Athlete, what is your response?
James 1:22 (NASB)
But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not just hearers who deceive themselves.
I met a young college student who had given his life to Christ a couple of years before we met. As we worked on some studies together, it was obvious that he had read extensively in the Scriptures and had a good grasp of theological issues.
He loved to talk to people about knowing God because he felt confident in defending Christianity. By all appearances, he was growing like a weed.
A problem soon became evident. So much of what he read, from the Bible to Christian books, had become academic.
Not much of his knowledge had traveled that long 12 inches from his brain to his heart. Very little spiritual growth showed up in his relationships, his personal moral life or his dependence on Jesus.
Number 2 effect on your growth – your response to biblical truths.
James 1:22 makes the point that when we just hear, but do not respond or apply that knowledge, we deceive ourselves. We deceive ourselves into thinking it is enough to just know the Bible. The more determined we are to apply the Scriptures, the more dynamic our walk with God becomes.
Throughout the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John), Jesus was interacting with both His disciples and the crowds. He constantly presented Himself as a decision between two options, becoming a fork (“Y”) in the road.
Jesus asks for a response. Will we obey the Scriptures or run with the culture? Will we take God’s way or our own way?
When we give our lives to Christ, one of His great gifts is the person of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit takes up residence in our lives the moment we surrender our lives to Him (Romans 8:9-11). One of His roles is to make the Scriptures understandable. He not only “turns the lights on,” He convicts us about responding to what we read.
God repeatedly brings us to a choice, a response. To ignore it is to deceive ourselves, and hinder our spiritual growth.
Today’s devotional is one of five this week on “Spiritual Growth” by Tom Petersburg.