Practice = action + obedience

By Dave Henning / May 27, 2023

“The final rhythm of a well-built life is practice.   Practicing isn’t simply about action; it’s about obedience. . . .  A house that lasts isn’t just built by hard work; it’s built on actions of obedience to a lord.  Without the practice of acting on what you hear, your house will be a house of cards.”- Alli Patterson

“But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation.  The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”- Luke 6:49 (NIV)

In her Preface (“Practice”) to Part 3 of How to Stay Standing, Alli Patterson observes that we come and hear God’s words all the time.  Yet, we wind up doing exactly what we planned to do anyway.  Because we prefer the way we are already doing things.

Therefore, Alli exhorts, actually doing what Jesus says is where the rubber meets the road.  However, the author cautions:

“In the end, however, the words are always much easier read than done.  You could spend a lifetime listening to the words of Jesus (and I think you should!), but unless the cycle finishes in practice, collapse is coming. . . .

Wherever it’s summer in your life might be the very place you’re in most danger of skipping the practice and work it takes to lay a strong foundation. . . .  When everything is fine, it’s easy to convince yourself these are signs of strength.  Nope.  Instead of arranging better circumstances, you need to ask yourself one question: When’s the last time I did something because of the Word of God? (emphasis author’s)

In conclusion, Alli stresses that she prefers the word practice to the word obedience.  Because when you practice that relieves any pressure in having to get it right all the time.  Jesus desires that you trust Him today.  And that trust grounds you for what you face tomorrow.

Today’s question: Do you agree that practice consists of action as well as obedience?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Authentic attempts to respond”

About the author

Dave Henning

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