But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourself. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. James 1:22-25, NLT
The above passage from James speaks volumes to my heart. In a world of lots of noise, lots of talking, lots of opinion giving, it is easy to start tuning out everything we hear, even what is beneficial. Because, honestly, who can we trust? Who is giving us truth any more? Most have chosen to stand on their own opinion and fight it out with those who oppose them.
We have chosen to stop listening to others and instead defend our own opinions.
We can even begin to do this with those who are speaking truth. We can tune out the truth of God’s word when it is spoken. We can begin to question it. We can decide that it is outdated, not relevant, not applicable to our daily life.
Or, we can listen, but not apply. We can hear the Word, feel the tug of it on our heart, the call to change, even believe it is truth and worth applying, yet, walk away from it and let it fall by the wayside.
However, if we say we are people who live by faith, and walk in faith daily, then how could we allow this (listening and not obeying) to be our normal? Did you catch what James said? He said that if we listen, but don’t apply it or do what it says, we are fooling ourselves.
Knowing what to do is not the same as doing it. Having knowledge is great, but if we don’t apply it, it is useless information
When we listen and we obey by acting on and applying the knowledge, we are walking in obedience and will find that God blesses us for being obedient. Not only that, but James also tells us that the perfect law, the Word of God, sets us free!
Now, I don’t know about you, but I want freedom. I want to be set free from those things that cause me to stumble, keep me wrapped in sin, chained to my past failures, chained to my past mistakes, chained to my past fears and regrets.
So, let’s stop tuning out God’s word. Instead, tune out the surrounding noise. Listen intently to His word. Then, as you listen, follow through by being obedient and applying it to your life.