Watching the March Madness college basketball tournament reminds me of the days when I played basketball. There was always excitement on game day, and a bit of nervousness too. When we would play in the opponent’s gym, sometimes they would have a rowdy crowd. When you’re shooting free throws, and the crowd is doing everything they can to disrupt you to make you miss, you rely on muscle memory to make the shot. Muscle memory is developed in practice when the fundamentals are poured into you and repeated over and over. You do the same routine over and over so your brain isn’t distracted by the craziness on game day. So, when you’re standing there on that line, you remember what you’ve been taught and practiced and make the shot.
In 2 Timothy 3, Paul let’s Timothy know that crazy, difficult days are ahead. He said, “People will be selfish, greedy, boastful, and conceited; they will be insulting, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, and irreligious; they will be unkind, merciless, slanderers, violent, and fierce; they will hate the good; they will be treacherous, reckless, and swollen with pride; they will love pleasure rather than God; they will hold to the outward form of our religion, but reject its real power. Keep away from such people” (2 Timothy 3:2-5 GNT). That sounds an awful lot like world we are living in now. There are so many distractions around us, and so many things trying to divide the Church. There’s pressure to leave the fundamentals of Christianity because it is opposed to all these things listed, which have been normalized. With all of this going on, it would be easy for us to miss the shot right in front of us. That’s why Paul told us what to do during these times.
In verse 14, he wrote, “But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you” (NLT). We must hold onto the eternal truth of God’s Word. While the world is trying to move the boundary markers of truth, we must hold fast to what is real truth. The fundamentals of faith are what we must hold tightly too and implement into our lives. Romans 12:2 reminds us not to conform to the culture of the world, but to continuously renew our minds. How do we renew our mind? By putting the truth of God’s Word into it daily so we can combat what the world is throwing at us. We are not to change God’s Word to fit into our culture. Instead, we are to be changed by God’s Word so that we stand out in this culture in order to lead people to Christ. We have a great opportunity to remain faith to God’s fundamentals.