5/9/16: Practice Makes Perfect

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I took classical piano lessons for 11 years. By the time I stopped taking lessons, I was playing the compositions of the masters: Beethoven, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Schubert – all those guys. Trust me; I didn’t start out that way. Mrs. Dolly Perry, my teacher, grew my playing through the John Thompson series. The first book was entitled Teaching Little Fingers to Play. Each lesson taught me one new thing. I would practice each new simplistic lesson all week long and then return to Mrs. Perry’s studio the next Thursday after school to play it for her. She’d congratulate me, write a star and the date on the page, and then move me along to the next lesson. I enjoyed the affirmation and the progress I was making. As I practiced and mastered each lesson, I could see myself becoming more and more skilled on the keyboard. It was rewarding to be able to play well.

The principle of practicing for accomplishment holds true for faith. When David faced Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath who had defied the living God, he didn’t do so without any fighting experience at all. David had previous practice with destroyers. We read in First Samuel chapter 17, “Then David said to Saul, ‘Let no man’s heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.’ Moreover David said, ‘The LORD, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine’” I Samuel 17:32 and 37 (NKJ). Because David had killed a lion and a bear before, he was confident about his ability to kill Goliath. In David’s eyes, Goliath was nothing but an uncircumcised Philistine who needed to be taught a lesson about who God really was. The end of the story? David won.

Hebrews 5:14 says, “But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (NKJ). And Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (NIV). We can’t sit around waiting for big problems to come along before we exercise our faith. Believe God for the little things. Start with Teaching Little Pray-ers to Pray, or Teaching Little Believers to Believe, or Teaching Little Trusters to Trust. As we practice having faith in God, we will be more and more skilled. The more difficult challenges won’t even seem like giants because we will have mastered the lessons that came before. And it will be rewarding when we realize we are able to stand our ground or fight our fight so well.

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©2016 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.

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~ by sanewriter on May 9, 2016.

2 Responses to “5/9/16: Practice Makes Perfect”

  1. Being a Christlike person requires time. Not only do we need to read God’s Word we must memorize Scripture and ponder its meaning and application. Then we must rely on Jesus Christ, Himself, to bring about understanding.
    We must move from justification (having a right relationship with God) to sanctification (becoming more and more holy and pure). Christlike maturity requires each of us to focus our thoughts, and words, and deeds completely on pleasing our Father.

    In addition, we must identify the Spiritual gifts that we have received and develop them. This requires daily effort guided by the indwelling Holy Spirit. Christians must recognize that without God’s assistance, we will stumble and fall frequently and that nothing that we do will last.

    Faith which is trust and belief that God (Father, Son-Jesus Christ, and Holy Spirit) is who He says that He is must be part of our very being. Through patience and endurance, our gift of mustard seed sized faith matures so that we as members of the Church (the Body of Christ with Jesus Christ at the Head) grow in service to God and encourage one another and build one another up.

  2. My Dear Little Sister,
    Your words & example in this ring so true to me today. Several weeks ago the Lord put on my heart that I should become an elder in the church. After a personal confirmation with a believer who I had prayed with sometime before, & after their telling me the praise report of the favorable answering of that prayer, the believer said: “You’re like an elder to me!” I then, with Yvonne by my side, turned to one of our assistant Pastors for council on this vision. As I related my vision & the event that followed, I noticed a smile starting to form. His words to me as we finished our session in prayer were; “You’ve already been serving at that level! Continue the good work!” or words to that affect. It may have taken 68 years, but I’m convinced He isn’t done with me yet! God bless all!

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