If you have ever trained to be really good at something you will know what I mean when I say you are only as good as your basics. It is the simple things that make up the rest. It is the foundation. Similarly, the chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link.
I spent years in Seattle training to be a better chess player. I used to read book after book on improving my game. After countless hours trying to understand the complicated attacks that got the most attention I began to realize that the most amazing, high-end chess play was really a very simple combination of basic fundamentals. The basics.
My kids have been in Jiu Jitsu for just over 8 years now, and the same philosophy can be applied for their training in Jiu Jitsu as my training in chess. Again it is their fundamentals that win tournaments, not amazing, flashy attacks.
Well, the reason I bring this up is because even though I grew up a Christian I found myself lacking in the fundamentals of my faith.
Over the last 5 years I have spent much more time just understanding the basics. Which helped me to realize just how far I had fallen.
It seems a lot of people, including myself, have gotten their heads in the clouds lately when it comes to church and their God. Many of the churches I have visited over the years have been focused on what you get out of it, than what we give back to God. Our eyes are on ourselves and not on God. We THINK we are focused on God, but really it is on ourselves. I mean, God is not there just to grant you what you want.
I remember sitting in a field praying because I was heart broken at the time. And I was asking God to help me; to do something for me so that I wouldn’t have to live though what I was living through. I immediately had a thought cross my mind. What have I done for God lately? It was like I was listening to God say “What have you done for me lately?” like the song by Janet Jackson. (Us older folks understand)
It’s true. I was sitting there wanting God to jump because I said jump. But what have I done for Him lately? Anything? Going to church so that God would further bless me with worldly things is really just going to church for myself. What do I do on a daily basis for God?
I couldn’t think of anything.
I found myself saying out loud, “You know what? You’re right!” Whether God was literally speaking to me or if it was the prompting of the Holy Spirit is irrelevant. I just knew I was not doing anything for God and that hurt.
I bring this up because our faith is only as good as it’s basics. It’s fundamentals. What are we supposed to be doing as Christians? Loving one another. Loving our enemies. Praying and reading God’s Word. Let me focus on that last one just a bit. Do you read the bible? I am not talking about a devotional that someone wrote. I am talking about the bible, by itself. If you aren’t and you really want God to be on your side, next to you, speaking to you, having a relationship with you, then you have to read His Word!
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;2 Timothy 3:16 [NASB]
Nothing else compares. His Word penetrates your existence on all kinds of levels. You know how certain songs move you emotionally? God’s Word will do that but much, much deeper in nature. It is more powerful than I can explain.
So to better your life as a Christian focus on your fundamentals. Get back to the simple things. You don’t need a huge church, or a special church, you just need God’s Word and a repentant heart. Put God in the correct perspective and read what He has to say to you!