“Practice Now; Excel Later”Categories: Christian Living, Current Events, Tuesday Email Devo
It's football time again everywhere. The NFL regular season kicks off next Thursday night, the NCAA season is already underway, and high schools everywhere are celebrating the start of their season this Friday (I'm in Alabama right now — football is literally everywhere). But while the games are just getting started, there is already a huge backlog of competitive sports' most important element: practice.
Practice and training happen in an environment where the pressure is low to build the skills necessary for the moment when the pressure is high. When the quarterback has to think fast and get it right, when a receiver has to read the ball and defense at the same time, and when a running back needs the extra boost of strength or stamina or speed... that's when the level of training is make-or-break.
The same is true for Christians. Your level of spiritual strength in life's crucial moments is dependent on your spiritual training in all the rest of your life. When the pressure of life and temptation are on, you depend on the strength you've developed in the moments when the pressure was low.
So make sure that you're training all the time. Put Paul's words to work: "Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come." (1 Tim. 4:7-8) Spend time praying specifically about the temptations you face. Memorize scriptures that will be helpful in your life. Read the word often and thoughtfully. Keep a strong practice of attending worship assemblies. Work hard in life's low-pressure moments so that you're thoroughly prepared when the high-pressure moments come.
- Dan Lankford, minister