July 1 – Back to the Basics

Read Proverbs 2:1-5

This past year I had my students write “how-to” paragraphs. They had to pick something they knew how to do, and write the steps needed to do the task. One particular seven year old wrote about playing baseball. He had just joined his first baseball team and was so excited to write all about what he knew after two weeks of practice, as if he knew everything now. He wrote about how to throw the ball correctly – step with your left foot, throw with your right arm. Next, he described the basics of hitting – when the pitcher throws the ball, you should swing the bat and hit the ball. (If only it was that easy!)  Finally, when you hit the ball, he explained you should run to first base as fast as you can. It was a simple explanation and he was exactly right with his instructions. A good ball player will remember to do the basics every time he plays. A good coach will bring a team back to the basics of a game when they get in a rut or experience a losing streak. The point is to remind the players to return to the simple things that work, those that are most effective and are key to playing well.

Do you ever feel stuck or as if you are falling behind in your walk with God? I know I have experienced that from time to time. I don’t stop believing in God, I just slow my pursuit of Him and let other relationships or commitments take precedence. When this happens, I need to recognize it and do something to get back on track.  I need to get back to the basics of my faith and start practicing the simple things that make my relationship with the Lord so valuable. We could all learn how to get back to the basics of our faith whether we are currently in a dry season or to have a plan for when those seasons come.

Just as in baseball, there are some basics to our faith. Proverbs 2: 1-5 teaches us to actively search for God’s wisdom–the basics of our faith, found in the Word of God. We need to spend time making sense of what we learn from that search, and then we need to live our lives according to the knowledge and understanding we find. Over the next several days, we will be learning about those basic truths that are foundational to our faith. Whether you are a rookie or a seasoned veteran of the faith, I hope you will read with an open heart and mind in order to solidify your faith foundation. The fundamentals of our faith are key to our everlasting relationship with Christ. While the ability to do simple things is not what earns us salvation, it does deepen our understanding of God. It helps us get to know the One who loves us so much He was willing to die for us. It helps us be able to extend that same grace to others. Having a firm handle on these basic truths prepares us to give an answer for the hope we have because of Christ.

As you finish reading today, take a minute to reflect on your own relationship with God. Are you in a rut or struggling to connect with God? Do you have a firm understanding of what you profess to believe? In a quiet moment of prayer, ask God to show you an area that needs a little tune-up or revival. Getting back to the basics will only make us all better.

Tammy Finney

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