I believe that the vast majority of us desire to give our all to Jesus. I believe we want to lay it all on the line and say "Jesus, use me". I believe we are sincere in our desire to love him with all that we are. But I also believe we are lousy with the application of that desire. We have the emotion of it, we feel it, but we don't know how and we get distracted so easily. Because of it, we are falling into traps and we are getting ourselves in trouble. We have to accept that there is some work to this. In order to live by the Word we have to know the Word. To know the Word we need to be meditating on it. After meditating on it, so we have a good understanding through the Spirit, we apply it.
The first words Matthew records Jesus saying are:
“It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:4)
We have already considered Joshua 1:8 several times:
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
Meditate on it so that you know what you are suppose to do. Jesus says that we live according to the Word. You notice that to Joshua was given the promise that if he lived by the Word it would result in prosperity and success. There was no greater general than Joshua. Even David did not accomplish what Joshua did.
Considering this I want to point out one possible reason why many Christian are finding it hard to push forward. There are many reasons and most of them come down to Christians not knowing the Word just as Yahweh warned us:
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Because you have rejected knowledge,
I also will reject you from being priest for Me;
Because you have forgotten the law of your God,
I also will forget your children. (Hosea 4:6)
We are being destroyed as a result of our lack of knowledge. Allow me to give you this one example.
Do you know that tithes and offerings are not an invention of the Church or of some greedy pastor who wants your money? Do you know that the children of Adam and Eve tithed? Do you know that Abraham tithed? Do you know that these people lived long before Moses brought in the Law? Do you know that there are people today who teach that because we are no longer under the Law that we do not have to tithe? Do you know that these people are cursed of Yahweh? They are being destroyed because of lack of knowledge.
In Malachi chapter three we find Yahweh trying to turn his people back to him. They are in ignorance, not evening knowing how they are offending him. He tells them that they are stealing from him. How are they stealing from him?
You are robbing me of the offerings and of the ten percent that belongs to me. (v. 8)
In fact, he tells them that because they are failing to bring in their full tithe and their voluntary contributions, the whole nation is under a curse. The lack of tithes was an indication of their heart condition. Tithing is a response of love. It is not part of some religious system but a response to Father's love for us. Lack of tithe shows a disregard of that love and reveals an ungrateful heart. Do you know there are always promises for obedience to the Words of Yahweh:
Bring the entire ten percent into the storehouse, so there will be food in my house. Then I will open the windows of heaven and flood you with blessing after blessing. (v. 10)
Christians should understand that their tithes and offerings are like "food in the Lord's house", the Body of Christ. It enables the work of the Church to go forward. Some people want to act like Yahweh and dictate how their tithes and offerings are used, however, these gifts of love belong to Yahweh and he will take care of them. If there are abuses he will deal with it. Are we really saying that the Lord is incapable of looking after what belongs to him?
No, we only need be concerned with walking in obedience. If you continue reading this passage you will see that Yahweh promises protection and prosperity to those who obey. This is the Word of God. Jesus says we are to live by it. The passage also says that we will be so blessed that nations will look at us and call us blessed. Why are we so stuck on money that we are willing to be under the curse instead of walking in the sweetness of obedience?
This is only one thing out of the entire Word that is causing us to be destroyed because of our lack of knowledge of the Word. There are no short cuts. There is no getting around it. You need to take a good chunk of time every day to be reading, hearing, meditating, memorizing the Word and then applying it every single moment of your days. We live by every word that comes from the mouth of Yahweh and it is by doing so that we move forward in our spiritual growth.