Hi all, hope we’re doing well?!
You may remember from my last post that I mentioned that I’ve challenged myself to read the Bible in 365 days; and as I’ve been doing so I’ve been finding myself getting spiritually stronger. It’s becoming easier to pray, and connect in prayer and I’ve been finding gems and knowledge.
One of the passages I read this week that really impacted me was Matthew 7. In this chapter, we see Jesus teaching his disciples and during the course of the teaching/lecture, he gets to verse 21 and says,
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Matthew 7:21 (NIV)
Now you may have heard this verse preached before but what stood out to me was the last sentence ‘… the one who does the will of my Father’. This struck me hard, the Kingdom of God is not in ‘talking’ but in ‘doing’. It made me think to myself; all the years I’ve been a Christian (not counting the years I’ve spent in church), all the sermons I’ve heard – of all these things, how many of them have I actually done and practiced? You may have heard it said that the magic is in the doing. Well, that’s what God is telling us here as well. It’s not just enough to hear. You must DO. This is further emphasised in verse 26 which says,
"But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand." Matthew 7:26 (NIV)
To keep hearing the word of God and not put them into practice is foolishness. For many years, I myself have been very foolish. The measure of the test of the Christian is in his action, his doing; going out in faith with action (remember that the Bible says faith without works is dead – James 2:17). To see true change in ourselves we have to put our knowledge to the test with actions. It’s in that situation where someone insults you that you have the privilege to exercise the Kingdom of God by doing – aka. by turning the other cheek (Matthew 5:39). I suppose this is why the Bible also says that we should rejoice when we face many tribulations because it produces perseverance (James 1:2-3). When we face tribulation, we have the opportunity to put what we’ve learnt into practice in real-time, and reap the benefits that come from this. Without the trial, how can perseverance be produced? How can we know what we’re capable of unless we’re put into a situation where we’re tested? How do we know how many energy drinks we can consume unless we’re faced with a tough deadline and an all-nighter (thumbs up to anyone who’s done this!).
And let’s not leave it at the spiritual aspect (we know that the word of God is applicable to every area of our lives). In the same way… how can we get results in our lives unless we do what needs to be done? Has anyone ever gotten a degree by just revising and not taking exams? Has anyone ever passed an exam by not taking the exam? Will Jeff Bezos have become the Jeff Bezos of today without getting up and creating Amazon (‘doing’)?
I think a lot of times we get caught up in the hoping and wishing. It’s sweet to close our eyes and daydream. It’s sweet to think and wish but it’s gruesome to work for that dream, to work to bring it to fruition. It’s easy to believe but it’s hard to ‘contend’ for our faith (Jude 3:3b). Even now that we’ve read this post, what are we going to do – will it remain stored as knowledge? Or will it be the catalyst to our doing? There are two choices here; choose one.
It’s hard to do but the benefits of doing are infinitely better than those of sitting back (God help us). This year, I’m being challenged to do; even after this I’m going to have to get up and do my daily dose of exercise and finish my devotional. Let’s not be discouraged. Even though we’re being challenged to do, we can be infinitely grateful to God for the Holy Spirit who helps us to do – to do even the will of the Father. And what’s better, the Holy Spirit isn’t just conscripted to our spiritual lives but to every part of our lives. Let’s utilise Him and pray (do) for His help and assistance even as we start to practice what we’ve heard and learnt.
Lord, I come to you today and commit these words to your hands. I pray for your help oh Lord even as I begin to put these words into practice. Help me oh Lord to want to manifest your Kingdom, to love you enough to do your will; and to love the vision you’ve given me enough to do and work to bring it to light with your help. Help me oh Lord. I pray for your empowerment Holy Spirit and I thank you that as I walk in step with the Holy Spirit that I will not just be a hearer but a doer of your word. Amen.