If we want to be strong, overcoming Christians, there is three things that is vital for our lives...Hear the Word, Apply the Word, and Keep the Word. A lot of people go to church, and listen to preachers, but still can't keep the victory over sin, depression or discouragement. Some read the Bible daily and pray, but still seem to be defeated at almost every turn....what is wrong?
The book of James tells us that if we hear the word but don't do (or keep) the Word, then we deceive our own selves. If we think we can go to church or read the Bible, then forget what we have just heard or read, and still have the joy and peace of God in our lives...then we certainly are deceived! Strength comes from joy, and joy comes from having the peace of God in our hearts...and this comes from liveing and practicing what we have read and heard of His Word.
In Luke 6:17,18 we read, "And He came down with them and stood in the plain, and the company of His disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judea and Jerusalem and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear Him, and to be healed of their diseases; and they that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed."
There is power in the Word of God for those who will hear and apply it to their lives...we are told that faith comes from hearing the Word of God, and by faith we attain the things we need from Him. But to hear with the ear only will not bring victory; if that were so we would be looking at a very different church...even a different world.
If to hear with the natural ear were enough think how many would have strength to resist the devil! Think of how many churches there are in America...look at the preachers on tv and radio; many sermons going out all the time, so why is there so much trouble, strife and confusion? Becuase we let the Word of God go in one ear and out the other...we need to let it detour to our hearts! Too many times we think the sermon is for someone else...we need to hear it...then apply it to our lives.
"Apply" in the Hebrew means 'to place', 'consider', or 'regard.' We need to place the words in our hearts....Psalms 119 said: "Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against Thee." And in Psalms 90:12 we read: "So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom."
When we hear the Words, we need to also hide them, apply them to our lives...we need to say "this message is for me...I can learn from it." Instead of thinking it was for someone else...or to simlpy not paying attention to it....or, as often is the case, just forgetting about it the minute we walk out the door of the Church!
After we hear the Word, and apply it to our lives, there is one thing more to do that will carry us over the victory line...keep it! How many times do we apply something to our lives for a day or two...then we forget about it! We need to hang on to what we have learned and keep on applying it....to keep means "to prevent from escaping." Too many times we let what we have learned escape by not meditating on it, or pondering it in our hearts...by not taking seriously the Word of God that we have just read or heard. God says what He means, and He means what He says...and there is nothing more important in our lives that to hear, apply and keep His Word in our hearts and lives!
Luke 8:8 says: "And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit a hunderdfold"...and in verse 15 James explains this verse..."But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the Word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience."
It's time for the church to grow up and be doers of the Word as well as preachers of the Word! Everyone wants to tell others how to live...Jesus said to clean out our own eyes first!!
This is a great key to living a victorious life!