Training Sessions

When I was ten, I began practicing Judo and kept at it until I was eighteen. I loved everything about it; but as I got older, I developed other interests and stopped participating. Every class session followed the same schedule, with the exception of the techniques we would practice. After warming up and stretching, we would practice a particular throw, sweep, or hold the entire practice. What everyone really wanted to do was get to the technique, but everything we did in the warm up phase prepared us for the technique phase.
 
Your Christianity is much the same way. There should be a routine that we follow, which is going to be pretty much the same every day. This prepares us for the "technique", or the moments that come up which are not routine. Our faith is the victory that overcomes the world (1 John 5:4). It is what we do faithfully, even routinely that builds our strength in the faith.
 
There was a particular Judo teacher, Masahiko Kimura, who practiced a technique hundreds of times every day on a tree. Because he spent his time practicing against the strength of the tree, when a fight or tournament came up, no one could stop the power of the technique. The routine things we do are what determines our success as Christians. Daily prayer, time in the Word, fellowship, and fasting times all serve to strengthen us in our walk with Christ and prepare us for the things which are not routine. The time to begin to practice faithfulness in prayer and study is not the day the doctor looks at you and says that you have a life threatening disease! After the disciples unsuccessfully tried to cast a demon out of a child, Jesus told them  that some only come out by fasting and prayer. I do not believe Jesus was saying that if you encounter a demon possessed person, make a future appointment, go fast and pray, and then cast out the demon. What Jesus was teaching was to be in the vital habit of fasting and praying, to be prepared for any moment you may encounter. The things building your endurance to win this race are the "routine" things we do, hopefully, on a daily basis that contribute to our spiritual development, strength, and preparation. So you be encouraged and stay faithful to the routine of the "basics", because that is where we are prepared.
 
I call you blessed!
Pastor