Put That Knowledge To Work

During our devotion time last night, Jason and I were reading from Oswald Chamber's book, My Utmost for His Highest.  Unlike many of his short devotions, this particular one was so straightforward and to the point that it really left no room for discussion.  The focus of the message was clear:  it's not enough to know to do good; we must put that knowledge in action.  The only thing I could think to say at the conclusion of the reading was that I was surprised he didn't use Philippians 4:9 as one of his keys verses:  Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.  Jason agreed, and we carried on with our devotions and prayer time.

This morning, as I did my personal devotions, guess what verse I came across.  Yep, you guessed it--Philippians 4:9.  I laughed and sent Jason a text with the verse and the sentence, "Sound familiar?"  He sent back a smiley face.  God was doing it again.  He was using multiple sources to drive home a singular point.  But as I pondered the verse this morning, I felt a bit like Princess Mia in the Princess Diaries where she says, "The concept is grasped; the execution is a little elusive."

I understand the verse.  I know what it says and what it means.  It makes perfect sense to me.  However, carrying out that particular order sometimes seems very difficult, and for the life of me, I can't figure out why.  I guess it's the flesh.  I want to serve God.  I want to do the things He's taught me to do and avoid the things He's told me to avoid.  Yet when faced with certain circumstances, I make the wrong choice.  I choose the chocolate cake over the fruit or the soda over water.  I choose the easy way instead of the right way.  I choose my feelings over what I know to be true.  I choose anger instead of forgiveness, bitterness over goodness and selfishness over selflessness.  I know better.  I really do.  But still I make the wrong choice.  Fortunately, God's still working on me and helping me to do those things I need to do.

May I remind you today that it's not enough to know what's right; we must also do what's right.  Knowledge is great, but unless we put it into practice, it's pretty much worthless.  I know it isn't easy, but with God all things are possible.  We can do this in His strength.  We need only be willing.

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. - James 1:22-25