I was recently reading a book by Pastor Bill Johnson called "The Supernatural Power of a Transformed Mind". It put into words something I've been feeling, and trying to express for years now.
I've actually had moments where I said "I don't want any more sermons or teaching without an opportunity to serve or my head is going to explode". I've also confessed that I feel as if there is a huge gap between what I know & believe theologically, and what I actually walk out in my Christian life. This has been a very frustrating realization, but I've not known what to do about it.
Then, I found this book...let me share some excerpts from this eye opening Chapter entitled "Understanding Is An Experience":
We must require an experience from what we believe. Renewing the mind is not merely reading words on a page and having a moment of revelation about a particular verse...renewal comes as revelation leads you into a new experience with God...You may have a moment of inspiration while reading the Bible or listening to someone preach from the Scriptures, but without taking the next step into experience, the process stalls and there is no renewal. If revelation doesn't bring us into an encounter with God, it only makes us religious. Revelation is never given to increase head knowledge, that's a by-product, at best.
When God reveals things to us, we must put those things to work. If we don't, we lose the power & opportunity that revelation offers us (Matthew 13:19)
Example: Let's say I (Pastor Bill Johnson) speak to my church about caring for the poor, something we love to do. People all across the room may be moved in their emotions. But if they don't do something practical within the next two or three weeks - perhaps finding a poor family to help out, or volunteering at a soup kitchen, then that word is open to be taken from the heart, where it has the place to transform their lives. Revelation takes us only half way there; experience leads us all the way.
The great tragedy is that if you don't move into experience, that revelation remains locked in your mind so you think it's active in your life. the next time you hear a message about helping the poor you might say "Amen. The other people in this room need to hear that," even though you have done nothing to help the poor. Hearing without doing has locked you into a form without power.
There are great audiences, great crowds of people, great denominations and movements that would fight to the death to defend divine healing, or prophecy, or many other practices, but they never see those things happen. They think, "I understand the concept. I agree that it happens. If it's God's will, He knows my address and He can give me that grace." They have the revelation but can't point to any proof of its validity in their personal experience. They can't show anyone how to do it. They are robbed of experience and can only recite back principles. It is pure religion, form without power.
I totally recommend this book - it's good stuff. Such a timely message, as just the other day I cried out to God saying "Lord, please make me a doer of the word, and not just a hearer!"
Read James 1:21-27 where it talks about faith without deeds is not really faith. In vs. 22 it says if we are hearers only, we are deceiving ourselves! In comparison, in vs. 25 it says if we'll be doers & not just hearers, we'll be blessed in whatever we do!
In Hebrews 5:14 says "But solid food belongs to those who are mature, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good & evil." The phrase "by reason of use" is better translated, "by practicing" - meaning that people who are mature in Christ are those who have experienced & practice the things they believe.
After having read all of the above, the Scriptures & Bill Johnson's book, and after having felt frustrated by my own powerless walk with God - feeling like I'm all talk and no walk, even though my heart is in the right place...I've come to this conclusion...
I am going to put myself out there and take risks...my own "walk on water" experience like Peter. It's time to get out of the boat. Whatever I believe theologically, I won't stop until I know it experientially.