James 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (NKJV)
Find out what God has to say. And change your life accordingly.
That could pretty much sum up the committed Christian life. Bible study that doesn’t change your life is just academic exercise. Prayer that doesn’t change your life is just a mental ritual. The Christian walk is dedicating our life to learning the Truth of God, and changing our life to agree with that Truth.
Today there is no end of Christian books, writing, teaching, programming and activity. We can “seminar” and “conference” ourselves into oblivion. There is no shortage of dynamic, captivating preacher and speakers. We are at all time high of leaving church “feeling good” about God. Is there a parallel rise in devoted, changed lives? Are we a holy nation, a separated righteous people? Are we confronted with the world, or conformed to the world?
We have a God who NEVER changes (Mal 3.6) but requires continual and constant change from us (Rom 12.2). Why? God is Perfection. We could live a thousand lifetimes of holiness and never comprehend perfect holiness in our everday reality. Only when we die and go into God’s presence will righteousness become our reality as well (Rom 8.30).
Every exposure to God,
should result in a change in our lives.
Each day our time with God should result in a CHANGE in our hearts and behavior. Every sermon we hear should move us to transform more into the image of our Lord. Every hymn sung, every praise lifted up, every verse memorized, every Sunday School attended… each exposure to God should be reason to reflect on our life and result in change.
Early in our Christian walk, the “changes” are more apparent and usually involve stopping one thing, and starting another. We quit bad habits, choose to speak differently or decide to act differently. As we mature spiritually and walk closer to God, those changes come more often in the form of adjectives: deeper sacrifice, greater holiness, stronger faith, more discipline, etc.
But “change” is always required no matter where we are in our walk. We will never be exactly like Christ during our pilgrimage in this sin-stained world. Everyday is opportunity to get a step closer. Every time we are touched by God’s word, enter into His presence in prayer, or exposed to His holiness in any way, it should change us to be more like His Son who is glorified by our transformation.
How can this be done? Not passively. You can’t just read the Bible, or a devotion, or attend a conference and have it magically transform you. You can’t hear a sermon or say a prayer and be changed into Christ’s likeness by default. It has to be an active desire and exercise on your part. Learn the habit of asking:
“Lord, how do you want to change me?”
Ask God to give you wisdom. He will (James 1.5). He will reveal His truth and how He wants it to change you. But you won’t know if you don’t ask (James 4.3). God’s Word always leads us to be more like Christ, but not by accident. Ask Him. Go ahead. Find out what God has to say, then change your life to fit.
O God, give us wisdom to know the Truth, and courage to change each time we discover it. Convict our hearts to be doers of Your Word and not just hearers. We ask you to answer our prayer to reveal what should change in our lives each time we are exposed to Your Glory. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Contemplation: When you study or pray, do you purposely try to apply it to your life? If exposure to God doesn’t change you, why doesn’t it?
Application: Learn to have a focus each day: find out the Truth of God; and change your life accordingly.
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
- What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?