One of the easiest traps for me, as a Christian to fall into is just nodding my head and agreeing that the word of God is good. Now, there’s no problem with that, except when we start just nodding and knowing, but not doing. We have to “practice what we preach”, as the old adage goes.
James says it like this:
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says” (James 1:22, NIV).
To hear the word is great. In fact, hearing is the first step in the biblical plan of salvation (Rom. 10:17). But, hearing is not all there is to it. Doing is the most important step. Christianity is an action based relationship with God. It’s not a data-based relationship. If all we had to do was correct the data going in, that’d be really easy. We could easily transform if that’s all it took. Sadly, it requires us putting what we know into action.
That’s the difference between knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge knows all the right things; all the dates, facts, solutions, problems, etc. But wisdom is applying that knowledge in a godly way to live a more Christ-like life. To help us grow more and more into the image of Jesus. That’s what “Christian” means. In it’s most simple form it means “Christ follower.” It’s obvious from the New Testament that Jesus was an action-oriented man. He didn’t just sit around spouting facts and Scriptures on correct doctrine. No! He showed correct doctrine by His actions and love for all people, regardless of race, religion, nationality, or economic status.
Jesus did not say “discuss me”; he said “follow me.” We do not make our terms with Christ; we surrender to His. We do not compromise with Christ; we submit to Christ. Christianity does not mean being interested in Jesus Christ; it means taking the same oath as princes take to a king or queen in a coronation ceremony and saying, “I am your servant of life and limb, and faith and truth will I bear to you against all other things.” Jesus didn’t say “sit in your pew, all ye who are weary and I will give you rest”; He said
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. for my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matt. 11”28-30, NIV).
Also, didn’t say “imagine the cost,” but rather, “count the cost” of following Him. It costs us all something, but to carry your cross implies getting up and doing it! It’s not about learning enough (but you should never stop learning about the Bible and God), but about taking what you’ve learned, no matter how small, and living it Monday through Saturday, not just Sunday morning for an hour or so.
James says in 4:17,
“Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.”
Again, it takes ACTION to do what the word tells us. So how are you doing at applying the Word to your life? Are you living Christ or just discussing Him. Remember, there is a huge difference in knowing God and knowing about God. This week, challenge yourself to do the word, live the life and walk the walk. Just something to think about.