If you think about it, our on the job training as a Christian is an experience in development of our spiritual gifts, as well as our character and integrity.
When we are touched by the Holy Spirit and our eyes are opened to our sin condition, there is something deep within us that gives us the desire to become more like JESUS!
Not only is JESUS our Shepherd, but HE is the great master teacher. And we can learn from HIM…….
The closer we walk with GOD, the more we develop a teachable spirit.
JESUS embodied the fruits of the spirit and if we are teachable, we will learn: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Our on the job life training develops these qualities within us if our hearts and minds are open to them.
We need to be aware of our spirit condition and we need to be intentional as we live out our days.
One of my friends here was recently waiting to be approved on her loan for a new house. We did the walk through together and I could envision her living there……it was a perfect fit for her. But her hope turned out to be a long, tough road of waiting to be approved! The waiting was frustrating even for me! She prayed and I prayed alongside her. We both waited and prayed some more. I had many discussions with GOD knowing that HE had the best in mind for her. And I never doubted HIS goodness. In the end, she was approved. It was in HIS will that she should start a new chapter of life in a brand new house.
So what did we learn along the way? Patience, first and foremost! I learned about being faithful……to be faithful to GOD, but also to my friend who needed to hear that encouragement daily to persevere and to never give up hope. We both learned about peace and joy along the way and I can see now where both of our characters were being fine-tuned, each in a different way. We were turning towards GOD, in our need for answers, but also in our need for comfort and hope. GOD sees us all as the final product and in each of us HE is developing what HE wants. We have to learn to submit and say, “your will LORD, not mine.” And until we die to self, we cannot understand or even “see” what GOD is doing for us and in us. But oh……. what an experience of on the job training!
Those trials of life become treasures of life, because you know GOD is doing something wonderful within you!
In the book of 1 Timothy 4:7 it says:
“RATHER TRAIN YOURSELF FOR GODLINESS FOR WHILE BODILY TRAINING IS OF SOME VALUE, GODLINESS IS OF VALUE IN EVERY WAY, AS IT HOLDS PROMISE FOR THE PRESENT LIFE AND ALSO FOR THE LIFE TO COME.”
Did you catch that? The scripture ended with “for the life to come.” We all are headed towards our heavenly home and we all are being trained for it! We are currently in a marathon, not a sprint. Our learning to be godly will happen daily and yearly and also by being trained by the WORD as we immerse ourselves in it. GOD’S WORD will change us over time…….how can it not!!
In the meantime, our on the job training matures our faith, keeping us on the path of perseverance and teaching us to recognize the difference between good and evil…….
HEBREWS 5:14 “BUT SOLID FOOD IS FOR THE MATURE, FOR THOSE WHO HAVE THEIR POWERS OF DISCERNMENT TRAINED BY CONSTANT PRACTICE TO DISTINGUISH GOOD FROM EVIL.”
And there you have it, all our training does take practice, practice and more practice. Yes, very often I do get it all wrong, and I’m sure you do too, but I always recognize when I’m in that same situation again and again. All are opportunities to get it right…….to get our one life right……is to love, honor and glorify our Master teacher and Shepherd. And when we do just that, I can see JESUS looking down upon us and smiling, because in our faithfulness, we learned how to be…….. just like HIM!
MATTHEW 23: 8 “BUT YOU, DO NOT BE CALLED RABBI; FOR ONE IS YOUR TEACHER, THE CHRIST, AND YOU ARE ALL BRETHREN.”