We Need to Get Back to the Basics

Quite often, someone will come to me for personal help, thinking the answer to their struggle is a mysterious insight, a deep revelation that needs to be uncovered. While it is true that we need wisdom, revelation and divine insight to our battles, what we really need is quite simple.

We need to go back to the basics. The foundation needs to be revisited.

The Foundation is Everything

The Kingdom of God is built upon key foundations. They cannot be rushed through and must be continually revisited. Upon these foundations, the precepts of God and His ways are built. My wife and I call them the “everythings” because they are important in the beginning and must be cultivated all throughout life. They are subjects you never leave behind. 

We found that calling them the “everythings” reminds us to continually grow and mature in these areas; never thinking we have fully arrived. They need to be cultivated during our entire life and involve three major subjects that impact everything else: 

1. How you relate to God: receiving His love and grace; engaging a healing, fulfilling and growing relationship lifestyle with God. 

2. How you see yourself: seeing yourself the way God sees you. Cultivating an identity based on what God says about you. 

3. How you interact with the world around you: walking with fruitful, growing and maturing relationships.

These are three areas that cannot be rushed by. In fact, they are fundamental themes that are always impacting our lives.

The Difference Between Knowing and Actually Experiencing

So, let me get brutally honest. Many believers say they know about the love of God, but cannot honestly remember the last time they personally experienced that love. We sort of know what forgiveness is, yet we default to anger, gossip and resentment constantly. We hate being judged and condemned, yet we throw stones at people all the time. 

We all have struggles in our mental and emotional worlds, yet we find ways to cover them up. Our insecurities, jealousy issues and fears hide underneath a layer of shame that keeps us from experiencing the healing we were designed for. 

At the same time, we are tirelessly busy, with no end in sight. Yet we keep our lives filled with activities, most of which provide no life to the heart. For most, it seems better to fill in the spare moments of the day, so we don’t have to stop and face what’s really going on. The emptiness is too painful to face. 

Peace and joy are our birthright, but the majority of problems we are facing seem to steal our ability to experience it. Our relationships are strained and dysfunctional, but we don’t know how to move deeper into real and authentic connection. We’re motivated more by fear in most settings than we’d like to admit. 

In my journey of heart renovation, I felt God speak to me this thought: You need to live and dwell in the basics. Get back to the foundation. They are the everythings. 

Get Back to Getting Real with God

In the book of Revelation, Jesus handed out one of His most challenging rebukes to a church that had lost touch with an important foundational heart issue. Amidst all their achievements, riches and success they touted, our Lord called out something of value that was missing, an issue of the heart they needed to get awakened to. 

Even though the Laodicean church may have appeared to be successful, Jesus saw them headed for destruction, simply because they lost the importance of passionate heart connection. As a result, they accepted a lifestyle that made our Savior’s stomach turn. He called it lukewarmness. 

Things may look great on the outside. But the truth is, they tolerated a lifeless form of religiosity that kept them busy, but left them no longer heart connected. 

So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.
Revelation 3:16

A lifestyle that is lukewarm nauseates God, but it doesn’t seem to bother a lot of people. It is amazing how we can make peace with a life that is passionless; with little attention given to it. 

Lukewarmness puts us into a spiritual and emotional coma, yet on the outside, we can still go through the motions. Jesus’ words are calling us today to wake from our slumber and shake out the spiritual lukewarmness that has conditioned our hearts into a powerless life.  

When Jesus Tells You to Go Back to the Beginning

Jesus told another church that they had left the world of passionate heart love: 

Nevertheless, I have this against you, that you have left your first love.
Revelation 2:4

From the outside, the church of Ephesus had everything going on. They were the growing and productive body of believers. They manifested church success in so many ways. Yet at the same time, Jesus needed to address an issue of the heart. They left “first love” living. The foundation was cracked. 

So, the remedy that Jesus provided still echoes today. Go back. Get back to the precept you either forgot or skipped over. Turn and go back to the beginning. 

Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.
Revelation 2:5

Pretty strong words, but that’s what Jesus always delivers. He cuts past what most people focus on and He dives right into the heart, while loving you throughout it all with undying affection and grace. This strikes many in uncomfortable ways, because they are not used to being simultaneously loved and disciplined. Jesus is shaking our hearts for what matters most–a heart fully alive to Him. 

If you read through this exhortation and feel you need to do more tasks and engage more religious activity, you missed the entire point. Heart connection is not about performance, it’s about relationship cultivation, where you guard the value of receiving and living from the refreshment of loving connection with your Creator.

Heart Healing

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