Recently we listened to a series of messages on 1 Peter by Dr. John Shuler. As we were looking at 1 Peter 1:13-17, he reminded us of a few very important points. First, because Christ has blessed us abundantly, there must be an outcome in our lives! We must do something so that we can move from these imputed blessings to the actual outcome that God has for us. God wants mature children, not a bunch of babies that are to be spoon-fed and carried around in swaddling clothes. But the only way that we can mature is to put into practice what we have already “learned.”
It is a fact that too often we think we’ve learned something, but we have only given it cognitive assent. When Sarah encouraged a local believing lady to read a passage over again and think it through, her response was, “But I already read it.” Yes, but was she practicing it? “I have already read it,” or “We’ve heard that one already,” are not valid arguments if we aren’t applying what we read!
C.S. Lewis once said that, “Learning to obey Jesus is the key to discipleship.” If we aren’t doing what we already “know”, then we aren’t obeying Jesus. If we aren’t obeying Jesus we aren’t good disciples and we’re not maturing. And if we aren’t good disciples, there’s no way we’ll reach the outcomes God has for us. Learning more won’t help here. Going to Sunday School or seminary or a seminar on praying won’t help. Doing it in the face of difficulty, persevering through struggles – and they will come, because the Enemy does not want us to persevere – is what will bring us to maturity.
Dr. Shuler pointed out that, “We must learn to obey Jesus in little things. If we don’t, we will not accomplish the things He has purposed for us.” Am I really obeying Jesus in the little things? Or am I just skating along, apprehending more, puffing up my head and being a pretend disciple who will fail when difficulties come?