“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
Basic Training, by Randall D. Kittle


While I was praying, I saw a beautifully adorned bride wearing a stunning wedding dress. I was surprised to see that, despite being attired in her wedding dress, she was running — running quite rapidly. As she ran, I saw her go through what appeared to be gates with sentries on each side standing guard in the little guard boxes like they have at the entrance of a military base. As she continued running, I noticed she was wearing big, black boots like soldiers in the army wear. Next, I saw her going through an obstacle course, doing push-ups, climbing a wall, and marching in formation — all while still wearing her wedding dress. I recognized that this bride was going through basic training. And the Lord said “I am calling My bride back to the basics.”

The fact that we are being called back to the basics does not necessarily mean that we, as the bride of Christ, have failed our training. Sometimes soldiers go back through basic training because the basics are so extremely important. Unless you have your basics down pat, until they are second nature, you can easily get hurt or injured when you go into battle. Worse yet, others can be hurt and wounded because of our lack of proper training.

We can learn a valuable lesson about how important the proper training of soldiers is from the movie
Glory. This movie tells the story of raising up the first African-American regiment for the North during the Civil War. As the soldiers are being trained, they are excited about being the first combat unit … and they are having a great time. When they are finally issued guns, they go to the rifle range for instruction. One of the soldiers starts telling others how he should be a sniper because he is always hitting the bull’s eye. Since he was such a good squirrel hunter, he is able to shoot with amazing accuracy. Everyone is celebrating what a great marksman he is until the captain comes along. The captain is not impressed with this man's supposed great skills nor their lack of seriousness about their training. After all, neither practice-range targets nor squirrels actually shoot back! The captain stands next to the soldier and starts shooting his pistol right over his head while the “great marksman” attempts to load and fire his rifle. Suddenly the would-be sniper is shaking all over and missing the target. He cannot even manage to get his gun reloaded. The captain turns to the sergeant and says, “Sergeant, train them properly, train them properly!”

While there is great joy in the kingdom of God, there is another side of what we are called to that is both sobering and serious. What we are called to is greatly important … eternally important! God is calling us to go over the basics, to go back to basic training and make certain the training we have received was done properly. We need to have the basic understanding of the kingdom of God so rooted in our lives and the principles of the kingdom of God so strongly operating in us that they are instinctive and unshakable even during the harshest enemy onslaught.

What are the basics? Hebrews 6:1 tells us that the
“elementary teachings” are “… the foundation of repentance … faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.” God is calling us to the place where we not only understand, embrace, and operate in these principles, but are walking them out in a life displaying the Christian disciplines of giving, serving, holiness, studying His Word, and having a life of prayer and worship.

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