“If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed. Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. 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. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.
“Command and teach these things. Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.” 1 Timothy 4:6-16
“Lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.” Hebrews 12:12-13
Training: 1. The process or routine of one who trains; 2. The state of being trained; 3. Practical education in some profession, art, handicraft, or the like; instruction coupled with practice in the use of one’s powers.
Godliness does not just happen. Wishing something were so does nothing to propel it into being. Watching it speed by in someone else but failing to get on board will make no supernatural difference. Spiritual training is not only commanded as necessary and valuable in the Christian life, but it must be significant and ongoing. Little soundbites here, a rote recitation there, an act of service every now and then does not give strength for the journey or long haul. Training in godliness requires consistent vigilance, toiling, and striving. There is no one and done with the practice of faith.
If we are in Christ, we have known someone or several who went before us and stand out as examples. Within a congregation or fellowship we have been taught and trained by others who have walked longer with the Lord, and should keep pursuing this. The more we put scriptural principles to practice through experiences and years, the better trained we are to train those younger in the faith.
What defines our daily track of spiritual disciplines? When do we specifically put off and put on in prayer to refine godly conduct, speech, and mindset? In what situations at home and work are we practicing a godly example? Where and with whom are we exercising our God-given gifts and teaching the word with the hope of our living God and an eye for consistent spiritual progress? (Colossians 3:5-10,12-23)
Lord, keep training me to know You and make You known dynamically, effectively, and for Your glory.