How do you apply the Bible to your daily life, especially when life is painful or confusing? Check out these five practical tips for living Biblically in a modern world…
One of my biggest struggles with some church sermons and daily devotions for Christians is their lack of applicability. For instance, my devotion today was that God responds to our needs, and we belong because our heavenly Father called us into His holy family. We are competent because God has sent His Holy Spirit to indwell and empower us.
But what does that mean? How does it change my life and who I am? Why is it important that I learn this about God?
5 Practical Ways to Apply the Bible to Your Life
These ideas are just that: ideas. They may or may not work for you – and they may not be applicable in all circumstances. If you have other ways to apply Biblical teaching to your daily life, please tell me below! I’d love to hear from you.
1. Learn why applying the Bible to daily life is so difficult. In Why Applying Scripture Is So Tough, Rick Warren says, “Satan fights application. He fights it viciously. The devil’s strongest attacks are going to come in your quiet time when you’re trying to apply what you’ve studied. Satan knows that as long as you’re content with merely hearing the Word or reading the Word, you are not much of a threat to his plans. But as soon as you get serious about making changes in your life, he’s going to fight you tooth and nail because he hates doers of the Word.”
2. Remember that spirituality goes deeper than what we see and hear. One of my biggest weaknesses as a Christian is that I don’t pay much attention to spiritual warfare or attacks from Satan. I dismiss the devil – and this gives him power. When I fret about hearing sermons and reading devotions that don’t give me practical ways to apply the Bible to my life, I am playing into Satan’s hand. I am giving him the tools he needs to keep me away from God.
3. Connect a Biblical teaching to a specific circumstance. Let’s work with my devotion today. It encourages us to remember that God responds to our needs, and we belong to Him. Instead of wrestling with how vague it is, I could try to apply it to something I’m struggling with right now. For instance, I’m working on my MSW (Master’s of Social Work) at UBC in Vancouver, and I don’t have a practicum placement yet. I want to practice being a social worker outside of Vancouver, but don’t have any possibilities yet. Does God know this? Yes. Will He respond to my need? YES! It does make me feel better to apply the Bible to my life this way – in faith and confidence.
If you struggle with your finances, read How to Use Spiritual Power to Stop Spending Money.
4. Talk to other Christians about applying the Bible to daily life. After you hear a sermon, talk about it! Don’t just make lunch plans or rush off to the rest of your Sunday. Ask people what they do when they hear theoretical, theological stuff like: “God responds to our needs, and we belong because our heavenly Father called us into His holy family. We are competent because God has sent His Holy Spirit to indwell and empower us.” How do they apply Biblical teaching to their lives?
5. Go deeper into Biblical application. A wonderful book about applying the Bible to your life is The Handbook of Bible Application by Tyndale. It allows readers to look up specific life problems (eg, productivity, assumptions, bitterness, etc) and get the Biblical references. It’s a great way to apply the Bible to daily life, though it is a bit theoretical. There are less practical tips (eg, how to deal with an angry spouse) and more philosophical ones (eg, how to deal with the problem of evil).
Another excellent – perhaps more practical – book on Bible application is Cross Talk: Where Life and Scripture Meet by Michael R. Emlet. I haven’t read it, but the Amazon reviews are excellent.
“Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.” – Philippians 4:9.
What do you think about these practical ways to apply the Bible to your life? I welcome your comments below…
Here are six practical tips for applying spirituality (not Biblical teaching) to your life: How to Find Inner Peace.