Our oldest is graduating with a Master’s degree in Sports Medicine. She has educated us to understand that in the same way that a lack of exercise or training can affect performance so too, overtraining can backfire. Overtraining happens when you train harder, longer and more intensely than your body can recover. It that point, additional training may start causing damage.
This principle really intrigues me. Training has a purpose. It is preparation for the game or battle. But training can become damaging if all we ever do is train and never get in the game. Suddenly, training becomes the end instead of the means to the end. I see this principle playing out the church. Well meaning believers sit in service week after week absorbing solid teaching, feeling conviction and “growing” in their “walk” with the Lord. And the cycle repeats.
The problem is God didn’t make us for training. He made us for action. He meant for us to get in the game. He called us into the game. He equips, empowers and anoints us for the game. The game is the point, not the training. But training is a lot easier. Its a lot easier to sit in church and sing with others who look and smell exactly like us than spend time in the streets with people who are different than us. But that is where the action is–that’s the Kingdom game.
The pattern I see is people get entitled to be entertained when they are overtrained. When I am overtrained I want something fresh and new and funny and entertaining. When I come in worn and tired and victorious from the game, I want some deep, healing, encouraging truth. I want to share the battle stories. I want to praise the One who made it all happen. Everything changes when we are in the game. Suddenly, I need to be trained. Otherwise, I have little to offer. Jesus said we would do the same things he did (and more!). That means healing, miracles, supernatural life transferred, people saved and forgiven. So if I get in the game with the ones who need healing, miracles, supernatural transformation, salvation or forgiveness, I have nothing to offer if I am not trained. Once I get in the game, I am hungry for training rather than entitled to entertainment.
Have you put your training to use? Are you in the game? Or are you overtrained, entitled, discontent and critical?
Its easy to answer these questions. Jesus said, look at the fruit. Is there Jesus fruit in your life? Are people getting saved, healed, forgiven, set free and discipled through you? If yes, you’re in the game. If no, you’re not. There’s no middle ground.
What’s your answer?