Spiritual Training

ā€” Dana

Spiritual Training from the Lord is a hard, yet rewarding process!!!

It finally hit me this weekend that I am an adult. At the ripe old age of 23, I began to see that “who I am right now, is the person that I am going to be the rest of my life.” When I took an honest inventory of my heart and soul, I got scared. Then, with the Lord’s prompting, I knew that “today was the day that I needed to flee from my ugly path of sin and sprint down the road to holiness.”

So, I prayed this Psalm: “Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me; Cross-examine and test me, get a clear picture of what I’m about; See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong – then guide me on the road to eternal life.” Psalm 139:23-24 (The Message)

God is just so faithful to hear the whimpers of my soul!!! Christ instantly revealed areas in my heart where I needed to change. The most repulsive area (to me and I am sure to others) was with my PRIDE. It is what C.S. Lewis describes as “the greatest sin…the utmost evil.” It was uncomfortable to have Jesus shine a HUGE spotlight in the darkest places of my heart.

Then another problem arose. Not only was left totally exposed in front of my best friend, Sarah (she also experienced the reality of sin in her life)…I had begun to get stuck in my guilt and shame and didn’t want to approach Christ with my failings. That is not what Christians are called to do.

So, with Sarah at my side, we broke out of our dreadful routine and ran towards Christ. For the first time, we didn’t get stuck in our own guilt and shame. I personally moved towards the throne of grace and received all the encouragement that I COULD CHANGE. And understood that, with the Lord’s help, I would be able to get on the other side of these newly found character flaws.

“In this all-out match against sin, others have suffered far worse than you, to say nothing of what Jesus went through…all that bloodshed! So don’t feel sorry for yourselves. Or have you forgotten how good parents treat children, and that God regards you as his children?

My dear child, don’t shrug off God’s discipline, but don’t be crushed by it either. It’s the child he loves that he disciplines; the child he embraces, he also corrects.

God is educating you; that’s why you must never drop out. He’s treating you as dear children. This trouble you’re in isn’t punishment; it’s training, the normal experience of children. Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves. Would you prefer an irresponsible God? We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God’s training so we can truly live? While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them. But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God’s holy best. At the time, discipline isn’t much fun. It always feels like it’s going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.” Hebrews 12:4-11 (The Message)

Someone once said that the first half of your life is spent discovering how God wants you to live. The second half is just learning how to apply the things you learned in the first half of your life. I am excited to eventually look back and see how God used this time in my life for the purpose of intense Spiritual Training.