Topic: God’s Training Centre for His Battle Axe
Memory Verse (Psa 144:1 KJV) Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:
God does not leave His battle axe without support. This support comes in various forms. Among them is training. Battle-axe needs to be trained by God. Abraham pursued the kings who captured Lot with 300 men who were trained in his household. The Lord gave them the victory that day but the place of training is equally important. God brings His battle-axe under training one way or the other.
Imagine, without the training you received in school, how would you read and write. Submitting for training is not a sign of weakness but strength and maturity.
The training of God’s battle-axe takes place in various locations. We refer to these locations as God’s training centres. We often choose our schools (Secondary or University) but God decides His battle axe’s training centre. Here are some God’s training centers.
- The Carpenter’s Workshop: Jesus Christ spent the more significant part of his adult life in His father’s carpentry workshop. Joseph, the father of Jesus, is a carpenter. He, who is the creator of heaven and earth, decided to take instructions on carpentry from him. The assignment of Jesus on earth has nothing to do with carpentry, yet he took instruction in this training centre which God chose.
In the old testament, God said he ordained Bezalel, the grandson of Uri, to do all crafts. God said he had filled him and Oholiab with great wisdom, skills and intelligence (Exodus 31:1-5). It means that Jesus can develop the skills without learning from anyone. Yet, he chooses to learn under Joseph, who is the earthly father. Thus, Jesus pattern is telling us of humility and obedience, which must start from home.
God wants you to learn something from your father or mother’s trade. I have a friend who is doing fine as a carpenter, a trade he learned from his father. Jesus was not too big to learn a thing from His father’s work/career/profession. Immediately He started his ministry; people refer to Him as the son of the carpenter. If Jesus had not been with his father in the shop, they would not associate Him with the trade. At the carpenter’s shop, Jesus interacted with many people, which is very important and instructive. If you no longer continue that trade, you will learn a thing or two useful in all life areas.
The carpenter’s workshop may also signify the experiences we had while growing as a Christian. Nowadays, many Christians leave the church or fellowship they attended from childhood for the wrong reasons. There are right reasons such as relocation, being led by God and quitting a place for unbiblical practices. The wrong reasons are “my church is boring’, ‘the church is not on Facebook’, ‘no ambience’, ‘the choristers are not fashionable’. Remember, Jesus took instruction from someone (earthly father Joseph) whom He is greater than.
- Jethro’s House: Moses lived a royal life from childhood till he got to Jethro’s house. In Pharaoh’s palace, Moses, the future king, had many attendants who wait on him. He does not cook; neither does he fetch water. At his command, the slaves run here and there.
The story is not the same in the house of Jethro, the priest of Midian. Moses became a servant. Moses now serves as the domestic staff in the day and the field as a shepherd. All the comfort, luxury, delicacies and enjoyment he had in the palace was no more. No one respects him anymore because he is an ordinary shepherd and domestic staff of Jethro. Moses is now learning hard work, diligence and accountability in the house of Jethro. He equally learnt about prayer and hearing from God in the house of Jethro.
You may be experiencing a transition that can be described as grace to grass in a particular area of your life. That may be your own Jethro’s House, where all the things you enjoyed in the past are no longer available. You find it difficult to pay your bills or in a dark moment when all disrespect you on campus because of your dressing. This is the good news; God brings something great out of your Jethro’s House experience.
Do not consider it a demotion, but God is providing you with life skills and discipline. The encounter God had with Moses at the backside of the desert took place while taking care of Jethro’s sheep. The Lord will also make you have an unusual encounter that will lead to transformation.
- Laban’s House: Moses’s experience in Jethro’s house is similar to that of Jacob in Laban’s house because both places offered Jacob and Moses discomfort, which they never had before. The difference is that unlike Jethro, who is a loving master, Laban was a wicked and cunning master.
(Gen 31:38-42 KJV)
This twenty years have I been with thee; thy ewes and thy she goats have not cast their young, and the rams of thy flock have I not eaten.
That which was torn of beasts I brought not unto thee; I bare the loss of it; of my hand didst thou require it, whether stolen by day, or stolen by night.
Thus I was; in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep departed from mine eyes.
Thus have I been twenty years in thy house; I served thee fourteen years for thy two daughters, and six years for thy cattle: and thou hast changed my wages ten times.
Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had been with me, indeed thou hadst sent me away now empty. God hath seen mine affliction and the labour of my hands, and rebuked thee yesternight.
At times, God allows His battle axe to pass through a Laban. In this place, they will be cheated and poorly treated. In verse 40, Jacob said he was cold at night, and he does not sleep.
A battle-axe in Laban’s place may be employed in a place where they hardly get good sleep and the salary is minimal. Staying with a relation who treats you poorly and sends a bad report concerning you to your parents is normal in Laban’s place. The experience will also leave you with prophetic insight like Jacob. Remember, he was able to breed animals supernaturally (Genesis 30). He was also able to do vigils alone.
- David, in Saul’s Training School: David was a battle axe in God’s hands, and God decided that his training school will be in a very harsh environment with a wicked teacher. King Saul was a mentor whom God chose to train David but Saul wanted him dead. When your teacher or trainer wants you dead, how will you attend classes?
David became a fugitive at a point when it was evident that he was no longer safe. He ran from cave to cave and from a wilderness to the other. King Saul had assurances that David will be the next King of Israel. Instead, King Saul became envious and angry to the extent that he killed about eighty-five priest in a single day, thinking that they are not on his side.
However, David did not attempt to revenge; he gave king Saul all due honour even after his death. When a man came to tell David that he was the one who killed King Saul, the man expected a reward but he got the ultimate punishment. David told his men to kill him because he stretched his hands against the Lord’s anointed (II Samuel 1).
At Kings’ Saul’s training Centre, David began to learn about royalty’s protocols and conduct. He got the opportunity to fight many battles and he witnessed how political matters were settled during King Saul’s reign. If your training centre is like that of David, be sure that God will give you the divine protection David enjoyed.
Not everything about Saul is terrible. God can make His battle-axe pass through terrible men and yet gain a thing or two from them. The passion and skills with which Moses documented the events and encounters in the Pentateuch came from his experience when he was in the Palace of Pharoah. Writing and documentation of events was part of Egyptian royalty at that time. He must have read several as an heir to the throne
- Timothy, learning at Paul’s feet: This is among the most pleasant training centre God can choose for any of his battle axes. The relationship started as a father-son type where Paul was the father and Timothy was a son. Timothy saw Paul demonstrating godliness and the power of God. Paul showed Timothy first-hand how to serve God. Timothy was also a partaker of Paul’s suffering in ministry.
Timothy’s Carpenter workshop experience with his Mother (Eunice) and Grandmother (Louis) was a foundation for all that Paul built in Timothy’s life. Later, Paul began to refer to Timothy as co-labourer (Romans 16:21). This is a family bond that lacks any form of tension—our revered Pastor E. A Adeboye went through all the phases of Timothy’s experience with Baba Akindayomi, the founder of the Redeemed Christian Church of God worldwide. He was a son in the Lord who became a co-labourer, and eventually, the mantle of leadership was passed to him. It is God who provides this opportunity and not the making of any battle axe. It requires much endurance, temperance and submission.
Eli and Samuel’s relationship was in this class. Samuel did not recognise the voice of the Lord until Eli guided him on how. An established battle-axe provides mentorship and training for another one coming up (I Samuel 3). I encourage you to prayerfully locate someone who is ahead of you in this path of grace that gives you instructions and also simplifies issues
Confession for those in God’s Training Centres
Father, I thank you because I am one of your battle axes in this generation. I also thank you because you gave me training, instruction, guidance, love, protection, and more since I surrendered the handle of my axe to you. I know that all things are now working together for my good in the name of Jesus Christ.
Today, I decree that I submit myself to every training, every instruction, every guidance in your training school in the name of Jesus. Suppose I am to submit to training in the carpenters’ workshop like Jesus. In that case, I receive the heart of humility to offer just like Jesus submitted in the name of Jesus.
Arrogance or pride will not control me or prevent me from benefiting from any support that you offer me in the name of Jesus. I take instructions from people and situations, either they’re higher or lower than me, in the name of Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ, the son of God, took instructions from Joseph, a being He created. Similarly, in the name of Jesus, I take instructions from those people the Lord bring my way no matter who they’re, and I submit myself in the name of Jesus Christ. Whatsoever God wants me to learn from my biological parents, I submit, and I learn it/them, in the name of Jesus.
Lord, if you’re sending me to the house of Jethro to learn anything, give me a heart that takes discipline, a hand that’s hardworking and feet that are strong in the name of Jesus.
Lord, I pray that you take my attention away from whatsoever I enjoyed when I was in the palace before I got to Jethro house. Father let me not think about the city where I was coming from so that I will have no opportunity to return in the name of Jesus. I focus on the discipline that you want me to pick in the house of Jethro in the name of Jesus.
I will not miss the instruction the Lord has for me in the house of Jethro. I will not consider it a demotion. I take every assignment in the house of Jethro serious. I meet my own Jethro today in the name of Jesus.
Father, if there are instructions which I have to take in the house of Laban like Jacob. Lord let me be protected from the tricks and wickedness of Laban throughout my stay in the house of Laban. Anyone that the Lord has destined me to learn a thing or two from like Jacob did in Laban’s house, Lord Jesus, let me not go empty-handed from the house of Laban. Let me learn, let me profit, let me grow in the name of Jesus.
Father, let me never focus on the character flaws of anyone like Saul that I am to learn from like David. Any Saul, around or in my destiny journey in the name of Jesus, the hand of God will protect them from harming me in the name of Jesus; thank you, Lord.