The often overlooked component of Bible study is “practice”. Practice is defined as the application of what you believe. Practice improves and strengthens our ability to live out God’s best for our lives.
Athletes don’t become great by reading about their sport…they practice. We can’t train for a marathon by reading a how-to article…we have to actually run. Living God’s best for us requires practice, too.
God’s purpose for the lives of His children stretch much farther than we can ever imagine. If someone offered you a bag of blessings would you decline the offer? Would you say, “No thanks, I prefer not to be blessed.”? Of course not! However that’s exactly what we do when we don’t practice a life of obedience to God’s Word.
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. ~James 1:22
Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. ~John 13:17
So why don’t we practice?
- Change is hard. It requires that we humbly admit that we’ve been doing it wrong and there’s a better way.
- We have a wrong view of the Bible. We look at God’s word as poetic an inspiring rather than as truth to be obeyed.
- Results aren’t immediate. I love quick results but lasting change takes time.
- We trust our own ways over God’s ways. In other words, we think we know better.
- We’re waiting on our feelings. We don’t “feel” like forgiving. We don’t “feel” like being kind to someone who’s hurt us. Feelings can lead us down a path of disobedience. I would never go to the gym if I waited to “feel” like going.
- It’s easy to think that our situation is unique and the Word of God cannot be applied.
Keep this in mind…
- God’s ways are higher than our ways. In other words, God’s way is better because He knows better.
- Obedience leads to blessing. Jesus himself points out- blessing follows obedience according to John 13:17.
- The Christian life is a marathon, not a sprint. The Christian life requires living out truth daily, moment by moment.
- God is always with you and He has given you a Helper (His Holy Spirit).
- God’s grace is sufficient.
The most often overlooked component of Bible study is practicing the truth that you’ve learned in daily life. God’s Word is very clear- practicing (obeying) His Word leads to blessing. Don’t buy into the lies that will keep you from practicing truth moment by moment. Remember that God’s ways are better than our way of doing things. Put the profound truth that you learn into practice and watch the blessings flow.