TRAIN UP: H2596, chânak
1) to train, dedicate, inaugurate
1a1) to train, train up
1a2) to dedicate
The Hebrew word CHANAK means to “train up” and also it means to “dedicate”. It is the same exact word for dedicating a temple or dedicating a child. It means to dedicate something, or someone, to God. It means more than just having some formal ceremony when a child is born, or a ceremony for a new building, a DEDICATION is meant to be an ongoing process. It is just like an Olympic athlete “dedicating” themselves to win a sports or athletic contest. The Apostle Paul specifically mentions an athlete when he speaks about the Christian life.
1Co 9:24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
1Co 9:25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is TEMPERATE in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
1Co 9:26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
1Co 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
A mature Christian life should be associated with TEMPERANCE.
TEMPERANCE: G1466, egkrateia
1) self-control (the virtue of one who masters his desires and passions, especially his sensual appetites)
We all have good and bad habits. Most of the time, these “habits” were picked up when we were young. Every living thing can be “trained” from plants to animals, and especially people. It is very easy to pick up good or bad habits when we are young, and it is very difficult to “pick up” habits, whether good or bad, the older we get. That is why modern governments usually insist on participating in the “training up” of children in the public schools. We see that a related Hebrew word, CHANIYK (trained), is used when the Bible talks about Father Abraham.
Gen 14:14 And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his TRAINED servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan.
TRAINED: H2593, chânı̂yk, kaw-neek'
From H2396; initiated; that is, practised: - trained.
If a person wants, or needs, to get good at any skill then practice is required; whether that skill is physical, mental, or spiritual. It is obvious that nobody is going to win an Olympic gold medal or a Nobel prize by sitting in an easy chair, and eating ding dongs all day. However, some Christians think that they can become the next Elijah or Apostle Paul without any practice or training.
Why did God choose Abraham to be the “Father of Faith” from all the other people on earth?
Gen 18:19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.
God said that He KNEW Abraham, and God was going to keep His promises to Abraham because his children and his household would keep the way of the LORD! It appears that if we do not keep the way of the LORD, it short circuits His blessings upon our lives. The way of the LORD is to DO justice and judgment!
First, a brand new Christian must deal with the fact that often times the culture in which they were raised has instilled habits and beliefs that are diametrically opposed to God’s view on the subject.
One clear example is the American culture of violence. Americans are taught from childhood that there is a “reasonable” use of violence. If you are attacked, under United States law, you have the right to use “reasonable” force to defend yourself…you can even kill somebody if a jury of your peers determines that your use of force was “reasonable”.
Therefore, historically Americans tended to be hyper-violent. As you read that last sentence, your cultural biases may already be shutting down your objective reasoning ability. Try to stay with me and think about what I am saying. Do you really think it would be possible for America to maintain a world-wide military presence if its citizenry was not culturally hyper-violent?
Who does Hollywood glorify? I’ll bet if you ask any ten year old child if they have heard of Jesse James, Billy the Kid, John Dillinger, or Al Capone, they will say yes. Next ask them if they have heard about John Wesley, Dwight L. Moody, Charles Finney, or Billy Sunday. Make sure they do not confuse John Wesley with the western bad man John Wesley Hardin (famous because of his incredibly high body count).
The use of violence in response to violence is completely opposed to the teaching of Jesus Christ.
Luk 6:27 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
Luk 6:28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
Luk 6:29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also.
Luk 6:30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.
I do not want to get off into the weeds, but Americans are known around the world for violence, just like the French are known for promiscuity, and the Russians are known for drinking a lot of vodka…Sorry if I am offending a lot of people. I am trying to point out that just because something is acceptable in your culture, it does not necessarily make it acceptable to God. We MUST understand, as Christians, that God has a much, much higher standard of conduct for HIS CHILDREN!
So how does a Christian “practice” or “train” in the SPIRIT?
First, let me give a caveat. What I am about to write may appear to be legalism, but in fact it is the farthest thing from legalism…it is “walking in the spirit”.
You will rapidly gain TEMPERANCE and become a mature Christian if you follow a few simple steps:
READ THE WORD OF GOD.
Psa 119:105 NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
As you read the Word of God, you will come across a scripture, or scriptures, that the Holy Spirit will use to CONVICT you about some conduct that is opposed to the Word of God. You will have REVELATION from the Holy Spirit that a certain conduct must be dealt with. This is where “immature” Christians, whether nine or ninety, mess up. They will attempt to deal with the conduct in their own strength and they will fail time after time.
Now don’t say you can’t swear off drinking; it’s easy. I’ve done it a thousand times. W.C. Fields, “The Temperance Lecture”.
YOU MUST AGREE WITH THE WORD OF GOD.
Amo 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
This is where “e-sword” comes in handy. Do not rely on just one verse in the Bible. Find two or three verses that deal with the conduct, or problem. You may not have any problem with alcohol, but a lot of people do, including many Christians. Therefore, let’s use “drunkenness” as an easy example:
Rom 13:13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and DRUNKENNESS, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
Luk 21:34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and DRUNKENNESS, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.
Gal 5:21 Envyings, murders, DRUNKENNESS, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Alright, it is pretty obvious that God is opposed to DRUNKENNESS, regardless of what society may think about it. What if I like to drink? What if all my friends and family like to drink? What if my co-workers and boss likes to drink? It doesn’t matter because the Holy Spirit will not stop convicting you until the “drunkenness” problem is dealt with. Therefore, we (YOU AND THE HOLY SPIRIT) might as well deal with it sooner than later. What next?
MEDITATE ON SCRIPTURES VERSES THAT DEAL WITH THE PROBLEM.
Jos 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt MEDITATE therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
MEDITATE: H1897, hâgâh, haw-gaw'
A primitive root (compare H1901); to murmur (in pleasure or anger); by implication to ponder: - imagine, meditate, mourn, mutter, roar, X sore, speak, study, talk, utter.
We need to SPEAK the appropriate Word of God over and over; we need to PRACTICE the Word of God! We need to PLANT God’s Word in our spirit until we can speak it without even thinking.
This is where we most often will mess things up… We have a REVELATION from the Holy Spirit, we have been CONVICTED by the Holy Spirit, we KNOW God’s Word concerning the problem. It is here that we determine in our heart that we are going to SWEAR OFF ALCHOHOL! Depending on our own will power, our resolution may work for a week, or a month, or even for a few years, but our will power cannot be the basis for Christian TEMPERANCE. When the going gets tough, our will power will fail us every time. The conduct we thought we had under control will come back with a vengeance. What can we do? What is the secret to PERMANENT TEMPERANCE?
We must acknowledge to God and to ourselves that we are WEAK. It does not matter whether we are twelve foot tall and named Goliath, we are WEAK; we ALL have some besetting sin that will stay with us as long as we are in this body of flesh and blood. We all have at least one thorn in the flesh! We all have a messenger from Satan sent to buffet us. Does that mean the problem cannot be dealt with? No…no…NO!
This illustrates the HUGE difference between legalism and faith. This is the difference between Christianity and ALL other religions. God does not want us to deal with our problems. God wants us to ask Him to deal with ALL of our problems.
Php 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in EVERYTHING by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
We need to acknowledge that we are WEAK, and we need to acknowledge we NEED God to help us. He is our SALVATION and our DELIVERANCE! When we humbly approach our Father in heaven and ask for His deliverance, whether from bad conduct or bad circumstances…He will deliver us.
2Co 12:7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
2Co 12:8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
2Co 12:9 And he said unto me, My GRACE is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2Co 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
When I am WEAK, then am I STRONG!
You might say, “It doesn’t look like God delivered Paul.” I believe God DID deliver Paul after Paul recognized his problem. I do not know what Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” was, but it does not matter. We ALL have a thorn in the flesh. Paul tells us why God allowed his thorn in the flesh.
LEST I SHOULD BE EXALTED ABOVE MEASURE G5229.
1) to lift or raise up over some thing
2) to lift one’s self up, be exalted, be haughty
3) to carry one’s self haughtily to, behave insolently towards one
After God delivers us from our “thorn in the flesh”, it is very tempting to start being judgmental about other people’s thorn in the flesh, especially if it is really obvious, like somebody who has a problem with drinking or drugs. It is only by the GRACE of God that we are not in a similar or worse situation. Therefore, there are a couple of circumstances where we must be very, VERY careful.
First, after we have been delivered from some problem for some period of time, we cannot be under the mistaken notion that our “thorn in the flesh” cannot come back. Do not make that mistake! Just because God has delivered you from drunkenness, or sorcery (drug use), or fornication, or gambling, etc., etc., it does not mean you can play around with your “thorn in the flesh.” If you were a falling down drunk, but have been alcohol free for ten or twenty years, it does not mean you can eventually have a beer every once in a while. Always remember that you have a WEAKNESS in this area, or God would not have had to deliver you in the first place.
Joh 5:14 Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.
Remember that Jesus said that if our demon returns, it will bring back seven more wicked spirits to torment us.
Luk 11:26 Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.
There is a second situation where we must be VERY careful. Often times if we are delivered from a specific “thorn in the flesh”, we will then be used by God in a “deliverance ministry” dealing with our own specific problem area. Like I mentioned before, we MUST be humble and remember that only God’s GRACE can permanently deliver us or anybody else from a “thorn in the flesh”. We dare not be judgmental or condemning of other people. We should always be grateful about being ten, or twenty, or thirty, years sober, but we must NEVER be haughty or self-confident, lest we fall.
Gal 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
Gal 6:2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
1Co 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
I believe that if we are in danger of becoming haughty or prideful, God WILL allow our “thorn in the flesh” to return. No matter how much we are used by God, He is more concerned about our ultimate salvation and His GLORY than He is about our ministry.
Humility may be the most important catalyst for the manifestation of the sons of God. Why did God choose Moses to reveal His Glory, through mighty signs and wonders, to both Egypt and to the children of Israel?
Num 12:3 (Now the man Moses was very MEEK, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)
MEEK: H6035, ‛ânâv ‛ânâyv, aw-nawv', aw-nawv'
The second form is by intermixture with H6041; from H6031; depressed (figuratively), in mind (gentle) or circumstances (needy, especially saintly): - humble, lowly, meek, poor`.
1Pe 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
1Pe 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
It is going to be very important in these last days that we remain humble and always remember that ALL the GLORY belongs to Jesus Christ…otherwise we will be in serious danger of bringing reproach to the name of our LORD.
Jas 4:5 Or do you think the Scripture means nothing when it says that the Spirit that God caused to live in us jealously yearns for us?
Jas 4:6 But he gives all the more grace. And so he says, "God opposes the arrogant but gives grace to the humble."