Learning To Thrive In The Training And Testing
Last night during our “start now” moment at the end of Rob's message many people got up and left. For me it was a little discouraging. Today, as I thought about it, I came to the conclusion that this is just how God works. Let me back up here and tell you why I’m writing this. As an elder of Start Church I feel the need to warn you what is about to come your way if you decide to hold course in the Start Church family and in your individual lives as a force for good to bring God's kingdom to earth. I see Jesus warning His disciples a number of times about what they should expect when they choose to stay committed to the cause. I also do not want you to be discouraged as you see others falling away when they are sifted by Satan. Andy, Rob and I can all testify how we have been tested ourselves, and I believe it will only continue. Also, we have seen people which we thought were "all in" who fell away while being tested. I believe that when our faith is young that God puts a hedge around us as we see in Job in order that Satan doesn’t destroy that faith before it has time to strengthen. There will come a time, though, when God pulls that protection back a little in order that we might be tested as Job was.
"As an elder of Start Church I feel the need to warn you what is about to come your way if you decide to hold course in the Start Church family and in your individual lives as a force for good to bring God's kingdom to earth."
As I look at what has come to pass during the last few months on this church planting journey, I am starting to understand the testing of all and the falling away of many. God wants trained and tested people to carry out the work of His church. He wants trained and tested people because He wants qualified people. How can you be qualified if you have never been trained or tested? This doesn't work in any other profession, calling, or career. No one likes to be trained and tested but everyone likes the results of training and testing. Everyone appreciates that the other drivers on the road have to be trained and tested before getting their license or that doctors have been trained and tested before starting their practice. We all want tested methods because tested methods are proven methods. We like when others are tested we just don't want to be tested ourselves! This should not be! Testing reveals our training and our training is what qualifies us for the task. Start to look at your times of testing as a proving ground for you to master your craft, perfect your art, and dial in your dream. Allow God to train you and to test you so that you will be qualified to loving lead His people. If you lack training, stay committed to God's spiritual boot camp, the local church, and watch as God begins to equip you with biblical teaching and christian fellowship.
"God wants trained and tested people to carry out the work of His church. He wants trained and tested people because He wants qualified people. How can you be qualified if you have never been trained or tested?"
When we carry out the work of the church we step into a spiritual war. As with any war, a soldier must be trained and then tested before they are sent off to battle. The church is God's spiritual boot camp to train us for our callings and assignments. The testing comes through various trials that assault our allegiance to God, His Word, and His church. Some will fall away during times of testing yet others will make it to the battle, get shell shocked, and fall away at that time. I believe some will fall away for good, yet others will come back to fight another day. Only God knows who that will be.
"The church is God's spiritual boot camp to train us for our callings and assignments. The testing comes through various trials that assault our allegiance to God, His Word, and His church."
Please understand that this testing will be different for all of us. As we know, not every soldier on the battle field performs the same task. Different tasks require different kinds of testing and training. Do not become discourage if your testing seems more difficult then others, for it probably means that God wants to use you in a higher capacity. What an honor! Also, as people fall away during times of testing do not become discouraged; it is actually better for the team that some fall away. God wants us moving forward on the battlefield with other trained and tested people who will hold the course, fight the fight, and help us win the war. One more thing as I bring this to a close; your training and testing will go on as long as your "all in" to bring His kingdom to earth and His will in your life.