“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” — Matthew 7:24-25
Becoming fundamentally sound doesn’t happen because you want it to or you know you need to. It takes a lot of hard work and practice. Just like footwork on defense or boxing out when rebounding, you must do the right thing the right way so often that eventually you don’t even have to think about it. You just do it. These elements become habits, ingrained in your mind like second nature, and begin to define your playing style for the world to see.
This same principle is true in any endeavor. The key to success is to become brilliant in the practice of the basics. To become spiritually successful — spiritually mature — is to become consistent in the practice of God’s Word. If you want emotional and spiritual stability in your personal life, you need the strong, sturdy foundation of living according to the Word of God (Matthew 7:24-25). Not only must you know what it says and understand what it means, but you must do what it says by applying it to every aspect of your life.
James 1:23-24 teaches us, “Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.”
Without applying God’s Word to your life, there can be no transformation. It’s like going through the motions at practice, and then forgetting everything that was taught and discussed. The next time you take the court when it counts, you play the same old way with the same old deficiencies and mistakes.
That doesn’t work in sports, and it does not work with God!
— Jerry Birch, Cleveland Cavaliers chaplain
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