But the thing about all that easy access is it has led to an indolent Christianity. All though there is a surplus of resources for studying the Word, many Christians rarely open their Bible. The Bible in conjunction with the Holy Spirit should be our primary source of study. Rather than take in the healthy pure meat of the Bible, too many of us get the processed food of second hand teaching. We follow this preacher or that author, when we are supposed to follow Christ. We are supposed to keep the Gospel of Christ pure not sully it with our personal views. 1 Corinthians 3:1-3 reads,
“But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, 3 for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? 4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human?”
Many believers only read or hear the word when they are at a church service, hearing the pastor’s sermon. Or rather than read the Bible for ourselves they choose to read a book about the Bible or a book about living well that resources the Bible. Even many of our Bible Studies are actually studies of other books. The rest of the time, if they get any word at all, it is in bite-sized cookies covered in sugar and removed from the whole, sweet little encouraging Bible verses posted on social networks or given in a greeting card. Often time they are not even Bible verses but poplar phrases that many people come to believe as doctrine.
When God gave the law to the people of Israel He said in Deuteronomy 4:1-2
“And now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the rules that I am teaching you, and do them, that you may live, and go in and take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your fathers, is giving you. 2 You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you.”
Proverbs 30:5-6 say,
“Every word of God proves true;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
6 Do not add to his words,
lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.”
We are not supposed to add or take away anything from the Word of God. Doing either has dire consequences for the person taking only the parts she likes, the person adding what she thinks should be there as well as the person who hears and believes the lies.
The processed food of books about the Bible, and books that resource the Bible are okay once in a while if one is regularly in the Bible herself. If she knows the word, she can discern the additives and remain spiritually healthy. But if she doesn’t know the word for herself then she takes in all the additives and poisons along with the truth. Those poisons can twist the truth.
A spiritual diet made up only sugary nuggets leads a person to worship a false god, a god who would never give you more than you can handle, a god who will let you into heaven if your intentions are good, and a god who has doesn’t care if people follow his laws.
Our spiritual intake has to be made up primarily of the 100% pure whole Word of God with the Holy Spirit there to help us digest it and turn it to energy.
James 1:22-25 reads,
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”
Being people of action who actually execute and act on scripture is another thing we do not seem to see a great deal of in our spiritual fatness. In order to be doers of the word and not hearers only, we have to hear first. And to carry out what it says, we have to know what it says. There is someone else doing it, why should we? We’ll support this ministry or that by posting a picture to our Facebook page for an hour. We’ll proclaim Christ by clicking like on the latest Christian meme. But doing those things is not doing the word.
We live where most people, even the poorest eat and live better than the majority of the world, so we blind ourselves to the needs around us. We keep living in the bubble of Christian culture and think going to see all the Christian movies, listening to Christian music and spending time doing Christian activities with Christian friends is somehow being Christian. The Bible doesn’t tell us to be Christian, it says to live and walk like Jesus. It says to do what Jesus did. It says to keep the commandments, which means obeying them, which means acting. It says love one another as Jesus loved us. All those things take action.
1 John 2:3-6 reads,
“And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, 5 but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: 6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.”
We cannot become the mature strong Christians we were born to be without exercising our gifts or active walking and living of the Word. Hebrews 5:11-14 says it like this,
“About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, 13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. 14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.”
Maturity and Strength in Christ comes from Jesus giving His life for us allowing us to live for Him. That means we actually have to live for Him.
Romans 5:1-5 says,
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
We are truly blessed to have the rich offerings of so much spiritual nourishment around us. But we have to partake of the good stuff, the pure no sugar-added Word of God on a regular and frequent basis. We have to do what the Bible says, not just read about it, think about it and support the ones who do. In other words we have to eat right and exercise.