Training or Trying?

Congratulations to the WA 1B State Champs―again! Their win marks five consecutive state championships. Although they possess much athletic talent, anyone who observes this team knows their success is crowned through their commitment to train.



A discipline is something you do even when you don’t feel like it. These girls played 80-plus games each summer. Their time spent practicing has resulted in smooth, automatic teamwork during pressured game situations. They are a lot of fun to watch.

I don’t know of an easy road to success. Consistent, hard work of correct training builds a strong framework in any arena, including spiritual growth. The apostle Paul admonishes us to train ourselves to be godly.

Godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”   – 1Timothy 4:7-8

How do we grow spiritually and pursue God’s holiness? Although God is never limited, He uses the following three things:

Circumstances – We will have trials. But …

In all things, God works for the good of those who love Him … to be conformed to the image of His Son.” – Romans 8:28-29

Relationships – (Hebrews 10:24-25)

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”   –  Proverbs 27:17

Spiritual Disciplines – Our growth isn’t automatic (Philippians 2:12). Our growth is:

  • intentional and incremental
  • personal and seasonal
  • relational and practical

What are the training habits of spiritual growth?

  •  PRAYER – Mark 1:35
  •   SCRIPTURE – Matthew 4:4
  •   FAITH – Matthew 9:29

God calls us to surrender to Him in order that we might become the person He desires. I love that, although we are told to “take up our cross and follow Christ” (Mark 8:34), His yoke is easy and His burden light (Matthew 11:30). And the blessings of being in Christ far outweigh being “out of Christ.”

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” – Matthew 5:5

Meek simply means to be under God’s control.

The following video shows a horse trainer taming a wild mustang, a great illustration of God’s gentleness and patience as He works with us and within us.

Have a wonderful week!


*This post article is also posted in the Gospel Blog by FEBC at