Only depending on the words spoken from the pulpit to help guide us into living for/in/through Christ, is similar to sitting at the table with a delicious meal before you but never tasting the dish. While there are awesome preachers/teachers in pulpits (I have sat up under some), you can only develop an intimate relationship with God by reading his Word for yourself.
If we have any knowledge at all, we know that we can never have all the knowledge about God, though he willingly gives us more as we seek more. It is the knowledge of him, the deeper understanding of him, that aids us in applying his word to our life. Reading the entire bible often instead of just snippets of it occasionally, opens the door for the Holy Spirit to teach us its application. This is how we learn to make the Bible the final answer in our decisions. Reading also brings clearer focus to the workings of God, decreasing our emotional response to world events, and replacing it with a better understanding of what God is doing spiritually.
Leaving your spiritual feeding and growth to outward sources creates an inward spiritual hunger we mistakenly try to feed from worldly menus. Attempting to live for Christ from another’s personal relationship with God causes spiritually malnutrition. This can leave us internally unsatisfied and prone to accept false biblical rhetoric. Such are the designs of the enemies of God to leave us weak and powerless in our faith. I speak boldly from the position of a silly woman (though it is not gender restricted) with souvenirs in areas where I fell as prey.
If you choose intentionally to forsake the reading and study of God’s Word regularly (including the application of it), you set yourself up to be deceived intentionally.
Therefore, take heed to the message given to Timothy, and relevant for all believers in Jesus Christ as found in 2 Timothy 3 (5-7) …
5 Having a form of godliness, (we have the appearance of reverencing God)
but denying the power thereof: (but we contradict the unlimited power of God)
from such turn away. (we are to avoid such)
6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, (these are they who move secretly, undetected into our lives-homes-presence)
and lead captive silly women laden with sins, (these make slaves of spiritually weak women (and men), who are loaded with many sins)
led away with divers lusts, (who are urged on by blind impulses into various desires, cravings, longings, forbidden by God)
7 Ever learning, (always listening, increasing in the (head) knowledge)
and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (never gain precise or correct knowledge or the ability to distinguish divine truth from falsehood as pertains to the things of holiness).