“Training Camp 10" by Pastor Joe
"Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come. This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it. This is why we work hard and continue to struggle, for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers.” 1 Timothy 4:8-10. NLT I'm going to leave this verse at the top of the article. This has always been one of my favorite verses even before thinking about this new set of articles relating to training camp. I've had a number of great counselors and teachers, individuals who have helped me to grow my spiritual life, and all of them have said just about same thing about a very critical part of training; keep the Word of God before you on a regular basis. With repetition over the next number of weeks all of us should begin to embrace this passage into our long-term thinking. It’s week 10 of our scheduled 10 weeks of training camp, and it has gone way too quickly. Obviously, our life is constantly in “training camp,” whether it is in the natural or the spiritual realm. As our key verse says, physical training does benefit us some, but spiritual training has benefit for this life, and the life to come. What does this mean to us? It means that we never “arrive.” Let me explain. We are in a constant growth process, and if you think you have learned all you need, or are knowledgeable to the point of “I don’t need any other instructions,” you are fooling yourself. One of the best statements ever uttered by a Pastor many years ago was about deception, which in some ways is similar to haughtiness. The individual said, “if you think you cannot be deceived, then you are easily deceived and may already be deceived.” It’s important for us to maintain an attitude of teachability, flexibility and willingness to take correction. Our training camp articles will end this week, but we should never see ourselves as leaving the field of instruction, education, and improvement. Consider the life choices of a world-class athlete. He or she doesn’t just exercise to a point where they become world-class, and then stop, thinking they will always maintain those same physical characteristics. He or she continues to excel and push themselves, training their body until they decide he or she can no longer maintain the level of competitiveness, intensity, and peak performance. Take for example, your beloved Aaron Rodgers who is in near peak condition for his age when performs his skill set. Even more amazing is someone such as Tom Brady who is 44 years of age and competes with the likes of Aaron Rodgers who is 7 years his junior. They have to exercise and work harder than ever before to stay competitive. The Scriptures tell us about Joshua, when he was an older man, the Lord tells him, “You are old, but you still have much land to conquer.” Do we remember that Joshua was 80 years of age when the Lord spoke to him about his future endeavors? What does this mean for us? It means that we should see ourselves as necessary, vital and a key part of what God wants to do until he takes us home. Although we are at the end of this training camp series, we have only touched the tip of the iceberg as to spiritual development. I will continue to share more of these development statements as we end this year and go into 2022. We always want to be in training mode. Where has God asked you to excel in your life? What skill set do you need to improve or simply bring back into operation in your life? The Bible talks about stirring up the gifts that are within you. The Holy Spirit has placed within each of us divine enablement, divine callings, divine purposes. What are we doing with those eternal skills and talents? Remember you may look like an ostrich, a bird that can’t fly, but you might be able to out run most horses. As we continue to remind ourselves that “Together is Better,” what is it about YOU that makes us better together?