Studying “for Living”  instead of “for Knowing”

​And I set my mind to seek and explore by [man’s] wisdom all [human activity] that has been done under heaven. It is a miserable business and a burdensome task which God has given the sons of men with which to be busy and distressed. – ECCLESIASTES 1:13 AMP

Practical science, math, physics, chemistry, biology, history, social studies, art – I could go on for hours just naming the various areas of study in which man, by man’s own wisdom,  examines the world and examines each other. One could dedicate their whole lives to study and education,  earning many titles and honors and placards – but what good is study if not applied? Does it do anything but inflate their own imaginations if this knowledge does not produce any benefit or result in their life or offer any useful product that aids his fellow man? 

If a man studies natural science and learns about all kinds of animals but when removed from his books and his many writings — still picks up the poisonous snake that bites him, and he dies from the bite — how miserable, burdensome, and useless was his task? 
If a man is a great mathematician, knowing how to solve complex equations, but when removed from his chalk and chalk board or from his pencil and pen he doesn’t understand the application of this knowledge to his finances and finds himself destitute and in great need — how miserable, burdensome, and useless was his task? 

But even moreso, if a man is a great theologian,  who studies and recites and preaches upon the wonders of God – but who never knows God, who never sees God alive in his every day, who never lives a life walking in spirit and not in flesh — how truly horrible an existence could this be? 

Or a pew warmer that never steps into the calling and purpose that God has for their lives — that never takes hold of the teaching that leads us to a personal, abiding,  active relationship with Almighty God through our faith and hope found in Jesus Christ — how burdensome and miserable to sit through repeated empty religious pomp and ceremony that they have not yet seen past?

Without vision, without purpose, without direction, the people perish – and they perish from a lack of wisdom and understanding. Understand your purpose today, Christian. His call is the same as it ever was. Believe and follow. Draw close to Him and He will draw close to you. Resist, evil,  see it flee,  and watch Him step in and overflow into every crevice of your life, even into every heart that you touch with your service and your sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ. 

Rest in Him, and you will, “Arise and Go!” not in burdensome work but in grateful response. If any of it looks to others like sacrifice and burden, tell them it just isn’t so, and show them how much of a joy it is to share in the ministry of Jesus Christ. 

No matter any apparent cost, the prize is greater, because everything here is dust – whether we have much or little, let us be sure that we don’t just study Christ, but that “He lives, He lives inside my heart!”

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