TRAINING IN RIGHTEOUSNESS
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.
~ 1 Corinthians 9:25 (NIV)
A young Romanian Christian was called in to the secret police for interrogation. He had dreaded this moment. Fear gripped him throughout and he was unable to give a categorical rejection to the police offers of good treatment and security if he would only inform on his fellow-believers. He did not accept the offer either, but his inability to reject it unquestioningly brought personal agony.
He could not sleep that night because of his fear and guilt. The next morning led of the Holy Spirit, an older Christian came to visit the family. He was unaware of the young man’s dilemma. Being a former prisoner for his faith, he was able to counsel the young man from Scripture about his situation. He built up the young man in fellowship, training him for the next ordeal.
It came the same afternoon when the youth was taken in for his second interrogation. The same thing happened and the young man was still upset by his answers. Again the older believer came to encourage him.
Three days of more interrogations passed. Eventually the young man was able to reject the police offer completely. With no further hold on him, the police let him go. Counsel, prayer and patient caring had brought him through and trained him in righteousness.
To maintain biblical integrity, let us consider training as a prescribed course in righteousness in which each individual is disciplined through practice to be obedient to God’s direction for mankind and able to withstand the schemes of the devil.
People who commit themselves for a cause have a right to expect training in the job for which they have been selected. In some of the trades, this is called “apprenticeship.” In medicine, it is known as “internship.” In the military, it is referred to as “basic training.” In scripture, it is referred to as “discipleship.” However, in our modern day, training is often by-passed due to the pressures of time, need and a low value placed upon the office to be filled. This was not the case with Jesus in His selection and training of His disciples.
After calling His men to be with Him, he challenged them to commit themselves to following after Him—to be “fishers of men.” Jesus then began to train them to become His kind of “fishers of men.”
RESPONSE: I want to be a trained disciple of Jesus Christ. I will submit to His guidance and discipline.
PRAYER: Lord, help me to realize and accept Your “training” process as I follow You today.
Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.