"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." James 1:22-24 (KJV)
If you have been following this blog for the past few weeks, you will be aware that we have been making our way through a discussion on my friend, MR. MAP. MR. MAP was an acronym that I created for my young sons to encourage them in their relationships with Jesus Christ. This week we will be discussing the importance of applying the Word of God.
A = Application.
It is possible to become familiar with the Word of God by proximity - that is through participating in a church culture and listening to sermons on a Sunday. However, a person demonstrates that the Word of God is authoritative by applying it to his or her life. Furthermore, the Power of God is experienced when we practice the principles outlined in Scripture.
The application of Scripture coincides with being a law-abiding citizen. Consider this: if we do not apply common traffic laws, we invite penalties and punishments. We will also create and contribute to a world of chaos and crisis. Similarly, if we refuse to apply the Word of God we will be destined for defeat.
One of the main obstructions in applying the Word of God is our obstinate disposition. When we are adamant in our indifference, we only apply what we qualify. One must realize that such a practice dismisses the Divine Authority in one’s life. Too many people who are occupying space in the church are only hearers and not doers. James admonition to believers highlights the futility of hearing and reading the Scriptures without application.
Early in my walk with the Lord, my loving but faithful and firm heavenly Father attended to my need in this area of application. He specifically wanted me to apply and practice forgiveness toward with my biological Dad because of absenteeism in my life. In the Scriptures, the Lord Jesus gave us the mandate of forgiveness. Supernaturally, it is a part of our spiritual DNA.
“For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14-15 (KJV)
I remember as a newborn in Christ, life took on new meaning and color. Absolute Truth was a reality and love was very real. I was basking in my newfound relationship with Jesus Christ, understanding that by faith I would enjoy forever forgiveness.
While I was entertaining this eternal reality in my heart and mind and considering the magnitude of forgiveness that was wonderfully mine, I could hear the words of my Lord say: “Did you forgive your father?”
I quickly responded. “Oh Lord, you know that was done right after I asked you to save me and forgive me of my sins.”
He directly said, “Not Matthew your stepfather but your biological father, Ray. I want you to forgive him just as I have forgiven you.”
My recollection of my biological father was that he was not a good man and that he abdicated his role of father in my life when I was very young. My faithful and true Lord wanted to deliver me from the deep-seated resentment and unforgiving spirit that I harbored in my heart towards my biological father. My reaction to my Lord’s instruction was unfortunately objectionable and overflowing with a river of rage. I resented the fact that my heavenly Father would tell me to do such a thing! I judged Him to be exceptionally wrong on this directive and I begin to excoriate his expectation of me.
After a spell of spewing the fowl and sickening sewage that was in my heart, the following statement from my Lord eviscerated my soul: “You said that you love Me more than anyone and anything.”
As the Word of God states “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy” (Proverbs 27:6). Dearly loved by God, what a friend we have in Jesus! My Lord was calling me out on the application of forgiveness! Instead of reading and hearing "forgive one another just as Christ has forgiven you," I had to die to self in order to apply this command! I am a witness to the power of application for liberation for the soul. Too many of you are incarcerated by an insidious and indignant attitude of unforgiveness. Your belligerent ball and chain of bitterness and contempt continues to cauterize your conscience. Obey and apply the Truth and you will immediately fly to victory! Again, application is directly attached to the authority in your life. Will your authority be the Word of God or your own fleshly feelings? The decision is yours to make.
For the Glory of God,