Lessons from the wilderness #2- Training ground!
Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.
I Corinthians 9:25, NIV
“Of all the battles a SEAL (Sea, Air, Land) must fight, none is more important than their first- the battle of mind over body.
Basic Underwater Demolitions and SEAL (BUD/S) instructors know the human machine is capable of amazing endurance even in the harshest of conditions and environments, but they also know the mind must be made to ignore the pleading of the body.
As their name suggests, SEALs are trained to conduct operations in any arena, and successful candidates spend 18 to 24 months in training before being assigned to teams. Every step is a challenge, and each test is progressively more difficult. On average, 70 percent of candidates never make it past Phase One.
For most, the greatest challenge lies in Week 4 of Phase One. A grueling 5.5 days, the continuous training ultimately determines who has the ability and mindset to endure.
Trainees are constantly in motion; constantly cold, hungry and wet. Mud is everywhere-it covers uniforms, hands and faces. Sand burns eyes and chafes raw skin. Medical personnel stand by for emergencies and then monitor the exhausted trainees. Sleep is fleeting-a mere three to four hours granted near the conclusion of the week. The trainees consume up to 7,000 calories a day and still lose weight.
Throughout Hell Week, BUD/S instructors continually remind candidates that they can Drop-On-Request (DOR) any time they feel they can’t go on by simply ringing a shiny brass bell that hangs prominently within the camp for all to see.
The belief that BUD/S is about physical strength is a common misconception. Actually, it’s 90 percent mental and 10 percent physical, said a BUD/S instructor at the San Diego facility. ‘(Students) just decide that they are too cold, too sandy, too sore or too wet to go on. It’s their minds that give up on them, not their bodies.’ “
- Excerpt taken from an article on Navy SEAL training from about.com/od/navytrng
Do you ever feel like you’re in the middle of Hell Week, looking for a shiny brass bell to ring?
Looking up at the heavens, asking God when He is going to rescue you?
And He doesn’t answer?
Let me tell you, sisters, that it’s not because He doesn’t love you. He is not ignoring your pleas for help.
You’re in training, and it’s Week 4, Phase One (lovingly referred to as “Hell Week”). You won’t be airlifted out of this one, honey. Hang on, girl!! God is preparing you for greatness! He is training you for war! And whatever you do, don’t ring that bell!
We pray for greatness. We prayed to be used. We pray for God to give us dreams and lead us into our Promised Land. We pray for God to make us into the women that He created us to be. To mold us into His image.
Then we sit down and cry when we find ourselves in the wilderness. We pout and whine and believe that God has abandoned us when we need Him the most. We wonder why He doesn’t love us anymore.
I get it, girl. I’ve been there. But instead of sitting down with you and commiserating over our shared sorrows, I’m going to challenge you to stand up, shake the dust off your backside, and put your boots on.
You’re on training ground!!
This means it’s about to get good! Really good! You’re about to shake the gates of hell! You’re about to lead others into battle! You’re about to SEE the supernatural!
You’re in Hell Week, and if you hold on and keep on, you’re gonna get your wings, honey!
Listen to King David as he praises God for his training ground:
Blessed be the Lord my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:
Psalm 144:1, KJV
Hallelujah!! Read that again: “Blessed be the Lord my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.”
Let your daily prayer be just that- “Lord, teach my hands to war and my fingers to fight!”
We’re about to do some damage to the kingdom of hell! And remember what Jesus told Peter,
…upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Now this doesn’t mean that when hell comes against the gates of the church, it won’t win. No, no, no. This says that when the church (that means you!) comes against the gates of hell, that its gates cannot stand against it! Hell’s got nothing on God’s mighty warriors!
This sounds like a pretty big battle.
Thus, the training ground.
So let me ask you- do you really want to be God’s warrior?
Do you want to do serious damage to hell and see miracles take place in your life?
Do you want to see your impossibilities become your realities?
Do you want to see God’s miracles loosed in your family, your community, and your world?
Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired?
Then it’s time to surrender to this process. It’s time to throw up your hands and thank God for your wilderness- your training ground. It’s time to “encourage yourself in the Lord”, as David did when his wives and children were stolen from him and he was afraid of being stoned by his army (I Samuel 30). He encouraged himself in the Lord, and then what did he do?
He declared war against his enemy. He and 200 of his warriors went into the enemy’s camp and they “recovered all” (I Samuel 30:18).
Are you determined to recover all that has been stolen from you? Your joy, your health, your peace, your finances, your relationships, your children?
Put on your boots, girl! Praise through the pain! Keep on running to Jesus!
Looking back to the Navy SEALS article- did this phrase jump out at you like it did me?
“The mind must be made to ignore the pleading of the body.”
This reminds me of Paul’s words:
but I beat my body and bring it into submission, lest by any means, after I have preached to others, I myself should be rejected.
I Corinthians 9:27, WEB
Paul understood this principle. We must deny our flesh and feed our spirit. We must walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh (Romans 8:1). We must “die daily” (I Corinthians 15:31) as Paul did.
Let us therefore boldly declare with Apostle Paul,
“I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.”
Philippians 3:12-14, MSG
Wow!!! Yes, yes, yes!! I’m getting my praise dance on right now as I read this-
“I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back!”
My dear sisters, whatever you do, do not give up, and do not turn back! Keep your eyes on the prize and keep on running!!
Paul goes on to say these equally powerful words,
15-16 So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.
17-19 Stick with me, friends. Keep track of those you see running this same course, headed for this same goal. There are many out there taking other paths, choosing other goals, and trying to get you to go along with them. I’ve warned you of them many times; sadly, I’m having to do it again. All they want is easy street. They hate Christ’s Cross. But easy street is a dead-end street. Those who live there make their bellies their gods; belches are their praise; all they can think of is their appetites.
20-21 But there’s far more to life for us. We’re citizens of high heaven! We’re waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ, who will transform our earthy bodies into glorious bodies like his own. He’ll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which he is putting everything as it should be, under and around him.
Philippians 3:15-21, MSG
Hallelujah!! Take a moment to read this again and worship Him! Praise Jesus, who is training us and transforming us into something beautiful and powerful for His kingdom and His glory!!
Sister, your time is now. There has never been a greater need than right now. Fatherless children, single moms, broken hearts, suicide, addiction, abuse, anger, violence, greed. It’s time to stand up and battle for the kingdom of God! It’s time to see God’s kingdom come here on earth!
The training is tough, but time is short and the stakes are high.
Lord Jesus, I pray over my sisters today that are facing the battle of their life. Let them know that this is their training ground- that You are preparing them for bigger and greater things than they have ever seen! Let them press toward the mark of Your high calling! Help them to beat their flesh into submission so Your Spirit can reign, for it’s not by might nor by power, but by Your Spirit that the battle is won! Let them never give up, never give out, and never sit down, but to stand strong and trust You in this training ground. This is it, God- their time is now! And it’s all for Your glory and the expansion of Your kingdom. Yes, Lord, let Your kingdom come on earth through my sisters!
In Jesus’ name, Amen!