Wednesday, April 8, 2020

PRACTICING SOMETHING MAKES YOU BETTER


PRACTICE

I KNOW THE STEPS BY HEART

 “…Through this PROCESS, HE MADE the altar HOLY by purifying it…” (Leviticus 8:5 NLT).

                                              *

Practice is the ONLY way to get better at doing something. Practice builds your confidence about what you are doing. Practice improves your new abilities and skills.
Practice increases your experience and can create opportunities for you to teach others in that area. Practice motivates you to share your new abilities and skills in ways that benefit others. “….you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. REPEAT (practice) them again and again to your children….” (Deuteronomy 6:6 NLT).
After spiritual training and in order to gain some level of proficiency with your new abilities and skills regular practice is necessary. “…If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross DAILY, and follow Me…” (Luke 9:23 KJV).
Proficiency comes not so much with how often you practice, but from the quality of your practice. “…You must be CAREFUL to KEEP ALL of my decrees and regulations by putting them into PRACTICE. I am the Lord…” (Leviticus 19:37 NLT).
Proficiency of new spiritual abilities and skills are the results of faith and the indwelling Holy Spirit. “…The LORD will perfect (mature, make proficient)…. that which concerneth… [you]…” (Psalm 138:8 NASB). “…It is God who works in you TO WILL and TO ACT…” (Philippians 2:13 NIV).
Proficiency of spiritual abilities and skill are a reflection of daily routines of focused practice. “…KEEP ALL my decrees BY putting them into PRACTICE, for I am the Lord who makes you holy…” (Leviticus 20:8 NLT).
Focused practices become mundane/ordinary habits and are consistent, common, and steady parts of your daily routine of life. “…They seek Me DAILY, And delight to know My ways…” (Isaiah 58:2 KJV).
Focused practice become mundane/ordinary habits that are usually repetitive and NOT necessarily exciting. “…Job would purify his children. He would get up early in the morning and offer a burnt offering for each of them. For Job said to himself, “Perhaps my children have sinned and have cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s REGULAR PRACTICE…” (Job 1:5 NLT).
When you engage in focused practices as it relates to your new spiritual abilities and skills; God’s goal is conformation to the image of his SON. “…be conformed to the image of His Son…” (Romans 8:29 KJV). “…Be transformed by the renewing of your mind….” (Romans 12:2 KJV).  “…And in the PROCESS of timeIT” CAME TO PASS…” (Genesis 4:3 KJV).
Spiritual training evolves into focused practice. Focused practice will be infused into your daily routine of life. “…Their DAILY responsibilities were carried out according to the terms of a royal command…” (Nehemiah 11:23 NLT).
Your daily routine causes you to engage in the consistent use of your spiritual abilities and skills. It will cause you to use your new spiritual abilities and skills correctly and long stretches of time will cause you to use them repetitively. “…And in the PROCESS of timeIT” CAME TO PASS…” (Genesis 4:3 KJV).
To benefit from your newly acquired spiritual abilities and skills focused practice will be infused into your daily routine. God uses long stretches of time to challenge your new spiritual abilities and skills as well as your patient endurance.Your ENDURANCE has a chance to grow. So let it grow.” (James 1:2-4 NLT).
God intervenes in your daily routine situations and circumstances of life in order grow and develop your new spiritual abilities and skills through focused practice. The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way” (Psalms 37:23 KJV).
Focused practice infused into daily routine can stretch into days, weeks, months, or years and can often become wearisome. “…And in the PROCESS of time…” (Genesis 4:3 KJV). Let us not become weary in doing good….” (Galatians 6:9 NIV).
Focused practice that has turned into a seemingly life-long marathon is NOT fun after a while. It is God’s timing, however, that has sovereignty and his heart-felt investment in your spiritual growth and development is his priority.at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up…” (Galatians 6:9 NIV).
Practice is the ONLY way to become more Christlike. Practice builds your faith in God by daily trusting him to work IN and THROUGH you. Practice improves your new abilities and skills in order to authentically become a vessel suitable for God’s holy purposes.
Practice increases your spiritual experience and will create opportunities for you to teach others according to your special training. Practice motivates you to share your new abilities and skills in ways that also benefit the spiritual growth and development of others.
Christian practices are NOT limited to prayer, participating in corporate bible study, going to Sunday day school, attending church services, having private bible study, discipleship training, or knowing Christian clich├ęs. You can be trained to do those things and you can practice them as well, but God’s focus is on “the heart.” The heart “…is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked…who can know it [except God?]” (Jeremiah 17:9 KJV).
“...God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD LOOKS AT THE HEART”(1 Samuel 16:7 NASB).
God knows that “….from WITHIN, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder,  adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful DESIRES (emotions, passions), envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these vile things come from WITHIN; they are what defile you…” (Mark 7:20-23 NLT).... I [am] …a slave to the sin that is … WITHIN me …(Romans 7:14-25 NLT).
 “…No one needed… to tell him about human nature, for he knew what was in each person’s heart” (John 2:24-25 NLT)..O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know everything I do…” (Psalms 139:1-6 NLT).
He knows if you are NOT real. “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness… ” (Matthew 23:27 KJV). “…he knew what was in each person’s heart” (John 2:24-25 NLT).
Therefore, when God intervenes on your daily routine of life he will infuse spiritual abilities and skills that will impact your heart. God looks at the “…hidden man of the heart…” (1 Peter 3:4 KJV).
God clearly saw the pride hidden in Hezekiah’s heart. “Hezekiah’s heart was proud” (2 Chronicles 32:25 NIV).
God is against pride. Hezekiah did a lot of good Christian-like practices. He restored the temple and its worship practices. Yet, in the mist of all his Christian-like deeds, his heart was prideful and God knew it. “In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. He prayed to the Lord, who answered him and gave him a miraculous sign. But Hezekiah’s heart was PROUD and he did not respond to the kindness shown him; therefore the Lord’s wrath was on him…” (2 Chronicles 32:24-25 NIV).
King Hezekiah did many Christian-like deeds. Doesn’t that count with God? No. God was not so concerned with Hezekiah’s deeds as much as he was about his heart. “...God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart”(1 Samuel 16:7 NASB).
God is looking at the “…hidden man of the heart…” (1 Peter 3:4 KJV). From within, out of the heart of man, proceed evil thoughts…PRIDE….these … come from within, and DEFILE a person.” (Mark 7:21-23 KJV).
God intervened and put Hezekiah in a position to look at his own desperately wicked, human heart (Jeremiah 17:9). “… God left him, to try him that he might know all that was in his heart” (2 Chronicles 32:31 KJV).
God saw for himself the pride hidden in Hezekiah’s heart. “…the Lord’s anger came against him... Then Hezekiah humbled himself…” (2 Chronicles 32:24-26 NLT).
“… Hezekiah’s heart was PROUD and he did not respond to the kindness shown him” (2 Chronicles 32:25 NIV). Hezekiah eventually acknowledged his prideful attitude and his blatant ingratitude.
Hezekiah “… repented of the PRIDE of his heart; …therefore the Lord’s wrath did not come on [him]… (1 Chronicles 32:26 NIV).
God will continue to PUT you into places or KEEP you in a place where you CAN and WILL authentically – from the heart - practice his ways and do his will. UNTIL Christ be formed “IN” you…” (Galatians 4:19 KJV).
Practice is a part of the Christian journey. The practice of spiritual abilities and skills are infused into daily routine. Practice is ongoing and continual. Sometimes situations and circumstances immensely challenge those spiritual abilities and skills on a daily bases for days, weeks, months, or even years. Let us not become weary in doing good…” (Galatians 6:9 NIV).
It is not unusual to grow weary in the process, but keep trusting God to work IN and THROUGH you. At the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9 NIV).
While practicing we are often waiting on God to restore or fix something, someone, or some situation. The LONGER the practice lasts the more challenged our HOPE gets.  For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” (Jeremiah 29:11 KJV).…Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him…” (1 Corinthians 2:9 KJV).
What makes the longevity of practicing new spiritual abilities and skills routinely so challenging is the TIME FRAME. The reason it is challenging is because we often have our own expected time frame. Instead of simple trusting God’s time frame we think we know when enough is enough.
We often think God is taking TOO LONG. Time is passing, we are going older, things are lost in the process, people change, it begins to look unfixable, how we wanted it to turn out is long over, opportunities are missed, and disappointment gets louder and louder. “…If the Lord will, [I] shall live, and do this, or that...” (James 4:16 KJV).
However, keep practicing. God can take you from a PRISON of circumstances to POWER in ONE DAY. After 13 years of practicing Joseph became RULER. “…Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?” ….Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him quickly out of the DUNGEON; and he shaved, changed his clothing, and came to Pharaoh. Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Inasmuch as God has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you. You shall be over my house, and all my people shall be ruled according to your word; only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you.” And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.” Then Pharaoh took his signet ring off his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand; and he clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. And he had him ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried out before him, “Bow the knee!” So he set him over all the land of Egypt. Pharaoh also said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no man may lift his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.”. …Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.  Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt…” (Genesis 41:37-46 NLT).
KEEP PRACTICING.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

ROUTINES DAYS ARE MEANT TO TRAIN YOU FOR SOMETHING!


                               
           TRAINING

                                                       PREPARING FOR WHAT?

grow in grace, and in the KNOWLEDGE of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ ” (Matthew 23:27-28 KJV).
*
 Training is one of the tasks of routine and ordinary days. Training is all the purposeful activity in your life that imparts knowledge to you. “…He TAUGHT His DISCIPLES and said to them…” (Mark 9:31 KJV). “…Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my DISCIPLES if you remain faithful to my TEACHINGS...” (John 8:31 NLT).
Any type of training instructs you in ways that aim at developing a new ability or skill or improving the performance of an old ability or skill. Training is where new knowledge and experience is acquired. “…Then, calling the crowd to join his DISCIPLES, he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, YOU MUST GIVE UP YOUR OWN WAY, take up your cross, and FOLLOW ME….” (Mark 8:34 NLT). “…old things are passed away; behold, all things are BECOME NEW…” (2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV).
In this chapter, we are talking about training as it relates to PROCESS-with-a-PURPOSE, which is spiritual training. Spiritual training is where spiritual growth and development actually happens. GROW in grace, and in the KNOWLEDGE of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ ” (Matthew 23:27-28 KJV).
Spiritual training is the part of PROCESS-with-a-PURPOSE where you learn new abilities and skills in order to be God’s disciples. “…Go therefore and MAKE DISCIPLES of all the nations...” (Matthew 28:19 KJV). “…TEACH these new DISCIPLES to obey all the commands I have given you…” (Matthew 28:20 KJV). “….So the DISCIPLES went out, TELLING everyone they met to repent of their sins and turn to God…” (Mark 6:12 KJV). “…And the DISCIPLES WENT everywhere and preached, and the Lord worked through them, confirming what they said by many miraculous signs….” (Mark 16:20 NLT). “…They used the EYEWITNESS reports circulating among us from the early DISCIPLES…” (Luke 1:2 NLT).
Spiritual training FOCUSES on the IMPLANTED abilities and skills you received through the indwelling Spirit. thy seed, which is Christ…” (Galatians 3:16 KJV). “…Jesus Christ is in you” (2 Corinthians 13:5 KJV). “…Christ in you, …” (Colossians 1:27 KJV).
Spiritual training DEVELOPS your new God-given abilities and skills through the enabling power of the indwelling Spirit. “…it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” (Philippians 2:13 NIV). “…may the God of peace … that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ” (Hebrews 13:20-21 NIV).
Spiritual training eventually REVEALS your new God-given abilities and skills.  “…By this SHALL all men KNOW that ye are MY DISCIPLES, if ye have love one to another…” (John 13:35 KJV). . “…Ye shall know them (MY DISCIPLES) BY THEIR FRUITS…” (Matthew 7:16 KJV). “…But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance…” (Galatians 5:22-23 KJV). "My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much FRUIT, and so prove to be MY DISCIPLES” (John 15:8 NIV).
Spiritual training is God’s METHOD for developing spiritual abilities and skills. Spiritual training AIMS at making you a true disciple by increasing knowledge AND experience. “…Go therefore and MAKE DISCIPLES of all the nations...” (Matthew 28:19 KJV). “…TEACH these new DISCIPLES to obey all the commands I have given you…” (Matthew 28:20 KJV).
God miraculously USES your daily routine to grow and develop your spiritual abilities and you are OFTEN unaware of it. “… Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place (routine); and I knew it not…” (Genesis 28:16 NASB).
Spiritual training infused into your routine is meant to strengthen your information skills and abilities through a sequence of mundane/ordinary actions and movements. These actions and movements involve mundane/ordinary tasks. “…to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might GROW in your knowledge of God…” (Ephesian 1:17 NLT).
These mundane/ordinary tasks result in gaining or growing knowledge, abilities, and skills where there were none. “…The more you GROW like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your KNOWLEDGE of our Lord Jesus Christ…” (2 Peter 1:8 NLT).
Spiritual training repairs, or replaces, or heals weaknesses, it informs, and it builds strength. Spiritual training is ongoing and continual throughout the Believer’s lifetime. “…GROW to maturity…” (2 Corinthians 13:11 NLT). …until Christ be formed in you…” (Galatians 4:19 KJV).
The primary purpose of spiritual training is to teach you and help you learn new abilities and skills. “….I pray… that you will keep on GROWING in KNOWLEDGE and understanding…” (Philippians 1:19 NLT).
Spiritual training helps God’s people acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, abilities, and mindsets appropriate for Christian disciples. “….be TRANSFORMED by the renewing of your mind, THAT YOU MAY PROVE what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God…” (Romans 12:1 KJV).
When I lost my independence and was at the mercy of others; I had to choose to be submissive to other people’s wants and desires. I did not initially have a godly attitude about it either.
 I had a negative attitude, about my situation, that was inappropriate for a child of God. My independent options were greatly reduced and it left me at the mercy of others in MANY different ways.
However, the longer I stayed dependent upon others, where I had limited choices, the more it became a part of my daily routine. I continued to submit, out of reverence to God, until it eventually chipped away at my negative attitude. “...God is opposed to the proud...” (James 4:6 KJV). “...submit to one another out of reverence for Christ...” (Ephesians 5:21 NLT).
The more I submitted to God, out my love and respect, for him, first and foremost, the more I begin to learn about true biblical humility. I also learned about the humility of Jesus. Jesus said, “…I am gentle and humble in heart” (Matthew 11:29 NIV).
Jesus became my example. God was sovereign over his life and I needed to choose to allow him to become sovereign over mine. In my ordinary days of submitting to the “mercy of others,” I was learning, inadvertently, to also submit to God’s sovereignty. It was humbling. … [God]…does whatever PLEASES HIM…” (Psalms 115:3 NIV).  He does as HE PLEASES with …the peoples of the earth. NO ONE can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?” (Daniel 4 NLT).
The more I submitted to God’s sovereignty, over my life, the more reverent and humble I became toward him and others. “…And those who walk in pride he is able to humble” (Daniel 4 NIV).
 It was spiritual training and development embedded in my ordinary days. My attitude transformed into one of respect, honor, and love. I choose mercy over judgement.  I realized nobody is just or righteous without God’s help. “…love one another, as I have loved you…” (John 15:12 KJV). “….Give to everyone what you owe them: …IF RESPECT, then respect; IF HONOR, then honor…” (Roman 13:7 NIV). “…Mercy triumphs over judgement.” (James 2:13 NASB). “….forgive your brother or sister from your heart…" (Matthew 18:35 NIV). “…As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:” (Romans 3:10 KJV). For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not” (Ecclesiastes 7:20 KJV).
In my ordinary and routine days, humble submission became a familiar behavior. The more and longer I practiced submitting, within my new circumstance, out of reverence to God, the more humble I became. Jesus said, LEARN from me, for I am gentle and HUMBLE in heart…” (Matthew 11:29 KJV).
God kept me in that place, day after day, until humility shaped and molded me into the “image” God wanted me to become. “…be conformed to the image of His Son…” (Romans 8:29 KJV).  “…In this world we are like Jesus…” (1 John 4:17 NIV).
Training to submit, out of reverence to God, transformed into humility. Humility became a way of life I started to prefer, especially since it was a response that was pleasing to God.  HUMBLE YOURSELVES in the sight of the Lord…” (James 4:10 KJV). “...I amHUMBLE in heart…” (Matthew 11:29
It is PAINFUL to share this spiritual training. It is PAINFUL to be so transparent. We like people to think we don’t struggle with sin. Any form of PRIDE is sin. I struggled through this spiritual training, but eventually my pride dissipated. He that hath suffered (struggled) in the flesh hath ceased from sin” (1 Peter 4:1-3 KJV).
I didn’t want to be dependent. I didn’t want to be at the mercy of others. I was VERY prideful about receiving HELP from others. “…And those who walk in PRIDE he is able to humble...” (Daniel 4 NIV). “…..nevertheless, NOT MY WILL, but thine, be done…” (Luke 22:42 KJV). “…If the Lord will, [I] shall live, and do this, or that...” (James 4:16 KJV).
God intervened. He put me in a place where everything in my daily routine taught me lessons in submission. “….the Lord DISCIPLINES the one he loves, and he CHASTENS everyone he accepts as his son…." (Hebrews 12:6 NIV). “…And those who walk in pride he is able to humble” (Daniel 4 NIV).
Out of reverence to God and respect for his loving sovereignty, I humbled myself to his will. “...HUMBLE YOURSELVES in the sight of the Lord…” (James 4:10 KJV). “…he does whatever pleases him” (Psalms 115:3 NIV). “...Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the POTTER power over the CLAY...?” (Romans 9:20-21 KJV).
All my praise goes to the King of kings, the Lord of lords, and his Holy Goodness!!! “… there is none like unto thee, O LORD; thou art great, and thy name is great in might.” (Jeremiah 10:6 KJV).
Spiritual training became part of my daily routine and it occurred through mundane, ordinary days. Spiritual training takes place within all the activities, interactions, and experiences in your daily life that challenges NEW behavioral responses and imparts NEW knowledge. New behavioral responses and new knowledge will require new skills and abilities that you will, most likely, NOT like or readily welcome. “…He TAUGHT His DISCIPLES and said to them…” (Mark 9:31 KJV). “…Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my DISCIPLES “IF” you remain faithful to my TEACHINGS...” (John 8:31 NLT).
Any type of training instructs you in ways that aim at developing a new ability or skill or improving the performance of an old ability or skill. It takes humility to learn something different. Spiritual training is where new spiritual knowledge and behavior is PRACTICED, routinely. “…Then, calling the crowd to join his DISCIPLES, he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, YOU MUST GIVE UP YOUR OWN WAY, take up your cross, and FOLLOW ME….” (Mark 8:34 NLT). “…old things are passed away; behold, all things are BECOME NEW…” (2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV).
Spiritual training can last for days, weeks, months, or years. Sorry, but it’s true. Only God knows how long it will take to develop you or grow you up spiritually.  “…Through this PROCESS, HE MADE the altar HOLY by purifying it…” (Leviticus 8:5 NLT).
Further, spiritual training HURTS.  “...No chastening (spiritual training) for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable FRUIT of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby...” (Hebrews 12:11 KJV).  “… [God allows spiritual training]…for our profit, that [you] might be partakers (participants) of his holiness...” (Hebrews 12:10 KJV).
Long after you think you’ve learned the lessons God intended for you to learn; you may find yourself in the same daily routine while more TIME keeps on passing. “…And in the PROCESS of time …” (Genesis 4:3 KJV).
You are getting older. Your youth is reducing. You wondered if anything will ever be RESTORED. You are getting tired of the same old ROUTINE. When God when? It is starting to be BORING, DULL, MONOTONOUS, COMMON, and TEDIOUS. “…Through this PROCESS, HE MADE the altar HOLY by purifying it…” (Leviticus 8:5 NLT).
Spiritual Training promises this: “…And in the PROCESS of time “IT” CAME TO PASS…” (Genesis 4:3 KJV). . “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time WE WILL REAP A HARVEST if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9 NIV).
…‘We’ve given up everything to follow you…” (Mark 10:28-31 NLT). And Jesus said to him, …I assure you that everyone who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or property, for my sake and for the Good News, will receive now in return a hundred times as many houses, brother, sisters, mothers, children, and property – along with persecution. And in the world to come that person will have eternal life...” (Mark 10:28-31 NLT).
DON’T GIVE UP!! You may be getting tired of the same old ROUTINE. It may be getting old or has lasted a LONG, BORING, DULL, MONOTONOUS, COMMON, and TEDIOUS time. Trust the PROCESS and KNOW God has a PLAN for you. “…the plans [God has]…for you….[are]… plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV). …Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9 KJV).
Remember, “…at the PROPER TIME [YOU]… WILL REAP A HARVEST if [you]… do not give up” (Galatians 6:9 NIV).
God knows your WHOLE situation: how long it’s been, how old you are, opportunities you think you’ve missed, dreams that no longer seem plausible, your health, your years, your disappointments etc. YOUR TIMES ARE IN “HIS” HANDS.
“…MY TIMES are in Your hand…” (Psalms 31:15a KJV).  “…MY FUTURE is in your hands…” (Psalms 31:15a NLT). “….To every [thing there is] a season, and A TIME to every purpose under the heaven…” (Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV).  
“…For the vision [is] yet FOR AN APPOINTED TIME, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, WAIT FOR IT; because IT WILL SURELY COME, it will not tarry….” (Habakkuk 2:3 KJV). “…And in the PROCESS of TIMEIT” CAME TO PASS…” (Genesis 4:3 KJV).
KEEP TRUSTING HIM!