I am currently reading the book “Lone Survivor” written by Navy Seal, Marcus Luttrell. I am amazed, no, I am astounded at the requirements and training necessary to become a Navy Seal. In fact, they have a Pre-training the soldiers go through after passing all the written and medical tests just to see if they are fit to go to the “REAL TRAINING.” The real training teaches and strengthens the individual’s physical and mental capabilities. It also serves to test their commitment and endurance to be “all in” because most assignments carried out by Navy Seals are in hostile territory. When all other means have been exhausted to carry out taking down a “very hostile threat” to America, the Seals are called in.
During the real training they run for miles a day, around 50, not to mention the hundreds of push-ups, sit-ups, and miles of swimming in the icy waters and rolling in the sand with long pants and boots they do during training. They don’t run in Nike running shoes and they never take hot showers. The showers are cold and intended to be with such force as to “cleanse the Seals and their equipment of debris”. It really is fascinating to hear a written account of a Seal and the requirements they have to pass and endure to serve as a “SEAL”. TRAINING IS AN ESSENTIAL.
Well, as a Christian, to operate in your God-given Strength Zone, training is an essential. God’s design for us as new Christians is to go through a process individually tailored to train us and teach us how to accomplish our created purpose. Just like when a baby is born, he drinks milk. It is months before he or she eats solid food. When a baby starts to move, he firsts learns to roll over, then sits up, then crawls, then walks, next runs, then jumps. You get the picture! God’s plan is unique and individual for every person, even though some of the steps can be identical. Let’s look at some Scripture that teaches us this principle of training, the second “T” in “STRENGTH”.
First, God’s Word trains us. 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and TRAINING in righteousness so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Just think, a Navy Seal’s life, and his “family of Seals'” lives, depends on his thorough training so that he is fully equipped to do the job successfully. Scripture is used to train Christians to live righteously as we operate in the Zone.
Second, look at Hebrews 12:11, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been TRAINED by it.” Navy Seal, Marcus Lattrell, talked about the grueling discipline in Seal training and if someone made a mistake, there was a price to be paid. He continued to explain that his trainer knew mistakes would be made and discipline would be needed. All of which was necessary to ensure success in a “real assignment”. Success or failure meant life or death. Just like the Seals, we learn through discipline. Discipline doesn’t necessarily mean we have done something wrong and need to be disciplined or corrected for it. No, it can mean the instruction needed to operate successfully in the Zone. We may not run 50 miles in a day or roll in the sand, but sometimes discipline in the Christian’s life is painful. But as Hebrews tells us, discipline produces a harvest, or success, for those who learn from it, allow themselves to be trained by it.
Third, training also means we produce good deeds. We already have faith because we have S-urrendered…..but in order to have active faith, we have to be trained in “good deeds”. James 2:17 spells it out this way, “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” Abraham had both and was very successful in life as James 2:22 tells us, “You see that his [Abraham] faith and his actions were working together and his faith was made complete by what he did.” You have to act. Navy Seals talk about their strict training and the price they paid to become a Seal. Their real reward for all the grueling training was to put their training into action. “Their call of DUTY!”
Strict training is essential to live and operate in your created “STRENGTH ZONE”. When this training happens, you will look forward to “YOUR CALL OF DUTY!” You will be propelled to ACT!
“Honor, Courage, Commitment” is the motto of the United States Navy. Those are the core values adopted by Navy Seals. I believe these are essential to living and thriving in your God-created Strength Zone. Honor Christ with courage and commitment…….as you train and head towards the Zone!