I once read about a highly successful fitness expert, Bill Phillips, whose training helped many people improve their health and their stamina. Yet he was always amazed at the numbers of out-of-shape people who would approach him and thank him for his books. It’s as if they didn’t realize that he could tell at a glance that they were not implementing his ideas. He began to challenge people to “face the abyss,” that infinite chasm between knowing and doing.
Our western society has become a “spectator society.” We watch our teams win, and we think we have accomplished something. We watch news and our favorite TV series, and we trick ourselves into thinking we are in on the action.
Now let’s move our concentration to the church. We can watch and listen as ministers preach and teach. We can agree with everything they say, and even study the Word for ourselves, but never have the necessary change come to our lives.. The change never comes from what we know. It comes from what we do with what we know.
Jesus said that the difference between the sheep and the goats was that the sheep did what they knew to do. (Matt. 35:31ff) He also said that those who built their houses on the rock were those who heard the Word and did it.(Matt. 7:24) Then the book of James says that the man who hears the Word and doesn’t do it, is like a man who looks at himself in the mirror and turns away, not knowing the kind of man he is (James 1:23). His life will not be successful.
This is a lesson for all of us. I’m sure that all of us are sometimes guilty of knowing more than we do. In recent months, we have been talking about revival – a great awakening – but talk alone won’t get the job done. We need prayer and more prayer. We need to share and encourage one another. We need to witness to the lost. We need to help new believers as they discover their new life in Him.
There is much for us to do! I hope you will join me in asking God to show us the chasms in our lives – the gaps between what we know and what we do. Then let’s face the abyss and cross it! Let’s purpose to be God’s doers in the earth.
David said he could “run through a troop and leap over a wall.” I’m sure that with God’s help we can leap over the abyss to accomplish His purposes in the earth. He’s there to give us the wisdom and strength we need. Let’s do it!