Taking Time To Train

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Offensive Coordinators in the NFL hate rookie quarterbacks. While a talented rookie can make big plays and electrify the crowd, his inexperience can often lead to catastrophic mistakes. Tim Tebow, Dak Prescott, and Mark Sanchez were all rookie quarterbacks who made great plays and drew national attention, but who also made rookie mistakes that set their teams back.

The truth is, in any sport, elevating from the college/amateur game to the major league professional level is a huge step, and one that takes years to make. That’s why the average NFL team will spend 3 years training a newly drafted quarterback before naming him the starter, and thus, the franchise QB. It’s why the NBA develops rookies through the G-League, and why Major League Baseball uses three tiers of minor leagues to train their rookies for the main stage.

Becoming an elite athlete takes time and training. Not only must one prepare himself physically, he must take the time to learn the mental aspects of the game, and learn to function at the faster professional level.

Likewise, as we commit ourselves to serving the Lord, we must also be willing to take time to prepare ourselves for that service. In Ezekiel 3:17, the Bible says, “Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.”

While most Bible students tend to focus in on the word, “watchman,” and apply that to the Lord’s commission upon us to spread the Gospel, we must not overlook the first part of that verse, which says to “hear the word at My mouth.”

Basically, in order to speak God’s word to people, we must first hear, or receive, God’s word. Charles Spurgeon said it this way:

To train the tongue, we must first begin with the ear. We must be a disciple and sit at the Master’s feet before we can become an apostle and go forth to speak in the Master’s name.

I like the way Spurgeon points out that we must first become disciples before we can become apostles. We must first take time to learn of the Lord, to hear and learn His word, and apply it to our lives, before we go forth to teach it to others. Before being teachers, we must be students. Before being leaders, we must be followers.

If we are to effectively serve God, we must be willing to learn from God. We must be willing to allow Him to train us through His scriptures. Anything less is rebellious, and will prove unfruitful in the long run.

Do not think that time invested in reading and learning scripture is wasted. Do not fear that time spent in seminary, or Sunday School is lost. Invested time is never wasted time.

Take time. Learn. Apply. Follow. Then speak, teach and lead. Watch what the Lord will do. May God bless your labors for Him.

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