Refresh with the Basics
posted by Chris Marchand
I had a football coach who said, “Every Friday night is just a demonstration of each team’s ability to perfect the fundamentals.” You know what? He was right. It was the team who had the least amount of penalties that had an advantage. It was good blocking, staying low, firing off the line, quick feet work, and solid running and passing routes that led to walking off the field with a win. Our practices didn’t include learning trick plays or any type of performance nonsense. Our coaches were not out to make celebrities. They wanted to make us a team of professionals when it came to the fundamental basic practices of the game.
On Wednesday nights I work with a group of T&T boys. I am the games director and I help with handbook time. As I have progressed with my students over the course of this year I have been reminded of how important it is to pause and refresh my heart and mind with the basics of faith. Like for instance, my students asked if I could recite the books of the Bible. Have I memorized these verses? Have I continued to implement these practices? Because if I’m honest with myself then these students are looking at me and seeing my walk with Christ and are endeavoring to become something like what has been made manifest in front of them. That’s why the basics matter. They matter A LOT!
So here’s your challenge this week. Get back to the basics of a relationship with Jesus. Here are three ways you can refresh some of the fundamentals of faith this week.
- Go for a walk. Yep. A walk with just you and God. If you have a garden nearby then go for a walk in a garden. I personally think God has a thing for gardens. While you’re on this walk go ahead and spend some time really having a conversation with Him. Ask Him questions. Ask Him His divine opinion. Share things that are happening in your life with Him. Argue with Him. Ask the tough questions. One of the most basic fundamentals of any relationship is the ability to sit down and have a good conversation. Speak and Listen. It’s also practicing the presence of Christ and training yourself to become more aware of His presence.
- Rely on Him. Are you doing everything in your life and ministry right now through your own strength and power? Is your ministry propped up 100% by your knowledge and experience? Do you really need God for anything? Or, is your ministry just a laboratory where your own personal selfishness can grow and fester? You see we were NEVER created to be self-sufficient. We were created to be in total dependence on God. Refresh the basics by taking time to examine your life and ministry and find the places where God has intentionally or unintentionally been shut out. Your life should be lived in greater reliance on God and less self-sufficiency.
- Read an old story for the first time again. We can all probably stand up and for several hours pontificate the stories that we heard about in Sunday school. Go back and re-read one of the stories that you think you know so well. Read it from another perspective. What would it be like to be Nicodemus coming out of the shadows and into the light? What were the sailors thinking after they threw Jonah over the side of the boat? Put yourself in Potiphar’s brain as he wrestles between the loyalty toward his wife and the trust he built and had seen in Joseph. Think about the story of Moses and the burning bush from the perspective of the bush. Read one of these amazing stories for the first time and twist it slightly. Over time we can become comfortable and we start to place God in a box that we think is predictable. However, looking at these stories will refresh our faith and remind us that we serve a God who can and does far beyond what we can ask or even imagine. He is the God who created the limitless home of the imagination. And we as believers need to be reminded of this. If nothing but the fact that Jesus did this for His disciples on regular occasions.
I really hope you have some time this week to refresh some of the basics of your faith. My prayer is that your relationship would grow deeper because you spent time investing in the seemingly insignificant practices that really make all the different in the world.