

Every Christian should be concerned about the development of their individual spiritual growth. No matter where you may be in your walk you should always be concerned about growing in your relationship with Jesus. If we are not growing then we are dying. To ever think we are old enough and mature enough that we can just somehow put it into autopilot is just wrong. It doesn't matter how old we are in the Lord we should still have practices that keep us strong, sharp, and in tune with what the Lord is saying and doing.

Before I went into the ministry I was a subcontractor in carpet installation. I had my own business. I had my own truck, tools and about three to four stores that called on me to install the carpet they sold.  On a steady week of work I could make a good living with my business.

Let’s start from the beginning. I got a job with my father- in- law working in carpet installation. I knew nothing about carpet other than the fuzzy side faced up. When I first started working I was the grunt labor. I had to carry and fetch everything. Eventually I was taught how things were done and slowly over many months I was allowed to do certain steps in the process of installing the carpet. Then one day it happened I was told that I could actually install the carpet myself, on my own. I was like, “Yeah, I'm ready”, and they pointed me to this tiny little closet. That’s right, they started me in a little closet in the very back of the house. This way if I made any mistakes it was no big deal. But over time I became proficient enough to work as an installer and then eventually going into business for myself.   

The point here is that I had to learn from the ground up, from the littlest part to the big parts, to where I understood the entire job and could do it professionally. Of course it is no different with Christianity. This is what discipleship is all about, teaching and training a person to do the work from beginning to end, from the bottom to the top. We are to be trained to do God’s work. We begin with something small and grow  to where we can do it on our own. Then one day we turn around and train someone else.

To be taught and trained to do it ourselves gives us an  amazing edge in our walk with God. We start off learning to do something and may feel a little insecure, but over time, through continual practice, we become better at it and more confident.

The serious problem which happens to many believers is they have not been trained to do much of anything. Instead we need to find those things Jesus practiced and taught His disciples, and begin training ourselves in them. We should never stop growing in our knowledge of them. Whatever practice we begin to train in, we need to become proficient at it.

There are many men and women who have been Christians for years and still struggle with practices of prayer, reading their Bible, hearing His voice, and spending quality time with the Lord. These are simple truths which every believer should be practicing and continually growing in them. Obviously these are the areas we will always be growing in but the question remains, are we still growing in them? Are we still going deeper or have we plateaued and become stagnant?  Perhaps you just never learned certain practices. Remember, you are either growing or dying, there is no in between.

Well the good news is, no matter where you are in your walk with Jesus  you can always learn and you can train yourself to grow as His disciple. We are never too young nor will we ever be too old to be used by God in His Kingdom. If you are just beginning this walk find methods that will teach and train you to form habits that will keep you strong. Just like I began in the closet and grew to having my own business, we need to establish the habits which will cause us to grow in our spiritual walk. Our training and practice in Godly disciplines is a must for every Christian for maintaining a strong healthy walk with God. Look at the following scriptures.   

1 Cor 9:24-27
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27 No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. NIV

2 Tim 3:16-17
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. NIV

1 Tim 4:7-8
Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives' tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. 8 For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.NIV

Heb 5:14
But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. NIV

Heb 12:11
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.  NIV

Gen 14:14-15
When Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he called out the 318 trained men born in his household and went in pursuit as far as Dan. NIV
 

1 Chron 5:18
The Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh had 44,760 men ready for military service — able-bodied men who could handle shield and sword, who could use a bow, and who were trained for battle. NIV

1 Chron 25:7
Along with their relatives — all of them trained and skilled in music for the Lord-they numbered 288. NIV

Luke 6:40

A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher. NIV

Mark 1:35-36

 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. NIV
(Mk 6:46, Lk 4:42, 6:12)

Hopefully we can see through these scripture references on how important training is. From battle ready warriors, musicians leading worship, to prayer or studying scriptures, all of life and godliness, it is the trained which have the advantage. It is the trained that know what to do and it is the trained God uses.

Again, we need methods that assist us in training ourselves. But the method is only there to get you doing what He can bless. These methods are to get your heart where His heart is and then the two of you can communicate with each other. Every Christian you will ever meet who is strong in the Lord usually has some sort of system, method, or practice they’ve trained themselves in which eventually formed a habit to keep them strong.  

God wants an individual believer to have a fruitful, productive life, and to know how to produce this life into others. In order for this to take place, an individual must be trained. No one becomes good at something unless he or she is taught how to do it. When you take on a new job, they teach you what to do and how to do it their way, because they know exactly what they want and how they want it. God is no different. He takes an individual and teaches them His ways and raises them up in the way they should go. As Jesus told His first disciples “I will make you”, this is exactly what He is still doing. Now let’s take a look at what discipleship or training should accomplish.

Direction

Training gives the individual direction for their life. Direction helps rid an individual of confusion and indecisiveness. With direction comes the ability to see the next step, to move forward and monitor and measure personal growth.

Confidence and Boldness

Training allows the individual to grow in confidence. The more one is trained in what they should do, the better they are in doing it. By constant training, not only do you learn how to do something, but you are able to become proficient in it as well. The more proficient we are, the more confident we become. When a person is properly trained in how to do something and they become mature in doing it, they become bolder in their approach. Fear begins to leave because they have gained confidence through constant practice. They not only begin to trust themselves but others trust them and more importantly God can trust them to do it His way. He can call on them at any time because He knows they are equipped to do the job.

Structure and Discipline

Discipleship  gives an individual a structured way of learning. It demonstrates a pattern to continually observe and a discipline that can help them in other areas of their lives. It also helps an individual form the right habits. Discipline gives them the ability to stay consistent. Consistency helps to keep us on the path of growth.

Power to Produce

Training gives an individual the power to produce for themselves. One of the greatest thrills in a person’s life is when they have achieved the ability to take care of themselves.

God loves to see mankind living fruitful lives. He designed and created them this way, He wants them to be productive and fruitful. This is the highest form of life. This was lost through the fall of man but has been brought back through Jesus. Jesus knew He had to train His men to be fruitful. They were not going to instantly know how to be fishers of men or how to disciple nations. He knew they had to be trained to accomplish this.

Acts 17:6

These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, AMP

Jesus is still the maker of men and women who can go out and turn the world upside down. His method was, “I will make you”, and He is still “making” those who are willing to come, with all their hearts, to be trained by the Master.

[A Disciple believes in being trained. A Disciple of Jesus is taught and trained by the Master Himself.]