What You Practice Becomes Part Of Your Character, And Your Character Proves Who You Really Are.
Customs and Traditions:
• People of different nations, cultures, races, and so forth, have differing customs and traditions that they follow.
• These became customs and traditions because they were continually repeated by those peoples, week after week, month after month, and year after year.
• Many customs and traditions are followed just because they have been followed for so long that some of the people who follow them no longer even know why they do.
Genesis 29:26 (NASB) But Laban said, “It is not the practice in our place to marry off the younger before the firstborn.
Leviticus 18:30 (NASB) “Thus you are to keep My charge, that you do not practice any of the abominable customs which have been practiced before you, so as not to defile yourselves with them; I am the LORD your God.”
Isaiah 32:6 (NASB) “For a fool speak nonsense, And his heart inclines toward wickedness: To practice ungodliness and to speak error against the LORD, To keep the hungry person unsatisfied And to withhold drink from the thirsty.”
1 Timothy 5:4 (NASB) “but if any widow has children or grandchildren, they must first learn to practice piety in regard to their own family and to make some return to their parents; for this is acceptable in the sight of God.”
Occupations and Abilities:
• There are people who have natural abilities to do things such as singing, playing musical instruments, and such.
• There are also those people who get trained in specific occupations, arts, and skills, who are able to do the things they do in such a way as to make it seem so easy.
• In all these cases, they had to practice their abilities and skills consistently and repeatedly to develop them to the point that they have.
Genesis 44:15 (NASB) Joseph said to them, “What is this deed that you have done? Do you not know that such a man as I can indeed practice divination?”
Leviticus 19:26 (NASB) “You shall not eat anything with the blood, nor practice divination or soothsaying.”
Hebrews 5:14 (NASB) “But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.”
2 Peter 1:10 (NASB) “Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble.”
Choices and Decisions:
• Whether we are aware or not, do it on purpose or not, understand the ramifications or not, our choices and decisions in life will always have consequences.
• The consequences can be good or bad, helpful or hurtful, temporary or for the rest of our lives.
• When we keep making the same types of choices and decisions, then we are following a specific type of practice.
• What we practice will produce something welcomed or unwelcomed in our lives.
Jeremiah 22:21 (NASB) “I spoke to you in your prosperity; But you said, ‘I will not listen!’ This has been your practice from your youth, That you have not obeyed My voice.
Ezekiel 13:22-23 (NASB) “Because you disheartened the righteous with falsehood when I did not cause him grief, but have encouraged the wicked not to turn from his wicked way and preserve his life, therefore, you women will no longer see false visions or practice divination, and I will deliver My people out of your hand. Thus you will know that I am the LORD.”
Daniel 11:23 (NASB) “After an alliance is made with him he will practice deception, and he will go up and gain power with a small force of people.”
Ephesians 4:19 (NASB) “and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.”
1 John 1:6 (NASB) “If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.”
1 John 3:10 (NASB) “By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.”
Choose What to Practice:
• First we have a thought, then we consider the possibility, then we entertain the probability, then we develop plans for action, then we do it.
• What you allow to enter your mind and remain there, this will be what will move you to act.
• We are to be very careful as to what we allow to enter and remain in our minds.
Romans 10:17 (NASB) “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.”
Deuteronomy 18:14 (NASB) “For those nations, which you shall dispossess, listen to those who practice witchcraft and to diviners, but as for you, the LORD your God has not allowed you to do so.”
Ezekiel 33:32 (NASB) “Behold, you are to them like a sensual song by one who has a beautiful voice and plays well on an instrument; for they hear your words but they do not practice them.”
Zechariah 7:9 (NASB) “Thus has the LORD of hosts said, ‘Dispense true justice and practice kindness and compassion each to his brother.”
Romans 1:32 (NASB) “and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.”
Philippians 4:9 (NASB) “The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
Practicing God’s Word:
• We apply the Word of God, not by believing in it, agreeing with it, or hoping it is true, but by practicing it.
• Like anything that we at first do not understand or feel comfortable with, we practice it until we feel better about it and/or understand it better.
• We won’t become something because we practice something, we practice something because of who we want to be.
• What we practice will not get us right with God, but because He has made us right in Him, we choose to practice His Word.
Leviticus 20:8 (NASB) “You shall keep My statutes and practice them; I am the LORD who sanctifies you.”
Ezra 7:10 (NASB) For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the LORD and to practice it, and to teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel.
The Consequences of Practicing:
• The most obvious benefit and expected result will be a real, life-changing difference in your character.
• As your character changes (you transform), you will better know God’s will for your life, and start reaping the benefits of His blessing for your life.
Psalm 106:3 (NASB) “How blessed are those who keep justice, Who practice righteousness at all times!”
Romans 12:2 (NASB) “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Jeremiah 7:5-7 (NASB) “For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly practice justice between a man and his neighbor, if you do not oppress the alien, the orphan, or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, nor walk after other gods to your own ruin, then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers forever and ever.”
Matthew 7:23 (NASB) “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’”
Romans 2:1 (NASB) “Therefore you have no excuse, every one of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.”
Romans 2:2 (NASB) “And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things.”
Romans 2:3 (NASB) “But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God?”
Romans 7:19-20 (NASB) “For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.”
Galatians 5:19-21 (NASB) “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”