Friday, June 10, 2022

Consistency and the Unfailing Word

[Originally published in the Monroe News on June 10, 2022]

My family has been in the thick of running season for many months now.  My oldest son Luke has been running high school track and he runs various hurdle events and relays.  My third-son Seth has been running training on his own for the fun and the exercise of it.  I myself have been training for an ultra race in the beautiful town of Marquette in the U.P.  We’ve all been keeping busy tallying up the miles.

At the heart of our running training is the word consistency.  Ask a coach one of the most important factors of improving in your training and you’ll hear the word consistency.  It is hard to improve your craft, be it running or other physical activity, if you have a start-stop method to your training.  Running a couple days one week and then taking a few weeks off won’t amount to anything.  I’ve learned this the hard way when I miss a month or two due to a surgery and then upon return find out just how out of shape I am.

On the plus side, when one is blessed with being able to be steadfast and consistent improvements and gains will follow.  My oldest son saw several personal records come about in his hurdles training this year and it was exciting to see each new race bring about a better time.  I see it in my own training when several weeks of hard work pay off with being able to run faster and stronger.

The benefits of consistency can be translated over to our Christian life.  An on-again off-again relationship with the Lord or with our local congregation might find us spinning our wheels in the mud when it comes to any sort of growth.  We might be quick to make the excuse that missing a Sunday or two of worship is no big deal, That is until those couple of Sundays skipped turn into several months or several years skipped.  When we break with consistency we’re only one workout or one Sunday of worship away from never returning again.  You never know which skipped activity might turn out to be the last until you look back with years of hindsight.

There is benefit in being consistent in our Christian life and in worship.  This is primarily true in the simple fact that being active in faith and active in worship is time with the Lord Jesus.  And time with the Lord Jesus is always good.  

I would invite you to consider the words of Isaiah 55.  Here the Lord uses an analogy comparing the productivity of His Word with the unmistakable effects of water causing the earth to grow.  It says in Is. 55:10-11 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth … so shall My Word be that goes out from My mouth; it shall not return to Me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I send it.

God promises the fruitfulness of His Word.  When we are receiving His Word, as we do in worship and study and devotion, it will change us.  The same as a good running workout will cause the tiny adaptive changes in our body to make us progressively stronger so being in the Word will make a difference.  We may not feel these changes as they happen but every bit of training, every bit of worship and time in the Word, every bit of consistency, keeps us on that path to growth and strength.  I encourage you to see your time in God’s Word, particularly your time in Christian worship, as time spent with God “watering” you and using His Word to undoubtedly grow your faith in Him.  He promises His Word will not return to Him empty.

I don’t know about you, but as I face uncertainty and trials and struggles in every other facet of this life, it is comforting and hopeful to be able to consider God’s Word as a rock and foundation and consistently making this Word a part of my life keeps me strong and grounded in that foundation.  My running training and other parts of my life have their ups and downs and sometimes I know nothing but failure.  Yet where I fall short God does not and is forever true and certain in His promises and His Word, and my eternal life because of that Word, will never change.

To God be the glory.

Mark Witte is the pastor at Grace Lutheran Church.
You can contact him at

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