How’s your “muscle memory”?

By: Michelle Deuling

Oswald Chambers made plain a truth I was trying to share with a friend.

Anna Grace is 12 years old and is in her third year of playing softball.

This is the year that they stress practicing what you want to have happen.

I watch as the fielders throw the ball in to the 1st base player and she tags the bag.  Other players also tag their bag and sometimes swipe the gloved ball at an imaginary player.  But what really stands out is one particular pitcher.  She is serious about being her best and she can be seen, every time the catcher misses the ball, running to home plate to cover, as she catches the ball flicked at her, swiping the gloved ball at the imaginary runner trying to slide in.  What makes this girl unique from the rest of the team, is that she does it every time.

As I read the devotional from May 15th, from My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers, I reflected on the reason this girl “made the play” every time the opportunity arose.  She was creating, what I hear referred to as, muscle memory.  She was training herself to do the right thing naturally.  She was preparing for the time when the pressure was on.  She wanted to do the right thing without having to take the time to think about what was needed.  Because to do your best and succeed, there isn’t always time to think about what needs to be done!

If we apply that principle to our spiritual life, we will answer a “YES” to the questions presented. “Are you working it [your salvation] out with your tongue, and your brain and your nerves?” Chambers asked.  He goes on to warn that if we are the same miserable troublemaker, determined to have our own way, we are lying to ourselves if we believe God has saved and sanctified us.  He explained that God allows different difficulties to come into our life to basically test our “muscle memory.”  Chambers reminds us that, “it does not matter how it hurts as long as it gives God the chance to manifest Himself in your mortal flesh.” “The only aim of the life is that the Son of God may be manifested, and all dictation to God vanishes.” When we stop trying to boss God around and choose to surrender even our will, as Jesus exampled for us in the garden, then God is able to work through us what He wants.  He concludes, “When we realize this, He will make us broken bread and poured-out wine to feed and nourish others.”

Now my challenge is to practice EVERY TIME keeping the tongue, brain, and nerves doing right!

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