During a relaxed evening stroll at sundown, Waylon and Willy jumped a rabbit on the creek side of the front yard and ran him across toward the neighbor’s front yard. While in route, I hollered out, “Stay!” a command they know well. They ran the rabbit to the edge of the neighbor’s front yard and stopped, with the rabbit making his escape somewhere past the vehicles parked in the front of their house. Of course, I praised the boys lavishly as I always try to do when they have done something right and good. In fact, with another command, “Bench!” they jumped up on the rock bench by the fountain, and received much petting and praise for such good obedience. “Inside!” will send them scurrying to their pen to run inside and receive their treat. Because of repetitious training with rewards, they have earned the freedom and liberty to stay outside without constant direct supervision. They know to stay on the 1.65 acres and out of the neighbor’s yard and away from the busy street in front. They have been tested with cats and dogs across the street, people walking along the street, and, rabbits. With training and a prayer that they don’t fail, they have been doing real good. The last time they went across the street they were sternly reproved. My hope is that they stay strong in their training no matter what. My part is that I consistently reward them for their obedience.
We all are trained in many different ways. It is good news to know that our faith can be trained to consistently believe God. It is like anything else, if it is exercised, it grows stronger. Faith in the things of God comes to us by the Word of God being revealed in us. When we feed on the promises of the Word, the Holy Spirit works in our heart to make that Word “real” to us. It will “stand out” to us. That Word is the Word for us to embrace for ourselves, meditate on it, declare it into our life, and expect to see results accordingly. What Jesus has accomplished is provided freely to us. It is obtained by faith. Faith hears the Word, speaks according to the Word, acts on the basis of the Word, and receives the results of the Word with praise and thanksgiving – even before those results are experienced. Jesus said, What things soever you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them. (Mark 11: 24). We can train our faith in harmony with the Word of God and get the results of God. Jesus gave himself for us to apply this spiritually for forgiveness and eternal life, for supernatural empowerment, for healing, for direction, and for accomplishing what God has for us to accomplish. His plan is for us to be fully equipped under his command and care, and win every battle to enjoy abundant life and liberty. Training that pays.