“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air.”
– 1 Corinthians 9:24-26
Most of what Paul says in these verses has to do with ‘self-discipline.’ But if you read it carefully you see that Paul is also talking about applying fundamentals. It doesn’t do any good spending countless hours training to run in the wrong techniques and build bad habits. If you want to win the prize, you must master the fundamentals of running! You have to avoid things like ‘over striding’ and ‘over-kicking,’ You have to avoid clenching your fists or tensing your face. You need to keep your upper-body at just the right angle. You must maintain a vertical head position. These are just a few of the many fundamentals a successful runner must learn. If a runner does not master these fundamentals, Paul says, “…they will run aimlessly…like a boxer beating the air.”
The importance of applying and mastering the fundamentals doesn’t just apply to sports, but also to education, career, and most importantly, our daily walk and relationship with Jesus. Each new little skill, every fundamental that we pick up, tips the playing field in our favor for that area of life. Adding up all of these over time gives us a huge edge over our opponents and any obstacles we may face.
Everyday in our Christian walk we are faced with an opponent who wants to defeat us and keep us from having success. The Bible tells us in Matthew 7:24-27 that we should want to build our foundation on rock and not sand. This is so that when we come up against the storms of life, the fundamentals that we have mastered in prayer, studying and memorizing scripture, and confessing the Word, we will defeat our opponent, the devil, every time!
Confession for today: “Lord, today, through the help of the Holy Spirit and by the power of the blood of Jesus, train me up in the fundamentals of prayer and confessing Your Word. Thank You that my skills and my foundation are built on the solid rock of Jesus. Thank You for the fundamentals to defeat my opponent, the devil, every time.”
Living for today,