I was reading my Bible in the car the other day & thought it sounded vaguely familiar. Turns out I had read the same 2 chapters earlier that morning in another version at home. I felt lame, realizing I had essentially glossed over the morning reading for whatever reason. It reminds me of the scripture in James 1:22-25 that talks about listening to the Word & not doing what it says... Its like looking in a mirror & forgetting what you look like. No wonder the "power of the Word" falls flat. If I can't even remember what I read, I can't do what it says.
James says "But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does". Huh. How often I gloss over the Word, speed reading through familiar stories & verses, able to recall generalities in my mind, but not so much the deeper application that can actually change me. I'll pat myself on the back for cracking open my Bible, but it seems to take more time than I've been willing to offer to really let that Word sink in & grab hold...
To get an idea what that word "intently" actually means, I went digging for some synonyms... "The man who looks attentively, closely, fixedly, hard, keenly, searchingly, sharply, steadily, watchfully, adamantly, constantly, decisively, doggedly, obstinately, perseveringly, persistently, purposefully, resolutely, staunchly, steadfastly, strictly, stubbornly, tenaciously, through thick and thin, unchangeably, unwaveringly, into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it— he will be blessed in what he does".
That sounds like a lot more work than 15 minutes worth of reading in the morning. But if I listen to this particular scripture & actually do what it says, something's gotta give. Change will occur. Application is the line in the sand, dividing the religion of Christianity from a living relationship with Christ... am I brave enough to cross over?