Reading the bible without putting it into practice is like going into a gym without lifting the weights. You go in, see whats there, but leave unchanged. You become a spectator of the word of God rather than a participator. Spiritual fitness can never improve by spectating. It improves when the word is not only head knowledge but becomes heart knowledge. When what we know lies within our hearts instead of our heads it becomes a part of who we are. Once something becomes a part of who we are our character begins to transform. God is in the buisness of transformation, he is the master at shaping character and he can use whatever is necessary to do it.
Immerse: involve oneself deeply in a particular activity. Dictionary definition
What do you enjoy most in life? Anyone who enjoys something or someone will spend as much time with that person or doing that thing as they possibly can. Almost every person on the planet has a passion for something, whether for good or for bad, it then becomes a matter of how much we immerse in that passion.
The word immerse does not occur much in the bible, however the meaning of the word is throught all of it. In the old testament the Israelites were called to immerse themself in the commandments of God. Jesus was 100 percent immersed in the will of the father. Baptism means to be fully immersed in water, this identifying with the death of Jesus and the ressurrection when we come up out of it. These are just a few examples from scripture. What if the church was as immersed in God and his will as Jesus was? The church would be passionate to get out of bed and go to church. We would find it hard to go a day without telling someone about the hope in jesus. We as a church are not at this point yet. The ironic thing about the church of Christ is that it grows in the places where the gospel is most difficult to preach, it grows in the places where evil appears to reign. The reason? When we are faced with evil there is no longer a middle ground, you either immerse in the evil around you or you immerse in Christ. The western church can still stand on middle ground right now, but if one day we have to make the choice, I pray all of us would immerse in Christ.
How did Jesus do it? When Jesus came to earth he gave up all his divine privelages to identify with the human race. One thing he did not give up was his heavenly principles. He never lost sight of the eternal perspective, even when faced with the cross. Remember it was the joy beyond the cross that helped him endure and go through it Hebrews 12:2. It was his immersion with the father and heaven that gave him his daily strength. We have the same father, the same principles and we too trough Christ are going to Heaven. The difference is how much we allow these truths to guide our lives.
How much do we think of Heaven? CS Lewis said, ‘if we aim at Heaven we get earth thrown in, if we aim at earth we get neither’. Where are we aiming? When we begin to take on the principles of heaven, you know, love the Lord our God and our neighbour as ourself Matthew 22:27, 28, and do unto others what you would have them do to you Luke 6:31, things begin to change. This is not changes in a small way, these are huge changes that show the world who we belong to and where we are going to. It is atttractive to the un-churched world when they see christians take on these principles. This is what draws people to Christ, by the love that we have for each other John 13:35
So, what, or who are you immersing in today? Is it going to help change you and the world around you for better?
1 Timothy 4:15 practice these things, immerse yourslef in them, so that all may see your progress.