“I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on a rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation.” (Luke 6:47-49)
Thomas Kelly once said that “Practice comes first in religion, not theory or dogma.” Jesus would certainly seem to agree. It is not just the hearing of his word that counts, but also the doing of it. We typically encounter God through the avenue of the spiritual practices. The only problem with the spiritual practices is that in order for them to work, you actually have to do them. You can think about them and talk about them all you want, but they will really never do you any good until you start doing them.
As G. K. Chesterton once said, “The difference between talking about prayer and praying is the same as the difference between blowing a kiss and kissing.” The spiritual practices are the way we make time and space to encounter God, and unless we actually do them, chances are that blowing a kiss is as far as we’ll ever get. Is that okay with you?
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