Training For The Win
As I sit and watch NHL hi-lights from last night’s games, superstar Steven Stamkos (2008 1st round draft pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning) powered through all his opponents to score an impressive goal. (you can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXz-K4wz85M) Sure, he’s big. But what actually makes him a formidable opponent is the hard work of daily training he puts in as preparation for competition. To use biblical language, we could say that Stamkos is a very fruitful and productive player.
Fruitfulness. That’s what God created us for. As we have begun a new year, it is good to be reminded of our purpose. In Gen.1:28 we read, “God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over…”” We were made not only for Covenant relationship, but also for Kingdom representation. God has appointed humanity to rule on his behalf, and to be fruitful in our labour. But just because we have a mission or assignment, doesn’t mean that we don’t have to exert any energy to fulfill it. We need to have the rhythm of training or preparation in our life, much like professional athletes like Steven Stamkos have. How do we do that? What does that look like? What does that mean?
At it’s simplest, I think it means being able to receive our ‘marching orders’ from the One we are to represent. Therefore, we need to be committed to increasing our capacity to hear the voice of the Lord. What are some things we can do to facilitate that happening? Here are a few brief suggestions that we listed at Riverbend Church yesterday:
* Have healthy routines and life rhythms that protect time to hear from the Lord. This includes practicing the discipline of silence.
* Spend time in the Bible. We know that one of the primary ways the Lord speaks to us is through His written word. Spend time in God’s Word both individually, and in group settings.
* Accountability. Embrace the assistance of others to help you keep on track with what you desire to accomplish.
* Be in relationship with those you can learn from. It is important for our stretching and growing if we can observe, learn from, and be mentored or coached by those further ahead of us in the journey.
If you desire to have a fruitful and productive 2015 (producing fruit that lasts and that brings fulfillment to your life-John 15:5,8,16), then let me encourage you to prioritize learning to listen up to the voice of God this year. Like athletes that shine, we too need to train for the win.