“Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” — James 1:22
Stay On Track
A rookie on the team made every chapel and team Bible study in training camp. He and his fiancée rarely missed the couples’ Bible study during the season. The player and I met weekly to talk about growing in Christ. There was one problem — this couple chose to live together before marriage. It led to conversations about being out of step with God’s design for their marriage.
At the end of the season, I asked if he would give me one more shot at persuading him to honor God in their relationship by living separately and without sex until their wedding. We talked through several passages forbidding pre-marital sex, but he left town unwilling to change course.
Five months later, he returned for training camp, just a week after his wedding. As I walked into the locker room, he grabbed me and blurted out, “We did it! When we left for the offseason, we split up our living arrangement until the wedding. Not only was the wedding the best day ever, the Scriptures have come alive as never before. It is like you turned the lights on!”
James 1:22 says hearing without doing leads to deception. My young friend thought he was doing well spiritually, but he was deceived by his disobedience. He couldn’t see how his moral disobedience had kept one foot on the brakes in his walk with God. When he chose obedience, his walk with God took off.
Obedience is a relational issue with God, not just a bunch of do’s and don’ts. Picking and choosing what to obey takes us off the track, pulling us away from God and missing His best for us.
It is impossible to run well when we live in defiance to His Word. Obedience kicks our pursuit of God into another gear.
— Tom Petersburg, Catapult Ministries
If you would like to submit a reader devotional, please email all submissions to