As disciples, we should always think of ourselves as being trained to go somewhere someday or to stay where we are at to help train others to go.
In the Bible, training has another word “discipline”. We find in 1 Corinthians, Paul making the connection between training and discipline. Paul saw a need for discipline to keep him from being disqualified from the prize.
Not only are we to discipline ourselves, God disciplines us to. He is our coach and He is our trainer. To him discipline is a sign of his affection and love towards us. As a father disciplines his sons, so does God discipline us and trains us all for holiness and ministry. We need to be careful not to despise or harden our hearts towards the Lord’s discipline.
If you are considering on going on a One Year Challenge, you may be finding yourself now entering a period of discipline or training. Training can come from your ministry leader or discipler. It can also come from a difficult life-situation that you are facing or an illness or a difficult relationship. In some cases God may not be behind the difficulty that you are facing, but He may be using it to refine and discipline your character. In all of these cases, you can believe that God has already been preparing you for your One Year Challenge!
The Bible encourages us to persevere in discipline. Here are three, from the book of Hebrews.
- We are disciplined because we are God’s children (Hebrews 12:7).
Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?
We grow weary in discipline because we forget that behind it is God’s fatherly love. It is easy to grow despondent in hardship and begin to believe that God has harmful motivations behind His discipline. We must remember that God’s love is not just endearing and sweet, its firm and challenging.
2. We are disciplined because God wants us to share in His holiness (12:10).
…but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness.
What could be more valuable than sharing in God’s holiness? His holiness is more precious than gold and pursuing it brings more fulfilment than in pursuing any relationship. God’s holiness is also what the world needs for people’s hearts to change. If we strive to share in his holiness, God will shine through our lives and our actions — and that will change the world.
- We are disciplined for righteousness and peace.
Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
Ever wondered if Moses felt discouraged that it took him so long to find his life purpose? Yet Moses was trained in all his 80 years before leading the Israelites to the promise land. Everything that he learned as an Egyptian prince, as a shepherd and as the husband of Zipporah and all that he learned after murdering an Egyptian was training for his eventual life purpose. Training and discipline can be unpleasant at first and sometimes can even seem pointless now, but later on it produces within us what we need to complete God’s will in our lives.