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2022 Discipleship Series: Application Is Essential

The Word of God is a gift to us all. In times of trouble, it is a comfort. In battle, it is both a sword and a shield. In times of unspeakable joy, it is the words we need. God’s Scriptures allow us to learn more about the character of God and grow in knowledge. In time, we discover that growing in the Word requires us to apply it to our lives. This application of God’s Word and our subsequent growth reminds me of a story.

My youngest son loves anything with fine motor skills. He’s two and anything that he can line up, stack, snap, weave, or roll with his fingers has him intrigued. One of his recent gifts was a peg and block toy. It has various shapes (triangles, circles, rectangles, and squares) and each shape has a set number of holes and will only fit in the corresponding pegs. For example, the circles all have one hole and will fit in the area with just one peg to stack. The rectangles have two holes each, and will fit in the board with two pegs, and so on. He adores this toy and can sit for quite a while stacking and restacking the shapes on the pegs.

However, it took him a while to grasp the concept of the shapes only truly fitting with their designed pegs. For instance, while the rectangle has two peg holes, it will technically fit (or at least one side of it) with the one peg for the circle. The peg only holds one hole of the rectangle block, so you can in theory stack them. But the stack wobbles back and forth, and not all the blocks will stay due to the uneven leveling. Then this leaves the problem of the circle blocks – where can they go? They won’t fit in the space designed with two pegs for the rectangles, because there isn’t enough space to use even one of the pegs. So, after hours of practice and play, my son began to understand that the shapes all had a place and if he wanted to stack all the blocks on the board, they had to stack in just the right spot and order. Without that concept, the board wouldn’t fit all the pieces it was designed to hold.

This idea reminds us of how we ought to apply the Word of God in our lives. The Word needs to be foremost. When it comes first, we find that the rest of life falls into place around it. While we can try it for a while, it’s only so long we can get away with cramming in the scriptures where we feel we can. Doing so denies ourselves true wisdom and peace that can only come from growth. We must invest the time in the Word to make it first.

The Word also needs to be correctly applied ─ the right words in the wrong place and time can leave little room for growing and building to reach that higher level of understanding. Our foundation may wobble, or we may end up with missing pieces that just won’t fit. When we’ve applied the scriptures correctly, we find that they fit and build on each other. This requires self-reflection and application, even when it’s uncomfortable.

If we want the Word of God to truly be a part of our lives, let’s take the risk of shuffling things around if they aren’t where they should be. Let’s be willing to move other things around to make room for the Word. With the Word as the foundation, we’ll be able to correctly apply it and grow in wisdom and understanding. With time and conscious effort to apply God’s Word, we can grow and watch the pieces fit as He intended.

by Heidi Looney

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