“Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God?” Mark 12:24
When the Sadducees were trying to test Jesus with all kinds of questions, their interrogation showed that they clearly did not know the scriptures, and yet they were the religious leaders of their day. Yikes! Jesus, the Son of God, received the most persecution from the elite, well-educated religious scholars of that time period but they did not recognize His identity. Do you know the Word well enough to not miss the mark if Jesus decided to come back today?
Know the Word.
Knowledge has different levels. Filling your head with book knowledge is different from knowing a friend. You can “know” the Word and recite scriptures to anyone who asks for a verse, but do you intimately “know” the Word as in having a deep relationship with Christ through obedience and faith? If you have obedience but lack faith, I dare say that you still don’t “know” the Word because part of walking with God is walking by faith. Faith is receiving the scriptures in your innermost being and actually believing in the truth of the Gospel.
Experience the power of God.
“That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:20-24
If you are looking for a bag of magic tricks, there is nothing grandiose or excessively ostentatious about following God. In this passage here, you can see that transformation is a process.
- Someone teaches you the Word of God.
- You hear it and put your faith in the truth of the scriptures.
- You put off your old self.
- Your attitude is made new.
- You put on the new self.
Notice that a change of attitude precedes “putting on the new self,” which is visible to everyone else. You have to change internally before you can project that externally. Nobody knows your attitude except you and God alone.
“Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” Romans 10:17
The Word changes you, but you have to meditate on it day and night. How long will it take for your attitude to change? In other words, how long does it take to form a habit? Contrary to the popular belief that it takes 21 days, researchers now say it takes 66 days to form a new habit. We have to consistently read the Word, allow our faith to grow, align our thoughts with the scriptures and discard any negative thoughts that are not congruent with God’s truth.
“Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.” – Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Say the Word Out Loud.
In the book, Words Can Change Your Brain, leading neuroscientist Dr. Andrew Newberg and Professor Mark R. Waldman of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles wrote, “A single word has the power to influence the expression of genes that regulate physical and emotional stress.” Their research shows that positive words build resilience in other regions of the brain and have a ripple effect in the rest of the body.
When you come across scriptures like Psalm 34:19 or Proverbs 24:16, say them out loud. There are plenty of golden nuggets in the bible that you can discover for yourself. Recite every promise of God so you can hear yourself saying it, and if you feel uncomfortable at first, it’s okay because it takes at least 66 days for a habit to become part of your character. Practice makes perfect. The biggest mountain we have to move is ourselves. Once you can move that, you can move any other mountain that stands in your way.
“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21
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