During my college days I would take copious notes on the lectures that the professors would give, all in the hope that my understanding would be elevated to the point that, when the tests of comprehension would be given, I would earn the appropriate passing grade. I would say that the majority of times I would be successful, but the realization of that goal would carry a double edged sword. On one hand, I could regurgitate the correct answers; but at the same time, I did not fully understand its implications to life. In other words, I would recite the knowledge, but fail to comprehend its significance.
It is the same thing with Biblical truths. We can understand the basics of the Christian faith, but fail to apply them in our daily lives. We listen to the sermons the Pastor gives and even take notes on his “lectures.” We underline in our Bibles, and nod our heads signifying our understanding to the pronounced Truths. We grasp the reality of vertical truths, but fail to experience the horizontal evidence of those truths. We know that God has forgiven our sins through the blood of His Son, but we fail to grant forgiveness to those who have hurt us through their actions of words and deeds. We know about the peace that passes all understanding, but we fail to be that instrument of peace. We know that God is not a respecter of persons, but we gravitate to our “clicks” and stay within our peer groups. We know about the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but fail to utilize the fruit of the Spirit in our dealings with others. We know the importance of distributing God’s money back to Him through our weekly offerings, but fail to give to the needy in our own community. We know that God is aware of our needs and even our wants, but we fail to be aware of the needs of others.
It is one thing to acquire Biblical knowledge, but another thing to apply that truth. Over the years, I have seen the rise of spiritual gluttony, which is the acceptance of Spiritual Truth that has been absorbed by Believers, but failed to be applied outside of them. They go to their weekly services and absorb truth and get a “spiritual high” and then go home to their house of mirrors and bask in basics of fundamental truth.
Believers must realize it is not just by listening to the Word, but it is living the Word that matters. It is not just by knowing the Word; it is applying and sharing what we have learned. We are not here on this earth waiting for Heaven, but we are to share the love of God on our way to Heaven. Just because we know the addresses of Scripture, it doesn’t mean we know how to address the Scripture in our everyday lives. Learning and applying the Word of God is what generates not only knowledge, but wisdom, in our Christian journey. The next time you sit in the pew, don’t just listen to the message, but hear what God is saying. Listening is the first step in receiving the Word, while hearing the Word is the doorway to experiencing the Word. As Jesus said to the multitudes, He would say to us today, “…he who hath ears to hear, let him hear.” (Luke 8:8)
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