Stop Reading, Start Applying
As Christians, we should constantly strive to grow in Christ … to grow in our spiritual maturity, always developing the Mind of Christ. Easier said than done. So how do you spiritually grow? We may hear great sermons, read some good books especially the Bible, listen to renowned pastors on the radio, read these Stepping Stones' devotionals daily … but then what? What kind of strategy or disciplines do you practice daily so you will actually grow and mature in your actions, not just build a great spiritual library in your head?
Unfortunately, many Christians believe the answer to growth is accumulating more spiritual knowledge. But real growth comes with the application of just a little knowledge, over and over. The first area of application needs to be getting to know and experience God. We should not confuse knowledge about Him with experientially knowing Him.
Many of you have learned about my wife Martine through past Stepping Stones. She is an outgoing, generous, and caring person. It’s fun to hang out with and talk to her. But no matter how much I increased your knowledge of her through my descriptions, even if I showed you home movies of her, you still wouldn’t know her experientially,. Only spending time interacting in person and sharing experiences with her will help you get to know and then grow with her.
Knowing God is so much more than storing facts about Him in your memory bank. You must spend time with Him to know Him. That is the bottom line. It doesn’t happen any other way. As you go through your daily life, bring God into those moments. Whether they are good or bad, bring God and His instructions, promises, and character into each situation. As you know Him, you will develop His perspective which opens an understanding of His instructions so much more clearly.
Today, begin the process of knowing your Lord by first trusting Him. When you are uncomfortable, alone, anxious, sad, overwhelmed, or frustrated … trust, meaning act as if they were true, His promises to you. Then you will experience Him acting in your life and will really get to know Him. You have to put yourself out there a bit, just as you do in human relationships when you are really trying to experience someone. Rely on your trust in Him, His promises, His character, and His teachings. You’ve accumulated knowledge of Him. Now is the time to apply it and act on it. Continue to live and communicate as if He is in your life, because He is! No matter what is happening, trusting Him then drawing close to Him are excellent ways to experience Him. Whether you just develop a bigger spiritual library of knowledge about God or you start applying some of that knowledge to enhance your life is your decision, so choose well!
Dear Father, You are such an awesome God. Who but You could be everywhere at all times? I am humbled and amazed that someone as great as You cares about every detail of my life. Help me, Lord, to keep You always before me. Help me to know more than facts about You. Let me experience You intimately. When I feel needy, Lord, help me run to You and not to other gods and things that I have used to replace You. Other things only give me temporary relief … and many times makes things so much worse. I pray this in the name of the One who knew me long ago, and still died for me, Jesus; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:16-19
He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:29-31