We Gotta Get Back to the Fundamentals
When a coach is sick and tired of losing, of enduring one more game where his team was overwhelmed by the opposition and got their butts kicked, he will often say,
“We gotta get back to the fundamentals of the game.”
Every sport has fundamentals that need to be mastered in order to be a winner. The fundamentals are those basic skills players must be trained in; the skills they must practice over and over again in order to be proficient. There is no winning without being skilled in the fundamentals of the game.
This got me thinking, “What are the fundamentals for Godly living?” I figure there are 5:
No one can deny it takes courage to walk with God. We have to choose to move forward in the face of fear. Courage is simply not letting your fears stop you from following Jesus where He is leading you.
“Courage is being scared spitless, but saddling up anyway.” John Wayne
It is impossible to apprehend all that for which God has apprehended you without courage.
“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.” I Corinthians 16:13,14
We are going to mess up. We are going to sin. We are not perfect, nor will we be this side of heaven. We must, therefore, choose humility, repentance, surrender and submission. This is not a one-time act. No, this is a lifestyle. We must choose a lifestyle of “laying aside the sin that so easily besets us” – that’s confession and repentance. (Hebrews 12:1)
“If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9
Confession and repentance are a gift from God – it’s a Miraculous Mulligan, a Divine Do-Over, a Spiritual Start Again, a Righteous Reboot. It’s not a burden – it’s a gift of grace, a privilege, a pleasure. We get to start over!
Communion with God is the journey and the destination. We have been created to be in relationship with Him. He invites us as beloved children into His family, to relate to Him as a loving Father made possible by the redemptive work of the Son and the renewing work of the Holy Spirit.
We are invited to commune with God through prayer, praise, worship, work, play, solitude, silence, art, music, study, His Word – myriad ways our Creator invites us to find life in Him, connect with Him and feed on Him. The basis of our communion is worship: a wholehearted surrender and submission to His loving will and work in us and through us.
“Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’” Luke 4:8
Following Jesus is a team game. If I told you that I played hockey, but didn’t play on a team you would tell me that I really wasn’t a hockey player. The very essence of hockey is that it is a team sport. So is Christianity. Jesus came to birth a Body, a People, a Holy Nation – the Church.
A man alone is easy prey. We are dead if we do not walk in community. Living in community amongst allies in the Body of Christ is fundamental to life in Jesus.
We must choose to give our time, talent and treasure to others, and receive by listening to, learning from and leaning on others. It’s called love.
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10: 24, 25
Open war is upon us whether we would risk it or not. The reality of your life, of our life in God, is that it is opposed. We cannot put our head in the sand and hope we can escape spiritual opposition.
“Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring-those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.” Revelation 12:17
There is no way we will experience the life that God has for us, and for others through us, if we are not willing to fight for what Jesus has purchased for us. Jesus has defeated sin, death and the enemy, but His victory is contested by the Enemy who wants to know if we know that Jesus has all authority in Heaven and on Earth – and has given it to us in His name.
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the Devil and he will flee from you.” James 4:7
There you have it, the 5 Fundamentals for life in Jesus. By choosing to become proficient in these 5 spiritual fundamentals we will appropriate the life Christ purchased for us, and for others through us – we will start winning!
We gotta get back to the fundamentals!