I grew up in church. My family went every time the doors were open. I don’t remember missing many Sunday’s either. We went to Sunday School each week, children’s church, Vacation Bible School at all the churches and kid’s camp. I even attended a Christian school. I grew up learning, studying and knowing the Bible. When I became an adult, I began to think that my knowledge was adequate and I didn’t need to study or read it as much. My church attendance became a habit instead of a desire. What was adequate quickly turned to arrogance. I didn’t realize that I was slipping away from God because I was relying on my head knowledge of Him. It didn’t take long before I started reaping the consequences of my actions and regret set in.
In Mark 10:17-27 a young man came running up to Jesus. He asked what all he needed to do in order to be saved. Jesus quoted several of the commandments and told him to obey them. The guy, like me, replied that he had been following them since he was young. Verse 21 says, “Jesus fixed his gaze upon the man, with tender love, and said to him, ‘Yet there is still one thing in you lacking. Go, sell all that you have and give the money to the poor. Then all of your treasure will be in heaven. After you’ve done this, come back and walk with me’” (TPT). The man walked away from Jesus in regret instead of with Him. He struggled, like many of us, in moving from a knowledge based obedience into a heartfelt obedience.
It’s good to have knowledge of God’s Word, but it’s more important that it gets into our heart. Psalm 119:11 says, “Your word I have treasured and stored in my heart, That I may not sin against You” (AMP). When we keep His Word in our heads, it can lead to arrogance and regret. When we keep it in our hearts, it keeps us from sinning against Him. Does your knowledge of the Bible and God give you justification for missing daily reading or prayer time? If so, it’s stored up in your head instead of your heart. Knowing about God and what He said is not the same as knowing God and hearing from Him. One leads to regret. The other leads to walking with Jesus as a disciple. When we walk with Him, we become more like Him.