Understanding and Applying God’s Word
It’s one thing to read and understand the Bible and another thing to do what it says.
The apostle James warns his Jewish audience that they are only deceiving themselves if they do not become doers of the Word. A person who does not do what the Word of God says is likened to a person who looks at a mirror then goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like (James 1:22–24). Sadly, many of us are like this person. We are merely readers and hearers of the Word, but not doers. But there are times that obeying what is written in the Bible is difficult to do, let alone to understand. What are we to do?
Let’s take a look at Psalm 119: 17–18 (ESV):
Deal bountifully with your servant, that I may live and keep your word.
Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.
In this verse we learn that the ability to understand the Word of God as well as the strength to apply it in our lives comes from the Lord. The psalmist acknowledges that, on his own, he is unable to completely grasp the greatness of God’s Word. He needs God, the author of the Scriptures, to give him the wisdom to understand and the ability to act in accordance with what is written in the Bible.
Alongside our desire and determination to live in accordance with the Word of God, we should learn to humble ourselves before God. We should acknowledge that we need inspiration and guidance to be able to know Him deeper, discern His will from His written Word, and to live it out daily. If we go at it on our own strength, we are like the Pharisees in Jesus’ time who only “know” the Word with their minds but not with their hearts.
The ability to understand and apply God’s Word comes from Him, as we humble ourselves before Him and let the Holy Spirit guide us as we read the Bible.
James Dela Cruz is a student at the International Graduate School of Leadership (IGSL) in Quezon City. He enjoys studying the Bible and teaching it to young people. He preaches regularly in his local church, the Lifegiver Christian Family Ministries, located at West Fairview, Quezon City.