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Pillar College Devotional: Train to Reign


By Cindy Weaver

Seeing the baseball season get underway reminds me of a trip I took with my mom a few years ago. We made a point of going to a Philadelphia Phillies spring training game since we are lifelong fans. As we took in the sights, sounds, and smells of the ballpark, it didn’t take long to notice that everyone associated with the team and the stadium wore the same shirt. It read: TRAIN TO REIGN. Immediately, the spiritual application hit me – much as it has for you right now – so let’s think about that for a bit.

We know from reading 2 Timothy and several other passages, especially in Revelation, that, as believers, we will one day reign with Christ. It follows, then, that our time on Earth is our training ground; a pre-season of sorts. While we inhabit this life, we are expected to shine the light of Christ for those around us. Of course, we don’t start there. We grow in grace and learn to exercise our faith until we consistently exhibit His work in our lives. That takes time with Him, time in His Word, and a lifetime of experience. Slowly, we learn to listen for His still, small voice guiding us in His wisdom and truth to make even small decisions in line with His will so we can consistently bring honor to him. We train to reign.

God used Matthew 11:28-30 to save me: “Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (NIV). Notice that He tells us to take His yoke. He doesn’t force it on us – He wants us to take it. To choose it. Jesus spoke to a largely agrarian people, but even we know that a farmer yokes oxen to train them – to guide them in the way He wants them to go. We must willingly submit to God’s training yoke if we want to learn from Christ and be increasingly like Him. In The Message, Eugene Peterson puts this beautifully, “Walk with me and work with me. Watch how I do it. Learn from me the unforced rhythms of grace.” We are in training – ever watching and learning how to live – from Jesus.

So, what is His yoke? We are all too familiar with the yoke of slavery to sin, but what is His yoke? He says it is easy, and His burden is light. We know that being yoked means submission and obedience. That sounds heavy, especially to new believers, but the reality is one of many paradoxes we find in walking with Jesus. Maybe His yoke, used to train us in righteousness and prepare us to reign with Him, is His command to “love one another” as He loves us.

If we walk in that, humbling ourselves and truly putting others first, our burdens will be lighter. We can find true joy in service over self. When we strive to have our own needs and desires met, we are straining against the Lord’s yoke. But when we focus on loving Him and others, joyfully bearing His yoke, being slaves for Him joined by love, we often find our needs changed or even discarded. Then, we can learn from Him, walk in His love, and live in the unforced rhythms of His grace. Without training to love as He loves, we remain weary and heavy laden, without rest, and unfit to reign.

Paul tells us, “Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” Sounds like training to reign. To be sure, this is not a one-and-done thing. This training is a lifelong commitment. We will have victories along the way, and sometimes we will stumble. It is in the times of victory that we must be the most steadfast, watchful, and diligent in training because our tendency after any victory – whether personal, professional, or even spiritual – is to rest. Not the rest we find as we labor under Christ’s yoke. We tend to sit back and rest on our laurels – so satisfied with our achievements that we make no further effort. That robs God of the glory and ushers in a dangerous complacency that, if left unchecked, justifies our lack of effort, and makes it increasingly challenging to choose the Lord’s yoke day by day.

To train to reign, we must submit to Him in obedience and die to self. To keep pressing on, yoking ourselves in love to Christ and other believers, willing to set aside our priorities for the good of the greater mission set before us. We can trust Jesus to teach us how to be effective for His Kingdom now, and train us to reign with Him for eternity.

Thanks for reading. God bless you.

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Cindy Weaver is the Vice President of Finance, CFO and Adjunct Professor at Pillar College. Cindy holds a B.A. in Psychology and Sociology from Hope College, a Master’s in Business Administration from Eastern University, an Education Specialist degree from Liberty University, and is currently working on her dissertation toward an Ed.D. from Centenary University.

About Pillar College

Pillar College, founded in 1908, is an institution of higher learning that provides a comprehensive education from a Christ-centered worldview. Pillar is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), licensed by the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education, and is a member of the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE). Pillar offers associate, bachelors, and master’s degree programs . Pillar College educates, inspires and equips students for excellent scholarship, service and leadership. Rooted in and committed to Christian faith and love, Pillar fosters intellectual, spiritual and social development among its diverse student population. Pillar College has locations in Newark and Paterson, New Jersey. For more information about Pillar College, visit https://pillar.edu