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A couple of weeks ago I shared some observations from the book Point Man by Steve Farrar. The specific observation was dealing with Christians who are starving (anorexic) due to a lack of time spent in reading God’s Word and in prayer. Mr. Farrar also observes that there are Christians battling spiritual bulimia. Spiritually speaking, bulimia is the inconsistent reading or hearing of the Word without personal application. He goes on to explain that spiritual bulimia is an aversion to applying the Scripture to our personal life. Scriptural facts may be in our minds, but we’re not integrating them into our lives.

When people come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, they are spiritual infants, spiritually ignorant. We encourage Bible study and Bible classes so they may grow from spiritual ignorance to spiritual knowledge. But is that really what is intended for new converts? What we really want is for these individuals to grow in knowledge so they become obedient to God.

James describes spiritual bulimia, “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves” (Jas. 1:22). The goal is doing the Word of God, not just knowing. Jesus said the same on several occasions, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter” (Mt. 7:21). “If you love Me, you will keep (do) My commandments” (Jn. 14:15).

It is important that we spend time in the study of God’s Word. But it is even more important that we faithfully apply the Scriptures to our lives. When we begin to live a life of obedience, the world will begin to see lives committed to Christ. And it truly is a different type of life from the way of the world.

Characters throughout the Bible demonstrated their obedience to God. Daniel resolved in his heart to not defile himself with the king’s rich foods (Dan. 1:8). Abram was obedient to God being called to leave his homeland and go to a place he did not know (Gen. 12:1-4). By God’s command, he would later take his “only” son to be sacrificed (Gen. 22). Scripture describes Ezra as one who was obedient. “For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the Lord and to practice it, and to teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel (Ezra 7:10).

May we be the same as these great examples, not only hearing the Word, but being diligent to obey every word.

Paul Mowrer
Monticello church of Christ
Monticello, AR

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