When I was much younger, I played sports. One of the things that an athlete has to do is to execute the basic technique of his position. Simple things really such as how to stand or where to put your feet. After many repetitions, these basic things become second nature and no longer require thought. However, when a bad habit forms to take one away from the basic principles of the game, he has to recalibrate the basics. For instance, my favorite team in American football has recently had some issues with tackling. It is the most basic function of the game of football. Yet these professionals sometimes loose track in their great skills of strength, agility, and speed to execute the fundamentals of tackling and fail to stop players upon initial contact. Sometimes the professionals become distracted by the statistics and the achievements or even the next contract. But if they execute the fundamentals, these things will take care of themselves.
Hebrews 6:1 “Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death and of faith in God, instruction about cleansing rites, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God permitting, we will do so.”
A great example of muscle memory is that of typing. Once you have mastered the art of typing you do not have to think about where the keys are located. You think the letter or word and it appears on the page. Your fingers and mind flawless execute the act of typing. Ok, admittedly there is always that one key right? But the majority of the keys are easy.
If we keep having to revisit the basics of our faith we are like the legend of myth where the titan repeatedly had to push the boulder to the top of the mountain only for it to roll back down. This process is frustrating and counter-productive.
As leaders tasked with the objective of bringing believers to maturity, we must lay a foundation in ourselves and others that can be flawlessly executed with regard to our call, vision, and task at hand. A “single eye” of focus that is laser guided by God’s Spirit and our discipline. Paul the Apostle at Athens wrestled with the minds of the philosophers. He was not very successful in Athens on laying a foundation for a church. At this point Paul had a turning point in his ministry. He decided to not debate the message of the cross, but to demonstrate the power of the Gospel and to preach the word with flawless execution. There is no time for arguments. There is no time for tireless debates with the unbelieving over matters of faith or with believers over the nonessential things. These things are distractions.
So back to the basics. Pray for people. Lay hands on people. Speak the Word of God into the lives of people. Reach out to the desperate. Make disciples. Invest in people. Plow, plant, water, nourish, and God will reap the harvest. Do not be weary with well doing. Do not neglect the Word or the Spirit. Do what God is directing in your Spirit. Do not worry about the statistics or numbers. Go. Be. If we execute the principles, the stats will take care of themselves.
If we flawlessly execute the basics of our faith without distraction, we will not only find ourselves at the top of the mountain with the boulder, but we will be over the crest and running to keep up with the boulder that is now bounding down other side. Remember the acronym Kiss. Keep It Simple Saints.
I pray this is an encouraging word as intended.
Albert – “To win for the Lamb, The rewards of His suffering”