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Job 5:17 “Truly, that man is happy who has training from the hand of God: so do not let your heart be shut to the teaching of the Ruler of all. Blessed is the person God corrects. So don’t hate the Mighty One’s training.”

When I was a teenager, I watched a movie called The Karate Kid. This was the original version, with Ralph Macchio, 1984. During that movie, Mr. Miagi was an older man who was a master teacher of karate. And Ralph Macchio was this young kid who thought he knew more than he really did. In the movie, Mr. Miagi had Ralph doing some chores, but Ralph had signed up to be trained in karate, so his attitude was sour at times and his understanding was limited. Little did the Karate Kid know that painting the fence and waxing the car was training for being a national and international karate champion.

God is a lot like Mr. Miagi, He doesn’t always explain to you why He is training you the way He is, but when we are faced with a fight that is going to require specific skills, we are going to see that He trained us for such a time as this.

Maybe it is just me, but I have been in training for over 15 years now. The training has brought me into a church that taught me how to die to myself and have no opinion; into a country that advanced my training to the back side of the desert, where I learned that God alone is the one I can depend on; and it has brought me through the narrow gate by which I have experienced the reality of the kingdom of God and the love of the Father. But I am still in training and sometimes, I have no idea what all the training is for. Some of the things He has had me do, like write books that no publisher wants, or love people that don’t know how to love back, has been like painting the fence or waxing the car. What is it all for?

Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”

When you are in training and it takes longer than you thought, it can cause hope to be deferred, but the thing about hope is that it keeps rising up in your spirit, keeps pushing you to not give up, to never quit, for you know, that a longing fulfilled is coming. Training is never fun, sometimes it is painful and there are even times when you may ask, what is this all for anyway? But one thing I have learned through all this training, is that I have gotten stronger and stronger on the inside. Circumstances don’t move me, people can’t detour me, and the presence of God is more real to me than ever before.

I know there is a championship fight coming very soon and just like David who had to beat the lion and the bear so he had confidence to take on Goliath, we have been in God’s discipleship training camp. It has built confidence in us that God is a good Father; it has taught us self-control; it has trained our ear to hear His voice; and has taught us what is truly valuable. Wax on, wax off, because we are about to defeat the giant and liberate all the people of God. God is a master teacher and we are in discipleship training camp.