Monday, November 19, 2012

Training For Excellence-Practice Gets You Closer by Martin Wiles

Series: Training For Excellence

They were battling uncontrollable elements again. This time it was hurricane Sandy’s pulsating rain and relentless wind.

“Old Guard”-the name given to the 3rd Division Infantry Regiment in 1847 by General Winfield Scott, is the official Army Honor Guard. They have escorted Presidents since World War II and serve as military funeral escorts for those buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Perhaps their most touching and honorable duty is guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier-a feat they have continually accomplished since 1948. I’ve witnessed this “walking the mat,” heard the boot heels click when the 63-foot mark was reached, listened as the wind whispered through the cemetery, and wiped away tears that meandered down my face as I marveled over their dedication.

Continued practice is crucial for flawless marches and also for spiritual excellence. Paul practiced continually and urged his son in the faith to do the same; Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Spend your time and energy in training yourself for spiritual fitness (I Timothy 4:7 NLT).

Jesus said those who endure will be saved (Matthew 24:13). Faith is energized and sustained by rehearsing vigorous spiritual disciplines-a part of which is using our God-given abilities in service to our churches and others. Satan will tempt us to give in to ungodly practices and to give up on our effort to live godly lifestyles. Only God can give us the strength required to “walk the mat” of faith regardless of what spiritual weather blows our way. Live out your faith regularly so you can come closer in practice to who you are in position-a saint of God.

Prayer: Merciful God, give us faith to trust You for the strength we need to keep walking in faith until our journey ends in heaven.
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