Practice Makes Better

Can you name anything we improve at by not doing?

Dallas Willard observed, “In many cases, our need to wonder about or be told what God wants in a certain situation is nothing short of a clear indication of how little we are engaged in His work.” To that, I say, “Amen.”

This isn’t to say the harder we work the holier we are or the more we are guaranteed a clear sense of God’s direction. It simply means we lack familiarity with the thoughts and ways of God because we aren’t familiar enough with Him. In John 10, Jesus says that His sheep hear His voice, know it, and follow it. Not so with the voice of others.

There seems to be a connection between knowing the Shepherd and hearing His voice.

I coach multiple Girls softball teams and every year, the following takes place: Every player says they want to get better and be there for their teammates. Yet, without fail, there are some players who decide to practice sporadically and miss games. Hence, they don’t get better and they tend to feel isolated from their teammates. Occasionally, a parent will be critical of me for their child’s play and lack of connection to the other players on the team. All can think to myself is, “How did you expect them to get better at softball by taking them to soccer practice instead? And, how do you expect them to connect to people they aren’t around?”

I have never met a Christian who says they don’t want to grow spiritually. Yet, behavior from the point of talk reveals who means it and who doesn’t. A person who says, “I want to grow in Christ and know His Will,” but who scarcely attends church, reads the Scriptures, serves, prays, or gives God the first-fruits of their time, talent and treasure should not marvel at a lack of spiritual growth—and they certainly shouldn’t blame the church or God for their lack of growth.

Think about it: Can you name anything we improve at by not doing it?

Neither can I.

Perhaps the answer to the question, “How do I know what God’s Will is,” is simpler than we think: The closer I am to God, the more evident His Will becomes and the readier I am to obey it. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. His Will and Voice are most easily sensed from up close.

In the realm of the Spirit, practice may not make perfect. But, it usually makes better.

 

Dr. Tim Spivey is Lead Planter of New Vintage Church in San Diego, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on ChurchLeaders.com, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

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