Tuesday, July 27, 2004
I've been told that during World War II, (which, of course, I don't remember personally), that they gave American soldiers more than bullets just before they went into combat. They also gave them a chocolate bar. It makes sense, when you think about a sugar rush, when they need all the energy they could muster. So, maybe sugar's not all that bad. Of course, if you give it to a man just before he's about to go and lie on the couch for a hour - now that's bad. That's the funny thing about sugar. You eat it, you exercise - it's energy. You eat it and just lie there - it's fat.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Energy or Fat?"
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Joshua 1:8. We're looking at this because well, God has a lot of fat kids - because there's no converting of food into energy. When I say fat, I'm not talking about physical pounds. When I say conversion, I'm not talking about being born into God's family. Spiritually, too many of us are loading up on spiritual food, but not converting it into action. Joshua 1:8 - "Do not let this Book of the Law (that's the Bible) depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful." God says, I want you to meditate on this. That means, chew it like a cow chews their food over and over again. In the original Hebrew language, chew it until you're ready to digest it. He says, I want you to think about my words. I want you to talk about it. Don't let it depart from your mouth. And then He says, "All of this is so you will do something because of what you read."
You don't just study God's Word to know something. Every time you pick up this book, you're supposed to do something differently. Now most of us get a wonderful diet of Bible teaching. We feast on sermons, Bible study, and tapes, and books, and seminars, radio programs (whoops!). But you could have a notebook full of Bible notes, and a life that is strangely empty of any real change in your relationships, or your finances, very little change in your pet sin, or your attitude, your temper, your pride, your complaining. Why is it that North American Christians are so well fed, and yet, so spiritually powerless compared to third world Christians who have so much less? Could it be that we're just hearing it, filing it, and not applying it? Are we just letting it turn into spiritual fat? And people in situations where they have to put it immediately to work are living on it, living for it, living it!
See, we need exercise! That means that you study the Bible to find out what God is saying about a particular issue - and then, not to stop there, but to determine a specific act of obedience that He wants you to carry out this day. You keep a journal, you write down and process what He said to you, and then what you said to Him that you were going to do that day, because of what He said to you through His Word. Writing it down makes the abstract concrete. Then, it's right there in front of you. You're accountable.
When it comes to the Bible, we've got lots of information but not much application. We've stored all kinds of Bible information and it's turning to fat. But when you make it a daily discipline to put the verse to work, as soon as you consume it, well then like sugar, it turns into a rush of spiritual energy that will enable you to live more powerfully than you have ever lived before.