Sometimes God picks the most unusual places to teach me a new truth, or remind me of one that needs a bit of my attention. This time it was in the fourth quarter of my son’s basketball game. The score was tied, causing tension to heighten. I expected a new play from our side that would catch the other team off guard, but that’s not what happened. They simply kept to the fundamentals of the game. The coach had a philosophy: “When stress enters the court, the team who keeps to the fundamentals succeeds.” And so they did.
The same is true in our walk with Christ. When the pressures and stresses of life began to press in, we need to keep to the fundamentals of our faith.
1. I’ve learned that one of the fundamentals to keeping my faith fresh and alive is keeping my relationship with the Lord in first place. The Bible encourages us: “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). I want to put the Lord first place in my life because I know I can’t live on yesterday’s bread. Do you remember how God fed the Israelites daily manna from heaven as they traveled through the desert on their way to the Promised Land? God instructed them not to gather more than a day’s worth of bread or it would rot. God did this because He wanted the Israelites to know that He was their daily provision. The same is true for you and me. We can’t live today on yesterday’s blessings and provisions from God. We need to seek Him for “new bread” everyday.
2. The second fundamental is to never lose the wonder. It’s easy to let the wonder of God become commonplace amidst the drudgery of everyday life. However, by keeping my eyes on the wonder and awe of God, I’ll never lose hope. In fact, once you and I are awe struck by His greatness, we can’t help but share it with others. “For he said to God, “I will declare the wonder of your name to my brothers and sisters. I will praise you among all your people” (Hebrew 2:12). To keep on track, I ask myself often, “I’m I just going through the motions or am I seeking the great things of God and sharing it with others?”
3. Finally, I think it’s fundamental to rely on the supernatural Spirit of God. Ephesians 5:18 commands: “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.” When a person is filled with wine, what’s controlling them? Alcohol. When a person is filled with the Spirit, what’s controlling them? The Lord! Aren’t we always trying to control our own lives, and don’t we usually fail? And yet, God has provided a better way. He has given us a helper, the Holy Spirit. In Him, we have all the power, confidence, and strength we need for whatever comes our way.
You and I were never meant to go it alone. Therefore, before each day begins, I ask God to fill me with His Holy Spirit. Then, by faith, I thank Him that He is with me. Allowing God to guide our lives daily is the only way to lead a successful and thriving life of faith. So the next time pressures enter your life, return to the fundamentals of your faith and win the day!