Trying versus Training

“…Train yourself to be godly.”

 1 Timothy 4:7-8

“As disciples, we are not trying to be different people…we are training to be different people.” Dallas Willard

If any of us wanted to run a marathon, we wouldn’t just get up on the morning of the marathon and give it a try, in the hope that we would be successful.  We would train towards it. We would rearrange our schedules and train regularly, we would discipline ourselves to exercise every day, eat the right things, and we would push our body even when it complains.

It’s no different with God’s mission. To be part of the mission of God takes training. We can’t be part of His mission without spiritual disciplines or exercises that help us become more like Jesus.

And as part of that training, just as our bodies fight against us physically, we can expect opposition; spiritual attacks, and hostility and ridicule from our friends. But if we want to stay our course and finish our spiritual marathon, then we must fight back with prayer, scripture reading, quiet time in solitude, worship etc. 

These are just a few spirituality exercises that correspond to the various physical exercises we use to train our bodies.

God however will never force us into these practices against our will; the choice is ours. The question is, how ready are we to train?


Dear God, I always start exercising enthusiastically, but as my body starts to fight me I tend to give up. I don’t want that to be the fate of my spiritual exercises. Grant me the determination to push on and remind me that I cannot try for success in Your mission, it is only training that will ensure success. Amen.

5 thoughts on “Trying versus Training

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