Today’s blog—prepared by a staff at Kairos Christian Church in San Diego, California—was first posted on July 7, 2013.
Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend
“Head Knowledge to Obedience—Now, that’s Wisdom”
James 1:23-25 (NIV)
Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
What is wisdom? Wisdom comes not in just the knowing, but in the doing. For many of us, the level of our knowledge has drastically outgrown the level of our obedience. We want to learn more about God. We want to learn about church history, the different theological camps of Christianity today, and the different doctrines and beliefs that people hold. We read books after books about God and we love to discuss with one another our beliefs and the latest articles we read on grace, freedom, or the love of God.
Now, don’t get me wrong; these aren’t bad things. But we must be careful not to leave our level of obedience stuck in the elementary level; we must grow in obedience as we grow in our knowledge of God. James says the people that just hear the word but don’t do it are like those who look in the mirror and after they’ve looked away, forget what they look like (James 1:23-25). How foolish that sounds! These people only hear the word, but their lives don’t reflect the obedience that should follow after hearing the word.
Imagine it like this: If I were to read a book on how to fly an airplane, hear several world class pilots speak about the challenges they overcame to become pilots, and even be really convicted about their experiences as a pilot, I would still not be considered a pilot. In the same way, the Christian life cannot just be reading books on how to be a Christian, or hearing people speak about their history with the Lord. It’s not even enough to be just convicted during a sermon. The Christian life requires obedience; it requires application. Your history with God cannot come from anybody else but yourself, and that history develops with a growing heart of obedience to the word of God.
Let’s face it. It’s easy to learn things and have ever-increasing head knowledge, but it is extremely difficult to obey God when he calls us to do something difficult. But praise be to God, who gives wisdom abundantly to his people who ask, so that we not only grow in our knowledge and understanding of God, but in obedience and wisdom as well. Ask the Lord for wisdom daily, and believe that he will give it generously to you.
Prayer: Lord, help me to avoid being enamored with merely accumulating knowledge and be a wise guy whom no one can stand. Help me to be a doer, an obedient servant to whatever has been revealed to me from your Word. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 46-47