Imagine you have been given a brand new camera. A fancy one with all the latest technology available. It comes with a thick booklet of instructions. At this point, you have three options.
You can spend hours reading the manual, studying the terminology and how each function can be used to its greatest advantage. You can read the book until the pages are dog-eared. But if you never pick up the camera and start taking pictures how will you ever benefit from all your studying?
Another option is to pull the camera from the box and toss the instruction manual in the trash with the box and plastic wrap. You can snap dozens of pictures and maybe get a few decent shots but over all, you will never experience what your new camera is capable of because you never read the instructions.
Your last option is to open the box, remove the camera and open the manual. You read the instructions thoroughly and then practice what you’ve learned with the camera. Your pictures may not be all that great in the beginning but as you practice you improve and take some wonderful shots.
This scenario is based on two scriptural principles.
“But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.” – James 1:22 (NASB)
God wants us to apply what we learn as we study the scriptures. He has given us all we need to represent His kingdom but we need to be willing to act on what we learn and not just become well read.
“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who
does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15 (NASB)
The King James Version of this verse says, “study to show yourself approved.” It isn’t God’s plan for us to go running ahead, confident in our own abilities, without ever taking the time to learn His ways and to follow His leading.
To have the most productive and satisfying life requires learning and doing. Study God’s Word and then practice what you learn. And you might want to have your camera ready. You could capture some great moments!