Teacher Training 101
It was as frustrating for me as it was for my son, watching him try to feed himself for the first time. That first spoon of food went everywhere except where it should.
While his gaze never faltered from the spoon, mine never faltered from the mess starting to accumulate on his clothes, the floor, the adjacent wall and the odd grain of rice that even found its way to the ceiling.
There was one consolation in all of this. This would not last forever. A time would come when his food would not need to be taken on a detour along the table before making its way, finally, to his mouth.
As an adult you expect this kind of behavior from a child. After all, he is just a toddler. However if my son was in his teens and still had these same problems, you would think that there was something seriously wrong with him.
Isn’t it strange that in the natural, we can spot what is right and wrong so clearly, but when it comes to the spirit, you fail to see these obvious mistakes.
1 Corinthians 13:10 But when maturity has come, then the limitations will be removed.
11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12 For now we see through a mirror, a puzzling image; but then [we will see] face to face: now I know partially; but then I will know just as I also am known. (AMIV)
Get Ready for Revelation
Now, you are no ordinary believer. You have a fire in your heart to do something more for the Lord. You want to move past just sitting in the pews each Sunday and get to the point where you are making an impact on the Body of Christ.
The problem is that you are much like my son trying to learn to feed himself. As much as he tries, he is just not “getting it.” This is an entirely new concept to him. Up until now he was spoon fed and he could just sit with his mouth hanging open. A few short cries and mommy would come and fill him up.
But you are not a baby any more are you? You are sick of being spoon fed. You are sick of just accepting things the way that they are. You want change. You want to be changed.
So where do you begin? You start with this incredible scripture:
1 Peter 1:13 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; (AMIV)
Before you get that revelation, you need to get your mind into gear. In short, ”You need to change your mind!”
The way you view life is messed up! If you want to rise up and be the leader that God has called you to be, you cannot be satisfied to keep thinking like a child. Just like Apostle Paul said in the passage I opened with, when you were a child, you thought like one.
But It Is Time To Grow Up!
If you want to conquer the world, you are not going to do it while you are still in diapers and expecting the spoons to make their way to your mouth by themselves. No, it means learning to feed yourself.
It means not only learning how to get into the Word, but also to change the way that you think. Only when you change the way that you think, can you really get that spoon to your mouth. Simply put, the Word will only be alive to you when you change the way you think.
The Living Word
The first thing you need to come to terms with is that the Word is not just a story book or even just an instruction booklet. To use the words taught to me by my Spiritual father, it is “The Tangible Manifestation of the Invisible God”
In other words, it is the Father, the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit all rolled into one. It is God in His purest form. It is here that you can get to know Him and truly understand the deep parts of his nature.
To get to know Him in this way, is going to change the way you think. You cannot sit around waiting for all those “feel good” emotions to come. You cannot sit around waiting for goosebumps to know, “God is here!”
It means taking responsibility for your own call and your own spiritual maturity. It means, girding up the loins of your mind.
I just love how Apostle Peter put that. Can you see the picture? It means getting your mind into gear. Making your mind up and DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT!
For so long now you have waited for God to do something in your life. You have waited for Him to prosper you or even open the doors for your ministry. However what have YOU done about it?
How have you girded up the loins of your own mind to make things happen? Do you think that you will wake up one day and suddenly you will hunger for the Word? Suddenly you will not want to sin any longer. Suddenly you will just have the wisdom you need.
That would be as foolish as saying that suddenly my toddler son will wake up one day and just know how to play the guitar or cook dinner for himself. No, it takes a bit of effort.
1. It Takes Desire
2. It Takes Some Training
3. It Takes Action!
The greatest source of death in the church is not deception. It is not the false prophets or the fact that some do not believe in speaking in tongues. The greatest source of death in the church is complacency. A lack of desire.
Do not get too critical though, because if you had to look close, you might start seeing some of that in your own life. Consider the things that you wished would change in your life. They may be spiritual things or they may be natural things.
Perhaps you desire your ministry to get off the ground. Perhaps you desire the Lord to prosper you financially. Perhaps you desire a spouse or perhaps you desire a deeper intimacy with Jesus.
If you look at the area where you feel the lack, ask yourself this question,
“On a scale from 1-10 what is my ‘Desire Meter’ looking like?”
Do you hunger and desire for that thing more than you hunger for food? Is the desire so strong that it is all that you think about? Or could it be that the minute something more interesting comes your way, that you find yourself getting distracted?
If you want to really find the treasures hidden in the Word and if you truly want to rise up and change, desire is your starting point.
Do you lie awake at night hungering for the truth and for change?
Can you see yourself standing in His power and changing the hearts of thousands of people?
You are probably hungry and thinking to yourself, “The Lord will send someone along to spoon feed me.” And then you wonder why you continue going around in circles and never reaching the new level that God has ordained for you.
So I ask you again, what does your Desire Meter look like? Without desire, you have not even begun your journey to maturity.
Fresh Out the Oven
So are you ready to gird up the loins of your mind? You see, that is the secret. The Lord plants the seed of desire in your heart, but it is for you to cultivate it and to do something about it.
It starts with changing the pictures in your mind. Get your mind into gear! Start seeing things a little differently.
Consider the treasure that is in the Word and what it is that you will get out of it. It is like warm bread, fresh out of the oven. The steam rising off it gives away that typical yeasty smell. It is a cold day outside and as you reach for it, it warms your hands.
With each mouthful, it warms you up inside. Already your hunger is growing. You know that if you eat that bread it will give you superhuman strength. It will give you the ability to handle any problem.
By eating that bread, you will be taken to a place where you will walk into the throne room of God and know Him in a way you never have before.
You see, that picture begins to stir up a desire inside of you. The problem is, you feel that fleeting desire, read the Word for a bit, and then go on your own way again.
No, you must come to the table of the Lord again and again to be filled.
John 6:58 This is the bread that came down from heaven: not as your fathers ate manna, and are dead: he that eats of this bread will live for ever. (AMIV)
When you eat the Word, you touch The Father. When you get into the Word, you are transformed by the Holy Spirit. When gird up the loins of your mind, you will receive a full revelation of Jesus Christ!
Do you desire to change yet? If so, the Word has your answers. You are ready to take the next step.
Do not think that just because you suddenly desire to get into the Word that it just comes naturally. I guess I did things a bit differently. Before going into teacher training, I went through the prophetic first. As a result I leaned more heavily on the spirit and the gifts of the spirit
I would rather spend hours in praise and worship than in the Word any day. Why put in the effort of studying the Word when I could talk to Jesus any time I wanted to?
It was a bit of a lop-sided relationship. It would be like getting to know your spouse on a social level and never delving into the deeper side of their nature. Any relationship like that would be considered superficial. And so it was the same with me. The Lord showed me, that I needed to know Him deeper.
So I tried to understand Him in the Word, the same way I learned to flow in the spirit. It did not work! I was so used to the Lord just speaking from my spirit that it never occurred to me that I should put something down there first.
What kind of farmer goes out to harvest a crop that he never planted? Well that was pretty much my idea of getting into the Word. I figured I would just keep reading it and see what revelation God would give me through it.
This might sound really righteous, but I was missing out something vital.
The Lord Wanted to Change Me!
The person I was. The way I worshiped and heard from Him was limited.
Cor 13:12 For now we see through a mirror, a puzzling image; but then [we will see] face to face: now I know partially; but then I will know just as I also am known. (AMIV)
I saw only bits and pieces. I did not see God as a whole. To see God has a whole I had to look at Him in a way that I did not before. I had to read the Word and come to know Him through different eyes. I could no longer be a child, but I had to change my mind.
It would make me look so good if I was to say that I heard God the first time and just did what He wanted, but the truth was I was lazy. I liked the old way.
And so the first thing that He did, was that He stopped giving me spiritual revelation. The gifts of prophecy and words of knowledge and wisdom worked for everyone else except me.
My journals became dry. My cry for a vision or a dream went on deaf ears. The Lord was making me work for this one!
I had only one thing left to do. I had to get into the Word. And by that, I do not mean just read the Word, I mean to study the Word. I had read the Word my whole life and let me tell you, it is one thing to read and another thing to study.
The Training Begins
Using the AMI Bible program, I started with the daily chapter readings. Going through each chapter I would put topics on verses that stood out to me. I also began to copy and paste scriptures that hit my spirit and put those on flash cards.
At first I was bored out of my mind! Not a very apostolic thing to say is it? But it is the truth! It felt like work to me. However the Lord did not yield. He pointed me back and would not even talk to me in my journals until I had done my chapter readings for the day.
If you have ever had me mentor you for any ministry training and considered me tough, just count yourself blessed, because getting it from the Lord first hand is ten times tougher!
So I pressed on. It did not take long and something began to happen. As I continued to read my 10 chapters scattered throughout the Word, I started to see parallels. I started to see how they all hooked up.
More importantly I started to see the Lord in His Word. Entire books that did not mean anything to me before suddenly made sense.
I came to a profound and personal revelation of the passage that says
Romans 12:2 And do not follow the pattern of this world: but [continually] change by renewing your mind, that you may recognize what the will of God is, that good and pleasing and perfect will. (AMIV)
The more I ‘girded up the loins of my mind’ the more it changed. The more I started to think through the understanding of the Word. I began to see through the eyes of the Word. I began to grow up.
The problem for most folks, is that they do not like to work. They want things handed to them. You need to decide where you stand in the picture.
Is your desire to rise up in ministry strong enough to actually WORK for it? Or are you waiting for God to just swoop down and do everything for you?
What is it going to be? Will you be spoon-fed your whole life, or does this call mean enough to you, that you are prepared to do some learning to feed yourself?
If you are with me so far, you have what it takes to follow through. You have just one more step to go.
So you want to rise up more than anything. So you have studied the Word or even gone through some Fivefold Ministry Training at the hand of a mentor.
What does that mean to the Body of Christ? Absolutely nothing. You see, everything you have gone through to get where you are is of no use to anyone else if you do not apply any of it. Perhaps you feel good about yourself.
Perhaps you are even at the place where you know what God wants to do in your life and what your call is. But, how does this help anyone else except you?
Until you put some action to your desire and your training, then all you have accumulated means nothing.
The problem with a lot of people though, is that they have this backwards. FIRST they try to do the work (without any help from the Lord). THEN they hit the wall and figure they need some training.
Unfortunately, by doing things this way, you end up like poor old Moses hanging out with goats on a mountainside.
You see, he had that idea too. He thought that he could save God’s people with his own strength and he came up short. In the end he ran away and lost all that zeal and desire he had.
Did God take away his desire and zeal? Nope.
Had God removed the mandate from his life? Nope.
The problem here was Moses. He did things backwards. And so God had to start with him from the beginning.
Perhaps you identify with Moses. You have tried many times to rise up and be the leader God has called you to be. You have tried to fulfill your calling and perhaps you feel that the desire in you has died.
You are making the mistake now, thinking that one day, God will suddenly come upon you and give you the desire back. That is not what happened to Moses. Sure, God appeared to him in that burning bush, but he hardly leaped at the idea.
The Lord had to get pretty strong with him before he decided to obey.
No, you have learned the hard way that it is up to you to take the seed of desire already planted in your heart and to feed it with some good training. As you begin to do that, it will flourish.
You will see with new eyes and the Word will come alive to you. You will start to understand the Lord in His fullness.
When you come to this place, it is time to start pouring it out. With each step you take, you should be passing it along to others.
You know Moses went up the mountain many times to receive the pattern. He did not wait until the end of the process to lump the Israelites with a library. No, he gave it to them as he got it.
It is the same with Apostle Paul. He did not withhold his letters until he had a collection. Rather he gave out as he received.
The same should be for you. Each time you learn a new principle or God gives you a fresh revelation, it is time to put action to it and pour it out.
The minute you do this, you will be sealing that principle in your heart forever. When you put action to what you know, that principle will suddenly become your own.
From that moment onward, it will feel as if you picked up that baby spoon with confidence and that food found its way to your mouth first time.
The first time my son finally got it right, he was so chuffed with himself, that he dropped his spoon, threw his hands in the air and shouted “Yaaaaay!” for everyone to hear. Then after giving himself a well-deserved round of applause, he tried again.
There is no greater feeling in this world than getting a principle straight from the Word, applying it and then seeing it work.
Each time you apply these three steps, you grow up. You stop thinking like a child. Before you know it, you will be moving onto using a knife and fork and thick juicy steaks will be easy to handle.
The Word of God is truly living and holds the power to your success and your maturity. Get excited about it. Hunger for it. And then once you are fed, turn that spoon around and feed those around you, bringing them to maturity as well.
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