Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11
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I had been in a auto accident that changed my life completely. I lived with constant pain, anxiety, fear, PTSD, depression, my eyesight, constant headaches and anger. I now walk in God's grace and happiness and joy in my heart. .... Read More...

Seeds of the Kingdom

Basic Training

by Peter Brokaar

No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8, NLT

For the first time in a few years, I have set my eyes again on doing another running race. This means I need to start training again. As I am starting my training, I am reminded of a basic principle, which feels slightly counter-intuitive. It is that the vast majority of training for a long race should be done at a low instead of a high intensity.

For any long distance running, it is important to lay a solid aerobic base. This means doing long, slow runs. It can sometimes feel that, during these super slow runs, you are not improving much. Yet experts say that about 80% of all training should be done at this level. The remaining 20% consists of more dynamic forms of training: speed work, strength training, hill repeats, and the like. Doing these more intensive training activities, you feel as if you’re really improving super-fast. The temptation then can be to do too much of the exciting stuff, and not enough of the somewhat boring slogs. But the problem is that, if you do this, you will soon plateau. Amazingly, too much high intensity training becomes counter-productive.

Relating this to our Christian walk, you might be striving for progress, training yourself, and seeking to reach new goals. That’s good, as goals motivate us towards growth. And the Bible certainly urges us to do all we can to lay hold of the prize God has for us in eternity. But I felt reminded that, even in this, we should be paying attention to the basics, instead of majoring on what’s exciting to us.

For example, we might feel most excited about using the gifts of the Spirit, or about doing front-line mission work. That’s great! But what’s the foundation we do this on? The groundwork for our walk with Christ should be in the everyday Bible reading, quiet personal reflection, and times spent in prayer and worship.

If we ignore the basics of discipleship, and overemphasise the active and exciting things, we will eventually run into trouble. Yes, we might be using our giftings and have lots of amazing experiences. But we will find that our character, unanchored in personal relationship with Christ, unyielded to the Lord, not ready to die to self, will trip us up.

Thankfully it’s not an ‘either-or’ proposition. We can have both. But just as in my running I won’t be able to sustain a programme of intense workouts without having that solid aerobic base, we also won’t be able to do lots of exciting things in the Kingdom of God without that solid foundation laid in the humdrum of daily life.

Peter Brokaar is Director of Ellel Ministries Scotland and has been there together with his wife Liz since 2005. They have 3 kids, all born in Scotland! In his free time he likes reading, cooking, running and surfing. Being at Ellel Scotland has given him the privilege of getting to know God deeper and sharing that joy with many others.

 

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