Friday, March 11, 2016

The Fundamentals

The Fundamentals

We recently all gathered around the TV to watch the Super Bowl time so nothing like a good sports metaphor to get us going.  When we look at successful athletes, one thing they tend to have in common is a focus on the fundamentals.  Executing the fundamentals with excellence is a precursor to being a champion.  Ignoring the fundamentals causes preventable mistakes that lead to losing.  The worst losses are those that are 100% avoidable.  I’d like to look at an area that is absolutely essential to us having victory in the life God has called us to.

Proverbs 7:22-23

All at once he followed her
    like an ox going to the slaughter,
like a deer stepping into a noose
23     till an arrow pierces his liver,
like a bird darting into a snare,
    little knowing it will cost him his life.

Things to think about:

  • There is a famous story about Coach John Wooden of UCLA that tells of how the very first thing he did on the very first day of practice every year was reviewing how to put on your socks correctly and how to properly tie your shoes.  Didn’t matter if you were a freshman or a senior, everyone went through the drill together
    • why do you think he would take the time to go over something so elementary?
  • Proverbs 7 is about avoiding the trap of adultery.  Solomon gives us a very stern warning as to what will happen if we do not pay attention to the moral fundamentals of avoiding any contact with a woman who could lead us astray. The chapter ends saying that many are her victims, mighty is the throng of men who have fallen victim to her.
  • As I look at it, there are essentially four characteristics of the man who fails in the area of moral purity
    • Ignoring the truth you have been taught
    • Going to places that might be fertile ground for failure 
    • Stopping and listening to the full invitation that leads to a fall
    • Being impulsive
  • When we look for a man who won this battle,  we can learn from Joseph (Genesis 39)
    • Joseph knew the truth and practiced it
    • He couldn’t avoid the temptation because it was at his place of employment
    • He would not listen to Potiphar’s wife’s solicitations
    • He ran before his hormones gave him bad advice!
  • The truth of the matter is we are all stupid enough to fall victim to this temptation if we ignore the fundamentals
    • I believe there is a great danger in not holding on tightly to the truth we all know in this area
    • In most cases we can choose to stay away from people and situations that could be a trap for us
    • We definitely have a choice as to whether we listen or encourage inappropriate conversations, flirtations, etc.
    • We always have a choice as to whether to stay or leave a compromising situation
  • So let’s:
    • write God’s commands on the tablets of our heart
    • stay away from places/websites that could lead us astray
    • refusing to entertain persuasive and seductive words/pictures
    • run for your life!

I hope you can come to practice tomorrow and reconfirm your commitment to remain pure and win this important victory

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