One day you decide you want to set sail and live your life on the sea, so you inquire about it and a benefactor provides you with all you would need for a sailing journey as well as all the latest books on sailing right there in the harbor. It belongs to you and is all you need to be a sailor. It is now your responsibility to sail to the destination the benefactor chooses. What would you do? There are a few options you would have in this situation. I am going to look at 4 types of "sailors" that could come out of this situation.
The first sailor is the unwise sailor. This sailor sees all that is in front of him and he is excited and enthusiastic. He figures he will put the boat in the water and just see what happens. It can't be that difficult to sail, he has been equipped with all he needs now he just has to jump in there and get going. He has watched others and read books about people who sail so he is certain he is prepared. He wonders later why he has never left the harbor or why he is flung on the rocks and stranded. He is unable to reach his destination.
The second sailor is the one who gets the books and reads and reads and studies. He can tell you about prevailing winds and tides and the stars for navigation. He is very well versed on how to hoist the main sail and how to captain a sailing ship safely. The only thing is he never actually unhooks the boat from the dock and sails. He sits in the harbor very proud of all his information and yet he has not reached his destination.
The third sailor is the one who decides he does not need to study and he really accepts the fact that he can't push away from the dock so he tried to hire someone to do it for him. He is from a long line of distinguished sailors if he can't get family he will get a friend. He has friends and he knows people who are so amazing at sailing and he will just get them to do it. It would be effective to get him to the destination. As he tries to contact friends and family who could sail for him he discovers that they all have their own ships to sail and they can't do it for him. He is left on the dock feeling rejected and unable to reach his destination.
The fourth sailor is the one who studies, seeks information but applies what he learns. He knows about hoisting the sail and pushing away from the dock he may move slowly as he learns and works simultaneously; but he is getting some where. He has fellow sailors he sees along the way who help instruct him and who encourage him on his journey. He is not too proud to ask questions and seek answers. He is a fruitful sailor because he is actually prepared and planned and began the journey that the benefactor planned for him. .
You might ask, "How does this apply to Bible Study?" Read the following passage from 2 Peter 1:2-8 (NASB) and I will explain the analogy in the next installment.
"Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord ; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in yur faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Holding Fast and Pressing On,