“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” James 1:22
What is the goal of the Bible? Is it merely to acquire more knowledge about God? Is it just to know what God wants us to do? Or is it to saturate, permeate, and radically transform our very thoughts, desires, words, and actions?
Admittedly, I do not know much about cars or how to work on them. I know just enough to talk the lingo. Here’s what I do know, in almost every car is a transmission. Some transmissions are automatic and some are manual. Automatic transmissions shift gears without any thought from us. Manual transmissions take considerable thought, effort, and coordination on our part. The main purpose of a transmission is to take power that is directed one way and transmit it another. In other words, a transmission takes power from the engine and transmits it to the wheels.
With that in mind, there are many similarities in driving a manual transmission and in putting what we learn in the Bible into practice. Shifting takes thought on our part. It also takes stepping off the gas with our right foot, stepping on the clutch with our left, upshifting or downshifting, releasing the clutch, and pushing on the gas again. At first, this process is really “herky jerky.” It takes practice to get better at it. The power or engine for us is the word of God. The application of the Bible is transmitting that power into our lives. Biblical application is where the rubber meets the road.
The same could be said of applying the Bible. We must think about what God is saying in his word. There are bad habits that God wants us to stop doing. There are good habits that God want us to start doing. At first, it will take a lot of thought, but after investing some time at it, it will become smoother. It won’t be automatic, but it can be smoother.
Or an illustration used in the book of James relates God’s word to a mirror. “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.” James1:22-25.
So, how are you doing in regularly living out God’s word? How can you do better as you lean on and trust in God?
Let’s be people who listen to God and his word. After hearing from God, we need to focus on living it out. And lets trust God, His Spirit, and His word to apply and live out the following quote.
Apply yourself wholly to the Scriptures and apply the Scriptures wholly to yourself. J.A. Bengel
Feel free to comment below with questions or input.