How do people who truly trust God the Father live from day to day?
What does it take to live a life of genuine, trusting, saving faith?
The answer is simple, but our flesh makes it hard to put it into action. James 1:21-25 tell us…
“21Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.” -James 1:21-25 (ESV)
The great warning from James is a test of obedience and the danger of profession without genuine acts of faith. I want to zone in on verses 22-25 but first I want to set the context of these verses by looking at verse 21 because this paragraph functions as the second half of the “therefore” from verse 21. James tells us to put off the filth and evil but then comes back with a positive command — “But be doers of the word”. James warns the believer to be a doer (“carrier outer”, “performer”) of God’s divine word, and not just a hearer (knowledge of what’s right with no action). Having knowledge of what is right is not enough to God.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21
We don’t enter Heaven by the knowledge we have to do right, if one knows what is right and doesn’t do it out of obedience to God, James says that he misleads and disappoints himself. God doesn’t judge knowledge, He judges proof.
James then reinforces his point with an analogy (vs. 24-25) by saying someone who hears the Word of God but does not do it, is like someone who looks in the mirror, walks away, and completely forgets what he looks like. Can you imagine actually doing that? Completely forgetting what you look like… not a chance.
But how many of us will get up in the morning, read our Bible, think about how we need to act differently, process it, then not be changed? I do! I constantly have to discipline myself to grab something from the scripture I read and apply it to my everyday life and make real godly changes. If you aren’t conscious of this command, you will miss it. God speaks through His word, He knows who we are, and He knows what we need to change today in order to get closer to that. If you are in Christ, God has put His spirit inside you to show you these things through His word that need to be changed.
Pray for Christ to bind your heart to His through the perfect law, His Word. Don’t be a hearer who forgets, but be a doer who acts, allowing the knowledge of what you know about Christ to be lived out through your life!