Have you ever been driving and daydreaming and then suddenly you’re at your desired location? You don’t actually remember pressing the gas and the brake, following traffic laws, and navigating your way to school or work, but suddenly you’re there. It’s an odd sensation, but it’s birthed from years of repetitive motion: years of practice.
If you played a sport, an instrument, or engaged in some other hobby for awhile, you know this feeling, too. For 14 years I played soccer; four of those years I played year round: playing anywhere from 4-12 hours a week.
I loved it. I lived it. I knew it deep in my bones.
My body knew exactly what to do at any given moment on the field. I played defense and I knew how to position myself to get the ball from my opponent every time. I knew once I had the ball whether I needed to dribble, pass left or right, or lead the forwards with a big kick that would land right in front of them. But I didn’t actually know it in my mind. When I received the ball I could never tell you with words what was about to happen. I couldn’t actually tell you what I was going to do before I did it.
I had practiced so much that it all became instinctual. I no longer had to look down at the ground to dribble, or consider slowly in my brain all the possible options to pass or kick. My body knew what I had practiced. My feet, my legs, my eyes knew where to look where to pass and where to run because I had spent hours practicing those things.
And the practice wasn’t fun, the practice wasn’t exhilarating, and sometimes the repetition could be annoying. I wanted to play the game and do the real thing. We all want to do the real thing, but it’s the practice that makes you a star. It’s the practice that gives you the ability to play the game well. I had spent hours dribbling, kicking, shooting, passing, and seeing a field filled with players and possibilities. So when I got to the game, muscle memory kicked in, and everything fell into place. It was the things that nobody saw that made the moments everyone saw that much better.
Our walk with God can be like this! What if we spent so many hours learning and practicing what God tells us to do that it becomes second nature? We no longer would have to search the pages of the Bible for answers, but when faced with a problem the answers would pour out of a heart simply overflowing with His words. When faced with sin, we’d see the right path and take it without thinking. When faced with an issue that seems insurmountable we’d know in our hearts that God has it taken care of, simply because we’d practiced knowing this, and it became a part of our very souls.
We can get this way, but we have to practice. We have to open His word and walk in it. We have to spend hours, year-round, kicking His words around, feeling what they feel like in different situations. Then we’ll know where to turn and what to do. We’ll have God’s word in our hearts and minds, and His spirit deep within us leading us, and it will feel like instinct. We’ll be so close in our walk with Him that it will just be that: walking.
Are you giving God enough time and energy—enough practice—to instinctually walk out His will?
Are you engaged with his Word on a daily basis? Are you talking with Him, listening for Him, and walking out his ways?