- Michael Sitko
After being out of law enforcement for nearly a decade now, I recently decided to get back into target & competition shooting, which used to be one of my favourite pastimes. Having spent the majority of my time in those years serving on the immediate response team, I got accustomed to the rigors of disciplining myself to the training regimen required to keep up the skills required for the job. These included regular officer safety, use of force training and marksmanship skills.
As I began my return to shooting sports I noticed that over time, my edge seemed to have slipped away somewhere. Very quickly I came to realize just how valuable and necessary those years of regular training were to the quality of my marksmanship skills. Fortunately having taught and mentored many shooters over the years I knew how to get back the edge I once had.
There are a few basic and fundamental principles that go into becoming a successful marksman:
- - Grip & Stance
- - Sight Alignment
- - Controlled Breathing
- - Trigger Control
As I began to refocus on these basics and to discipline myself in the practice of each principle I began to notice my skills quickly begin to recover.
It really is no different for us in our walk with Christ, there are some simple basics to our faith that have the ability, if utilized, to help us to sharpen and hone the practice of our faith and maintain a strong faith. Those disciplines are what I like to call the A, B, C's of faith:
- - Aligning with Him
- - Biblical Infusion
- - Currency to the King
Let me explain what I mean.
Aligning with Him. The prayer life of a disciple of Jesus Christ is the life line that maintains our intimacy and heart to heart connection with God. When our prayer life is regular, consistent and healthy, our whole life seems to buzz with a synergy and life force that keeps everything flowing. The Holy Spirit is the most encouraging, loving and kind person I've ever had the privilege to know. God designed us for relationship and the highest and greatest source of life that He designed us to experience is in our relationship with Him.
Sadly many believers today miss out on this life giving source of relationship with God due to a lack of teaching and mentoring in the church, imparting to new believers the knowledge of how to successfully connect with God and hear His voice.
Biblical Infusion. This is one of my favourite areas. When you live from the place of engaging with the Holy Spirit through cultivating a prayer life, the Bible literally comes to life and becomes a inner dialogue with God as you read and engage it. Jesus told His disciples that when the Holy Spirit comes He would be their teacher and would remind them of everything Jesus said.
Reading the Bible and exposing ourselves to great teachers and preachers who expound upon the truths of the scriptures are an immense source of strength, life and wisdom. The Word of God is filled with wisdom on every aspect of life. Many of the most successful business principles used by entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 companies today to build successful and thriving businesses come directly from the Bible.
Currency to the King. Finally we come down to one of the topics Jesus spent more time on then any other during His ministry, how we use the earthly treasure that He gives us to steward. As Jesus Himself said "where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." The practice of bringing our tithes & offerings to the Lord is a matter of simple obedience. It is a mighty declaration into the spiritual realm of His Lordship over our lives and it literally acts a "No Trespassing" sign in the spirit realm to the devil.
It seems nearly weekly, I talk with another Christian who is in financial hardship or facing obstacles in their finances or family life that they have trouble overcoming. One of the first questions I ask them is "Do you practice the principle of giving tithes & offerings?" The answer almost every time goes something like this, "Well I'd like to but we just can't afford it, once we start getting ahead and have the extra cash then we plan on tithing." Tithes and offerings are the investment & insurance plans of Gods kingdom. The Lord specifically designed the principles of the tithe & offerings to bring increase, blessing and protection of your assets & family into your life.
God warned the nation of Israel that if they failed to bring their tithes in to the Lord that the devourer would have a lawful right of access to their business and to their family. Many believers today mistakenly believe that tithing comes from the old covenant and that the principle was done away with at the cross but Jesus made it clear to the Pharisees when He rebuked them for their religious mindsets that the tithe was God's and should be returned to Him. Even the Apostle Paul taught the principles of the tithe to the early church and writings from the early church fathers found in books like the Didache teach upon the New Testament principle of the practice of giving tithes and offerings.
In short whether it’s enjoying a sport or enjoying the fullness that comes from a life devoted to being a disciple of Jesus Christ the basics can be ignored but only at the peril of your success in what you do.
If you find yourself not bringing your "A" Game to the table of life why not try going back to the basics like I did and see if you can't put the disciplines in place that will lead to a truly transformed life and success in all that you set your hand to.