I received a Scriptural slap to the face earlier last week as I was going through the book of James. A lie that I have bought into was brought to the surface. Ashamedly, it is a lie that I far too often love to believe.
Verse 22 of chapter 1 says that Christians are supposed to “be doers of the word, and not hearers only” or we are “deceiving ourselves.”
What’s that saying? It’s saying whenever I begin to think that studying God is equal to serving God and that learning about God is equal to living for God, it’s because I’ve chosen to believe a lie. I’ve bought into the lie that the real mark of a Christian is someone who sits with their eyes open during a Sunday sermon. It’s the lie that says I’m meeting the Christian status quo because I can tell you something I learned in my devotions this week. It’s a lie I love to believe because it doesn’t interrupt the way I want to live. It’s my excuse to be a hearer and not a doer.
This lie has caused me to push off so much change in my life with the thought that I can get around to it later when it’s more important. I’ll tell myself I’m going to deal with it in the future, not realizing I’m being deceived. And, to be honest, the scary part about this is not just how forgetful I am, but how hopeful I am that I will forget. There are times when I want to appease my convicted conscious by promising to change later, but at the bottom of my heart I’m actually hoping that I will forget and that things will continue as they are.
How sad is it that procrastination has become a form of justification to reject God’s plan? We’re being deceived. When we’re hearing without doing, though we might claim to be people of the Word, the Word is not accomplishing its purpose in us.
Verse 18 tells us why God gave us His Word. It says, “Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of the truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.”
God’s Word is supposed to be making me into “a kind of firstfruits.” God wants to glorify Himself by growing me. He wants His Word to produce a fruit in my life that He can put on display. This is exactly why Satan loves when I’m forgetful, because a forgetful Christian is a fruitless Christian.
Think about it, after the thousands of verses you’ve read this past year, what has gripped you and grown you? After the hundreds of sermons you’ve heard this past year, what has challenged you and changed you? Is what you’ve embraced in the Bible evident in your life? Is wanting to live for God the reason you want to learn about God?
Simply hearing God’s Word may be your habit, but it’s the one who is doing God’s Word who will be blessed. When going to God’s Word, I challenge you not to just look and leave, but to learn from it and live by it.