Athletes do not succeed by chance or by their raw talent. It takes great time of training and preparation to excel in sports. We will always unconsciously do what we usually practice. The same is true in our spiritual walk; when we train our spiritual senses to discern and receive from the spiritual realm, we excel in our walk, and victory becomes inevitable. We have to exercise our faith, exercise our spiritual senses, practice the truth (1 John 1:6) and walk in love daily.
Growth in stature is a function of the proper exercise in our body. Likewise we should have a spiritual program for exercising our spiritual senses, training ourselves to be godly, mature and proof producers. Interestingly, many think that in spiritual matters, there is no need to exercise and others imply it by their inaction. The main reason for the ministry gifts is to build up the body of Christ until it perfectly measures up to the full stature of the measure of Christ (Ephesians 4:11). It is the purpose of God that every child of His will mature and be a full grown man; not swayed by the devil and circumstances no matter what happens. Maturity in our spiritual life guarantees our enjoyment of our God-given heritage. As long a Christian stays a ‘child’ in the things of God, he will not differ from those who are not entitled to our heritage, as far as enjoying these benefits are concerned. “Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father” Galatians 4:1-2. Yes, he will be entitled to everything God has, but just as a child, he won’t know how to appropriate them or how to benefit from them. When a believer is unstable in his beliefs and is always swayed by different teachings without coming to certainty of the truth in God’s word, he is still a child. “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ” Ephesians 4:14-15. How do we move on to excellence? It will take spiritual exercise and practicing what we have learnt.
“For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” Hebrews 5:13-14. Milk is good for all humans, but in babyhood stage it is predominantly the only food. When one grows, solid food is introduced to serve greater and stronger purposes. From the above scripture the mature ones eat solid food. The gist of the article is in there, the mature have their senses exercised by reason of use and that is why they are mature. In other words they practice what they hear, read and learn from God. In training and exercising, repetition is key ingredient, and a deliberate intention to grasp a move, leads to perfection. Maybe, you tried something and failed, that is no excuse for giving up all together. On your own accord, you should constantly exercise your spiritual senses by putting them to use. You pray and take time to listen. You read the word and take time to meditate and then to actively apply it in your life. When exercising faith, you refuse to give up; you might need to make adjustments in your belief and words, but you will keep at it until you see the results. If you have laid hands on the sick and none has recovered yet, you continue to pray and also imbibe on the word of God so much so that your thought system is permanently altered in the direction of God’s word. In prayer, refuse to give up in defeat; change gears, give thanks to God for the answer, when you can’t pray, praise, keep your eyes focused on the answer and be confident that you will definitely receive.
Training is paramount; it takes time and deliberate effort. I was surprised to learn that Usian Bolt failed to qualify from the first heat of 100M race in Athens Olympics 2004. Nevertheless, he said the next four years, he trained intensely and sure enough in Beijing Olympics 2008, he broke all world records in the races he participated in. The training didn’t stop there; he continued to train hard and still won all his races in London Olympics 2012. What a great lesson in this story! You might have failed in your spiritual walk, but do not despair you can train your spiritual senses to excellence. You should also note that training never ends since we are always learning and moving to perfection. Many would rather do nothing and hope to automatically grow in their spiritual walk, but that is not the way of God. We do not grow to maturity by osmosis but through training. “Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come” 1 Timothy 4:7-8. Physical training has added value to many, an example is of Usian Bolt; now the most famous athlete, however, training for godliness has greater value than this. Just as each person has to train for himself; no transfer of training benefits, we also need to train for ourselves in spiritual matters. Act on the word of God and not opinions of men. Listen to the Spirit and not just to your feelings or logic. Follow the promptings of the Spirit by faith and try it out for yourself. Until you can act on God’s word, practice what you know and follow His leading even when it doesn’t seem to make ‘common sense’, you are still a child. Even in our walk, we should practice the truth (1 John 1:6) – choose to walk in love, refuse to gossip and criticize others and be bound by God’s word in your actions. The bible says; “Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature” 1 Corinthians 14:20. This is the secret to personal spiritual excellence and growth. Training yourself unto godliness and exercising your spiritual senses to growth.
Robert Ssesanga is the founder of Aflame Gospel Ministries a multifaceted Christian ministry and the Senior Pastor of Aflame Gospel Assembly in Kampala, Uganda. He is an author and a conference speaker who travels extensively to nations. He preaches the gospel with signs, miracles and wonders, as God attests to His word with power. His emphasis on victorious living and enjoying the supernatural life has been instrumental to many lives that have been impacted over the years in many nations. HIs passion is to demonstrate the gospel and impact generations.