James 1:22, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves”
A born-again believer in Jesus Christ who memorizes a lot of Scripture verses can remain spiritually ignorant, while a believer who can hardly remember a text but who applies what has been read is a spiritual giant by comparison. My brethren, there is a vast difference between knowing biblical facts, important as that is, and knowing God’s truth from experience. That’s why when we listen to a sermon, read a devotional message, or get a fresh insight from a book, we must practice what we have learned. Only then does God’s truth become a personal possession.
It has been told that when King Edward VI of England attended church, he stood as the Word of God was being read. He took notes and later studied them with great care. Throughout the week he diligently tried to apply them to his own life. Such an attentive response to truth is what the apostle James called for in the above referenced Scripture. A single revealed fact acted on is far more vital to our spiritual growth than a head full of lofty ideas about God our Creator.
God never wants us to become content with our knowledge of His precious and Eternal Word. He wants us to reach even higher plateaus of service and Christ likeness. The apostle Paul recognized this, for even though he was a godly man and accomplished much, he admitted that he still needed to advance in holiness (Philippians 3:12-14). God our heavenly Father longs to give us spiritual food, and He will satisfy our spiritual hunger as long as we study His Word, worship with others, listen to faithful Bible teachers, read literature with good spiritual content, be doers of what we have learned in His Word, and depending daily on Him.
If you’re a child of the King, don’t be satisfied with your spiritual knowledge. God doesn’t want you to stay that way. My brethren, if we refuse to mature in the knowledge of His Word, we will most assuredly suffer spiritual malnutrition. However, if we hunger for His Word and open our mouth wide, we can be assured that God will fill it. Do you feel you’ve reached a spiritual plateau in your knowledge and service for the Lord? If so, then look in the Scriptures and see if there is:
(1) A Biblical promise you haven’t claimed?
(2) A command you haven’t obeyed?
(3) Or a truth you have doubted?
New light is only given to those who are walking in the light they already have, and spiritual growth always occurs when doing follows hearing.
One step forward in obedience is worth years of study about it.