About the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and began teaching. 15 The Jews therefore marveled, saying, “How is it that this man has learning,when he has never studied?” 16 So Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. 17 If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority.  – John 7:14-17

Jesus stated a critical kingdom principle regarding how to know or understand God’s will; it is for the person who wants to do God’s will.

Effective discipleship is obedience-based, not just knowledge-based.

I love deep sound theology. I can easily get lost in books that address the depths of the Scriptures helping me to know the glory of God in ever increasing ways. However, I have to stop and ask myself after while, am I just reveling in my intellectual development (which is a fine thing, by the way) or am I seeking to know God and his will better? The key to the answer is, am I looking to do Gods will or am I only looking to increase my knowledge, which Paul says puffs up.

Real growth in Christ only comes to those who have a heart to do God’s will, or put another way, they have a heart to obey God’s word.

Here is a very simple tool to increase your effective personal discipleship. As you read a passage of Scripture during your devotional time, ask yourself the question, “Is there something in this passage that I need to obey?” If so, be specific about what you will do during the next few days as a matter of obedience to that truth in the Scriptures. I am confident that if you consistently take this approach to Scripture, you will discover that you not only understand Scripture much better, you will also observe significant growth in your maturity in Christ. Jesus did say that this is how it works in his kingdom. It is only for those who have a heart to do God’s will.