You can buy all the diet books you want. You can study them night and day. You can even go so far as to memorize them word for word. But if you are not willing to diet it isn’t going to do you one bit of good.
The same is true when it comes to God’s Word.
You can read it. You can pray about it. You can go to church and hear it Sunday after Sunday. You can come in for counseling from the Word. You can listen to it on Christian radio. You can talk about it with your friends. But if you are going to profit from it, you have to be willing to do what it says.
Sadly, many miss out on the blessing of Scripture because they aren’t really interested in doing that.
They are religious. They are at church every week. They hear the word. They nod their heads at all the right points on Sunday. But deep down, where no one else can see, their hearts are hard. Their minds are made up before they even come to Scripture. They are just going to do what they are going to do regardless of what Scripture says.
When the Scripture says something they don’t like, they either deny that it says that, ignore that it says that, or try to twist Scripture into saying something different than what it really says.
If you want to understand and benefit from your study of Scripture you must refuse to treat God’s Word like that. Instead you need to come to Scripture with the attitude of the Psalmist in Psalm 119:
“Teach me O Lord the way of your statutes, and I will keep it to the end.” (v.33) “Give me understanding, why?” “That I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart.” (v.34)
In other words, if you are going to profit from Scripture you have to come to the Word of God with a desire to do what it says. If you don’t have that desire when you come to God’s Word all you are doing is deluding yourself. You may read the Bible every day and listen intently to sermons from the Bible week after week but to quote James if you are not seeking to put what you learn into practice you are only “deceiving yourself.”
And that’s pretty sad.
It’s terrible to lie to someone else. It’s pathetic to lie to yourself.
Yet that’s exactly what many professing Christians are doing each and every time they study the Bible. They’re fooling themselves because they haven’t prepared themselves to benefit.
They don’t come to the Word to be changed by it.