I think I may have heard a little whisper from the Spirit this morning as I was singing to Him, and also practicing the guitar.
You see, singing comes to me just about as naturally as falling off a log. Guitar playing, on the other hand, is something that is physically hard and challenging for me. I do love to play the guitar, but I am constantly aware of my need to keep my skills honed by frequent and consistent practicing. It is all too easy to let this kind of task fall by the wayside, especially when there is so much else demanding my attention lately. So I need to make a concerted effort to "make it happen".
Fortunately, I love to worship the Lord in song, and when I sing I usually play the guitar... So the task often just "falls into place", doing what I would do anyway.
For some reason, today, as I was playing a particularly difficult part of a song, my spirit sort of "heard" a little reminder that it is also often that way in our spiritual lives. Some spiritual things come naturally and easily. Others are more difficult, demanding and physically or emotionally "hard". But they are just as important to do, because it is the only way we will grow and become stronger as well as more effective.
So, being intrigued, I looked for some scripture verses that might shed some more light on it all. I'd like to share some of those verses with you, because I think they are encouraging and enlightening; focusing on how important it is to "practice" good. Don't just assume it will happen... Go and do it... Of course, always by Jesus' grace and in His strength...
"So then, whenever we have the opportunity, let us practice doing good to everyone, especially to the family of faith."
(Galations 6:10, International Standard Version)
"Keep putting into practice all you learned from me and heard from me and saw me doing, and the God of peace will be with you.
(Philippians 4:9, New Living Translation)
"Practice carrying each other's burdens. In this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
(Galations 6:2, International Standard Version)
"But solid food is for mature people, whose minds are trained by practice to distinguish good from evil.
(Hebrews 5:14, International Standard Version)
"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 am not like a boxer who misses his punches. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.
(1 Corinthians 9:25, New Living Translation)
Let us all "...run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus..." (Hebrews 12:1b-2a, NIV); for "To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna..." (Revelation 2:17b) ...and so much more.