The Power of ApplicationGod & Scripture
Proverbs 24:32 “I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw”
During my first year of Leadership Academy at Life Church, I developed a habit in my life where at the end of every day I would sit down and meditate on my day. It would always be a good time of prayer and reflection, as I would systematically go through my day, each encounter I had, each experience that came up…and I would be determined to learn something! I didn’t always get something everyday, so instead I would just read my Bible and be determined to learn something from that instead.
The greatest teacher in life is life itself.
I quickly realized that there is a lot to gain from simply reviewing my day, by applying my heart to what I observed, by learning a lesson from what I saw. I would write these thoughts and lessons down in my journal and look back on them many months and years later.
The power of meditation and application does not just apply to our practical lives but scripture also. I find that I get the most out of reading scripture when I stop and think about the verses I don’t understand. Often we get into the habit of simply turning over the page once we have read something, when perhaps we should stop for a moment to reflect on what we just read.
Scripture is like paint;
It’s value is in its application.
If you want to get more out of reading your Bible then you have to apply it! Rather than reading scripture blankly, try reading it whilst asking “What can I learn from this?” and “How can I apply this?“. The Bible is not meant to be ENTERTAINING, it’s meant to be USEFUL! So often we read it wanting it to entertain us and to make us laugh (and sometimes it does) but above all it is useful (for teaching, rebuking and training in righteousness, 2 Tim 3:16).
The same goes when listening to the sermon every Sunday. I have the habit of taking notes whilst the preacher is speaking, not necessarily to look back on them afterwards, but it helps me concentrate and apply what the preacher is saying. We don’t just need better teaching, we also need better listening!