Training For War!

(Back after 2 weeks of COVID and recovery!) Are you a Christian? If so, you were chosen/drafted by God to be in His army. Not everyone in an Army is on the front lines, and there is no shame in not wanting to be. The Army needs supplies (prayers), instructors (pastors), medical staff (healers), morale officers (K-Love Radio and Christian Music), and more. Just as a body has many different parts all working together without criticizing each other.

Armies Need Variety!

People of various skills and talents are needed. They may all wear the same uniform, but they don’t all do the same thing! Even the word “soldier” has a lot of variance to it. Some drive tanks, planes, or trucks. Others use heavy machine guns, sniper rifles, assault rifles, missiles, or plant mines.

Each specialty gets special training to help them to do their part. Some crawl through mud, while others swim. Some need the body strength to carry that heavy machine gun, while others need great hand-eye coordination.

The same amount of variety is necessary for a Navy as well. As a retired Naval Officer (F-14A Tomcat), I have personal experience with that. Let’s not forget that the Air Force has a variety of planes, which allows it to do a lot of different things.

The point? Without variety, winning a war is impossible.

Basic Training

All military personnel go through “basic training” before they get any “Advanced Training”. Basic training has a few foundational themes that are a MUST for anyone to continue. Those that don’t get these basics, get extra attention. If that fails, they are kicked out.

Run, run, run. This is not a track team Sarge!
  1. Putting the Team ahead of yourself. Everyone has to learn to put their team’s needs before their personal desires. (“Not my will but Thine be done.”)
  2. Learning the manual. Ignorance is no excuse!
  3. Submitting to leadership. Letting someone else make decisions for you, whether you get to give input or not. (“Not my will but Thine be done.”)
  4. Improving or at least maintaining physical conditioning. They do not seek people who will be limited by their body. Just as God wants all of us to grow spiritually stronger than we are right now.
  5. Willingness to sacrifice one’s life for the sake of others. (“Greater love has no one than the one who lays down their life for others.”)
  6. Let your talents and abilities shine, so that you can be placed where you will be most useful. Accept them as gifts!

There may be some that I have missed, however, all of these are basic and fundamental. Without them, the soldier will never become useful.

Special Training

All specialties need specific training. In my case, after passing basic avionics training, I went on to fighter aircraft training. There was even a next step before I could join the fleet! I spent a year with a Training Squadron learning the F-14A Tomcat, in which I would serve. A friend of mine had a heart condition that prevented him from continuing flight training (there could be problems at high altitudes).

May 1980 in the Indian Ocean

Because he wanted to become a Navy Seal and was accepted, he had to go through a totally separate training program.

Officers going to the Submarines had to go through special training as well. In fact, EVERY combat specialty had its own training program. In fact, even the non-combat officers had special training for their jobs as well. Supply officers, Legal officers, Medical Officers, Intelligence Officers, and others.

Hey, there’s a sky up here!

The goal is to make the most of your natural talents and skills to become a very valuable servant.

Christian Training?

So what does this have to do with the Christian Church? I am glad you asked!

The first step is to get chosen, or drafted. Next, there’s a very similar Basic Training for you! Compare this list to the list above!

  1. Learning to look not just at yourself, but at others around you. All of us are on a journey.
  2. Read the Bible, so that you can grow closer to its author. (Not to memorize it, it’s not a rule book.)
  3. Submit to God. Let Him make long-term decisions for you. Trust Him to do you and others well by His choice.
  4. Improve your spiritual condition. He will need you to be able to withstand the rest of training, which will last your whole life!
  5. Be willing to give your life for another. Just as the Christians were joyful in the Colisseum. This is what Jesus did for you!
  6. Let the gifts God gave you (they are all inside you!) shine. Then you will see where God wants you!
Not rules, but a tool to grow closer to God!

That last part helps you see which special training God has in store for you. But before we go further, let me share something.

Training is not always pleasant. Whether it is physical training or other strenuous training. There are times that really stress us, that will push us. Hard. If we decide that our situation or circumstances are PERMANENT, instead of temporary, we can really sink emotionally. I know, I have been there! It is very difficult emotionally, and that’s not a sin! It’s the natural reaction! Remember, God knows that we are only human!

Take Heart!

What is really happening! We are being prepared for what will happen to us later in life. Just as a coach pushes their trainees in practice, not because he loves pushing them, but because he is preparing them!

Because so many of us refuse to listen to someone that has never gone through what we are going through … God puts people around us that HAVE gone through it. Sometimes, those are the only people we will let comfort us!

I confess that military training is easier! At least we can see our progress and we know what we are being training for! In life, it’s easy to forget that we have the best coach/trainer available! He knows what we need, and it is up to us to trust Him! He knows what He is doing!

All the commandments rolled into one sentence!

The goal is to make the most of your natural talents and skills to become a very valuable servant.

Please comment and/or respond to what you heard inside of you as you read this! Let’s share!
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