You Need Something More than Studying God’s Word

I’m giving a shout out to diligent students of the Word. I have a critical announcement to make: You need something more than a thorough knowledge of Scripture!

During the darkest season of our marriage, my husband experienced a crisis of faith. He watched me consistently studying Scripture, but “knowing the Word and loving God” wasn’t impacting me when it came to how I treated him. I was one miserable woman to live with.

I had a serious problem. I wasn’t practicing reverence during those years.

“Reverence” may not be a word you use often, but it is a biblical word (check out Titus 2:3). Reverence is a heart action that we need when it comes to connecting the dots of Scripture. At the lowest point in our marriage, more than just studying God’s Word, I needed reverence.

Reverence for God is tied to the reverence of His Word—which directly impacts how I treat others.

Although I was in the Word, my husband didn’t see the Word affecting my behavior. My study invigorated me, gave me substantial head knowledge and doctrinal grounding . . . but there was still a major problem.

I wasn’t approaching God’s Word with the awe and humility it deserves.

I didn’t realize that reverence should be my heart posture when coming to the Word.

I didn’t realize that reverence for God should be my heart posture when relating to others.

I was approaching God’s Word as an academic student, but not as a needy child. That is a hazardous activity. When we profess to know God’s Word and yet, our actions are unaffected, we send a dangerous message to the watching world. We send the (false) message that the Word isn’t life changing. We send the message that God is not powerful.

I was doing that.

According to Titus 2:5 I was blaspheming the Word of God.

Do I have anyone’s attention out there? I’m not being melodramatic, this is serious business.

When we walk in God’s presence, it should have an obvious effect on our lives.

When I reverence God, I’ll reverence His communication with me. If I study Scripture without reverencing God, I can develop a flippant attitude. If I spend time in God’s Word and I’m rude to a coworker just moments later, that is a red flag indicating that I’m not reverencing God.

The nature and origin of Scripture is unlike any other piece of literature; it takes us directly into God’s presence—and that is where we should experience reverence.  

[box]“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness . . .” (2 Timothy 3:16)[/box]

I hope you didn’t run past that familiar verse too quickly. Did you notice the words: reproof and correction?

Tomorrow we’re going to continue this discussion and we’ll look at the important role those two words play. Today, would you consider how you are approaching God’s Word? Are you trembling? Does your reverence for God and His Word affect how you live?

Image courtesy of nuchylee/



  • Becky Arnold

    This is my testimony, too. Sadly, for years in my marriage I was just loading up on head knowledge, but my heart was unchanged and arrogant. Praise God for repentance and brokenness that He brought to my heart! It was a marriage changer for me. Thanks for this post. It’s beautifully written and puts into words what I was missing for many years.

  • Justin

    Well said Mrs. Wagner! I particularly like your comment about reverence for God being our heart’s posture when relating to others. Jesus clearly pointed this out when he gave the two greatest commandments (Matthew 22:36-40). This was a much needed reminder. Thanks for speaking truth!

  • Julie Musil

    Kimberly, thanks for this wonderful post. This deeper relationship with God is new to me, even though I was raised in the church. This part really spoke to me, “I didn’t realize that reverence for God should be my heart posture when relating to others.” We are His hands and feet, I’m now learning, and you’re right–it should be obvious to others. But that wasn’t always the case with me. I’m now seeking God in a way I never have before, and I’m becoming different from the inside out. It’s truly a wondrous thing.

  • MFT

    I am undone. Your message has gripped me tremendously. Kimberly, I have been on the anvil for quite some time. I will be meditating on what you said and letting the Lord to do His work, His way, and on His timing. I need Him to help me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this message. Continued blessings my dear sister in the Lord. You are loved and I am grateful you’re His instrument in my life. Thank you.

  • Leonor

    Thank you so much for this divine post! I
    Was praying this morning as I am taking a study for this summer. True woman 201
    And my heart was heavy, I prayed and pleaded to
    my Heavenly Father that this would be not just other study but to
    give me discernment and reverence for Him and his Word. That I may
    be changed, and increase in godliness not only in head knowledge.
    Grace and peace

  • Me Again

    At last, I understand the error in my ways. Reading the Word
    as an academic exercise and behaving the same way when someone
    would interrupt me, say something annoying, etc. I am ashamed.

    l am just like Kimberly used to be… a lack of Reverence
    for God.

    Kimberly, thank you for sharing your insights.

  • Kimberly Wagner

    You are welcome, Wilma ~

    And thank you for taking the time to stop in and leave a kind word here! 🙂

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, Becky ~

    Good to hear from you, friend! Thank you for sharing some of your story here. God’s mercy and transforming grace is truly amazing, isn’t it? I never tire hearing how He changes lives!

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, Justin ~

    Good to hear from you! Thank you for stopping in to leave such an encouraging comment. Hope all is well with you and your precious family. Keep spreading the gospel there in Atlanta! 🙂

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, MFT ~

    I am so thankful to hear that the Lord is at work in your life. He is gracious and kind and always ready to bring transformation as we surrender our will to His, and apply the truth of His Word to our lives by the grace and power His Spirit supplies!

    God bless ~

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, Julie ~

    I am so excited to hear how God is working in your life! Yes, the gracious transformation that God brings is truly a wondrous thing! Praying you continue pressing in to all He has for you! 🙂

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, Leonor ~

    I’m so glad you’re doing TW 201, that is a great study! May He grant your prayer request, it is one that will definitely bring Him glory!

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Thank you for leaving an honest response to this blog post! Praying God moves is us to deepen our love for Him coupled with a sacred reverence for Him!

    God Bless ~