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Friday, December 23, 2011

Playing it God's Way!


Be good to your servant, Godbe as good as your Word. Train me in good common sense; I'm thoroughly committed to living your way. Before I learned to answer you, I wandered all over the place, but now I'm in step with your Word.    You are good, and the source of good; train me in your goodness. 
(Psalm 119:65-68 The Message)

Have you ever known someone with all the book learning in the world, but they simply lacked good common sense?  Doesn't it amaze you sometimes how much we can amass in "knowledge" and still lack the "skill" to do some of the stuff we need to do?  Simply put, common sense is the "sound" practical judgment that is independent of any of the specialized knowledge we might amass through training.  In some fields of human psychology, they might say this is the "native" intelligence that someone possesses.

Our psalmist reminds us that getting the Word "into" us is great!  We cannot live without it.  Yet, it is not in the "amount" of intake that we are made wise!  It is in the "asking" for the intake to be made "good common sense" that wisdom begins to take form.  What we need is for "soundness" in our judgment - to see things from a practical, day-to-day perspective, in such a way that we are making wise choices.  We try to make this Christian walk kind of "ethereal" instead of very "practical".  The fact is that God deals in the "practical", not in the ethereal!

Ethereal things are really kind of "airy", "fluffy", and hard to nail down.  God wants us to fully grasp his truths, learn to walk with them as guidance for our daily decisions, and to make better decisions because we understand what it is we are doing with what it is that God has given us.  You might have heard the saying, "That person is so heavenly-minded they are absolutely no earthly good!"  This points out that we can get so "deep" that we lose the ability to make God's Word practical in our lives.

Practical truth is learned from experience - we put into practice what we are learning.  We actually USE what we are taking in.  Ethereal truth is good - practical truth is applicable!  We allow God to help us understand how it is put into practice - impacting our decisions / choices.  When we say we have "learned" truth through experience, we are probably referring to the idea of having put good judgment into action in some life circumstance.  For example, we might be feeling a little "goaded" into speaking some unkind words in the midst of a little heated discussion - when we are reminded of the idea of returning good for evil as is outlined in many passages in scripture, we might stop short of speaking those words.  We are making "learning" practical.

God's goal in us studying the Word is that it might be made "practical" to us.  If you hadn't guessed, practical is from the root from which we derive our word "practice".  Therefore, practical truth is practiced truth!  If you have ever been in a sport, or played an instrument, you know one of the most important parts of becoming "proficient" in your sport or instrument is in the "practice".  It takes hours of practice to throw a good pitch, or to play a chorus without flaw. It takes just as long for us to become "practiced" in God's Word.  We want "instant" - but God says it comes in the consistency, not in the "instant-cy"!  (I know that is not a word - I made it up!)

Not sure what you might be "practicing" today, but if you are consistently allowing God's Word to impact your experience, you are practicing the right stuff!  The sweetness of the Word comes in the practicality of it when it is applied!  Gotta love it!