But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves (James 1:22 NKJV)
Friend to Friend
How many times were the words, “Because I said so!” spoken to you by a parent? I was determined to never say those words to our children. Of course, I failed to keep that commitment.
But I do remember the first time those words slipped out of my mouth! I was shocked. My next thought was how many times has God spoken those words to me?
Hearing the truth is only half the battle. Obeying the truth is where the real battle begins.
Jesus taught about this very thing in the parable of the soils. He compares those who hear the truth but do not act on it as follows:
“When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away” (Matthew 13:19-21 NIV).
But if we don’t apply it, that word from God only lasts a short time in our lives. When trouble comes, we go right back to being the same way we were before we heard God speak.
It is not hearing from God that changes our lives. It is applying what we hear from God that changes our lives.
When God speaks to us and gives us new truth, we need to ask ourselves what our next step will be.
What am I going to do about the truth God has given me?
How am I going to apply that truth?
There is a valuable reason James gives us this amazing challenge:
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 1:22 NKJV).
Remember how God commanded the Israelites to march around the walls of Jericho for seven long days? On the seventh day, the walls would fall.
I’ve often thought, What if I’d been one of those people marching around the walls for seven days? Some of them must have been looking at those walls, getting more and more worried and wondering how God could ever bring them down.
But a lot of those people had faith. Every day they looked at the walls and not only thought about what God could do, but also what He would do … and thanked Him in advance … and they kept marching in faith.
I have learned that the most powerful way to remain faithful to God is to hear and do what He commands us to do in His word. It really is simple, but costly. It will cost us our agenda, our pride, our will … our lives and everything we are. But what a great exchange!
Father, help me to be a doer of Your Word and not just a hearer. Forgive my lack of faith to obey You when it doesn’t make sense to me. I want to believe. Help my unbelief, Lord. Give me a love for Your Word and the strength to step out in faith.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
What is one thing that you know God has told you to do that you haven’t done because it doesn’t make sense to you? What do you think God is saying to you today?
More from the Girlfriends
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“It’s not hearing from God that changes our lives. It’s applying what we hear from God that changes our lives.” Wow. God has really been working with me the last year or so on the issue of obedience. And, yes, obedience to God can be costly….”it will cost our agenda, our pride, our will…” but it is so worth it! I love your reference to the Israelites marching around the wall for 7 days. God could have taken down that wall with a single word, but chose to use the Israelites’ obedience to strengthen their faith. How many times have I missed seeing what God can do because I didn’t obey what He has told me to do because it didn’t make sense to me or it would have cost me something I wasn’t willing to lose. Mary, thank you for this wonderful devotion.
Susan, thank you for your kind words. I am so glad God used the devotion in your life. I pray you will find His presence and power at work in your life as you seek Him. Blessings!
Thank you for this devotional ~ absolutely in step with what God wants me to hear right now. Susan, I have been in a similar situation. God gave me a word last summer, and I kind of followed, but have not entirely obeyed Him ~ and I’m ashamed to admit that. He is speaking to me very directly again on this matter, and this time it’s about obeying Him. Thank you for solidifying the message, I will be bookmarking this one 🙂 May God bless you and keep you