“Who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.” Hebrews 5:14 NAS
“See the choices clearly, and make every choice wisely according to God’s Word.”
My thoughts today are about being “game-ready.”
Athletes have their practices. Musicians have their rehearsals. Students have their studies. Marathoners have their grueling, conditioning runs. But the point of them all is the same as spiritual life is for you everyday. And Christians have their necessary spiritual disciplines – prayer, Bible reading and meditation, fasting, Christian fellowship and service. “Let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and the one who is holy, still keep himself holy.” Revelation 22:11 NAS. Doing the right thing each time does not come naturally or easily; it comes from being game-ready.
You learn by doing, not once, but again and again and again, until the action is so well practiced that it is predictably the same, becoming instinctive more than requiring conscious thought. No one really enjoys practice, but enjoyment is not the ultimate goal of life and achievement.
Practice lacks the invigorating challenge of competition, no thrill of victory, just hard work and numbing repetition. Every coach requires more hours of practice than of playing, because they know the physical and mental conditioning that will be essential. In the pressure of the game situation, the endless drills in practice will result in quicker reflexes and a game winning edge that may make the difference between winning and losing.
Games are not really won by the dramatic big play. Each win is possible because of the many little moments of stamina and skills throughout the course of the game that made the athlete prepared to excel, and put the team in the place for victory. “Remember that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize. You also must run in such a way that you will win. All athletes practice strict self-control. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run straight to the goal with purpose in every step . . I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should.“ 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 NLT.
The “game” that you are involved in every day is much more consequential, presently and eternally. The risk is great; the reward even greater. “Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is valuable in every way, because it promises life both for the present and for the future.” 1 Timothy 4:8 TEV. You are being “trained to recognize good and evil,” and make wise, life choices accordingly, reliably, and consistently. Your well-being depends upon your doing so. In this, practice does make perfect. “The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:9 NAS.
See the choices clearly, and make every choice wisely according to God’s Word. “Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.” 2 Peter 1:10-11 NAS. That takes training and demands practice.
My prayer for you today is to be spiritually prepared and game-ready.