Some of you might recall the idea of “Saturation Points” from high School chemistry.
A sponge would be the classic example. It can absorb only so much water and then simply can’t hold anymore, until some of it is released.
Our lives as followers of Jesus are similar.
With many Christians the saturation point has been reached when it comes to teaching.
We want to hear the latest podcasts or vodcasts by the best preachers, read the latest books by the best authors, attend the most popular seminars or conferences by the most dynamic presenters and follow the daily/weekly posts by the most insightful bloggers. But if we take all this in without doing much with it, we are going to get spiritual indigestion…not good for our health!
It may not mean we cannot hold any more, but it can mean that we have received so much that it doesn’t mean anything anymore…we are bloated and satiated…numb to the transformational power of truth. What was intended to be transforming is now simply informing.
The release valve for us is twofold:
If we don’t apply what we are receiving it becomes knowledge for knowledge’s sake.
Paul refers to some people as, “Always learning and never able to come to an understanding of the truth.” 2 Timothy 3:7; knowledge without understanding, personal application, personal transformation. We must honestly ask ourselves (especially leaders) if getting more biblical truth and teaching has become an idol.
Have we confused the means with the end? The end that the Lord has in mind for us is gospel transformation, not simply, and only, more and more knowledge.
James speaks to this issue in James 1: 23, 25 “Be doers of the word, and not hearers, deceiving yourselves. He will be blessed in his doing.” Jesus shares a similar truth in John 13:17, “ If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” The blessing is not in the hearing or receiving, but in the doing.
It is too easy to equate spiritual maturity with how much we know, instead of how much is being applied through the Holy Spirit, and how much we are changing as a result.
I have said for years that Leaders need to be life-long learners. I have not gone far enough. Not only life-long learners but life-long doers.
In Ezra 7:10 we have a wonderfully insightful truth and process, “For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel.”
- Set (or discipline) my heart
Even if we move from knowledge to transformation, there is yet another step. Share with others what God is showing me. Someone has said that you really only understand something when you can teach it to someone else.
I can share it with my family, my friends & coworkers as well as those who don’t yet know Jesus.
A mind-expanding thought doesn’t become a life-changing one until it becomes reality in my life.
The best teaching you’ve heard recently is the teaching you’re applying right now. Real teaching is teaching that (by His grace), works it’s way into my mind heart, will, mouth, hands and feet!
My constant prayer when I am receiving truth is, “Change my heart Oh God”, not fill my mind Oh God!