Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Why No Success?

Common occurrence: a Christian is stuck in a life-dominating sin and finds change difficult, almost impossible. Fellow believers tell that person to spend more time in the Word, but success still seems elusive.

I'm one of those believers who would encourage more time in the Word of God. I believe it is "powerful to work in those who believe" (I Thessalonians 2:13).

But why do people quickly become discontent with the work involved in using the Word? Why don't we see more people “getting well?”

In the Bible we have effective medication in hand, but our failure to use it properly renders it practically useless. Here’s how:

1. Not Taking a Big Enough Dosage.  We take the Word of God in bite size chunks as if we were merely snacking in anticipation of something better. We should be “Bible-loading” as if we were running a marathon.

Colossians 3:16 – “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly!”

Psalm 119:97 – “Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day!”

2. Not Taking the Prescription Consistently. The Bible teaches us to focus every day on the Word. We are to make daily and hourly investments if we are to win the battle. A small helping at the start of the day is just that -- a good start. But if we are going to fight a battle we need fuel for each moment!

Psalm 1:2 – “His delight is in the law of the Lord and on his law he meditates day and night.”

Psalm 119:9-11 – “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”

3. Not Applying the Dosage Directly. If we had a particular wound, we would bind it, stitch it up, and apply medication to it directly. So with the Word of God. It addresses our specific need. We must be honest and seek direct answers and applications for our situation rather than thinking a broad sweep of biblical content will solely meet the need. In other words, if you are embracing sin while gaining a comprehensive knowledge of biblical prophecy, I would suggest you're off focus.

II Timothy 3:16-17 – “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every god work.”

I Corinthians 11:31 – “But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged.”

4. Not Being Sick Enough of Being Sick. Remember the tax collector in Luke 18:9-14. He beat his breast pleading with God or mercy.

5. Not Allowing Time for the Regimen to Take Root. If we have established behavior through habit, should we expect it to drop without a prolonged battle?

II Corinthians 3:18 – “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” Change is progressive!

If I truly believe the Word of God is His ordained weapon for winning battles and moving forward, I should stop putting it aside! I should cease searching for other inept tools that carry no promise of success.