Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. – James 1:22
I have been preaching from James 1:19-27 for a few weeks now. It takes me back to when I first got saved 31 years ago. I loved the feeling of praying to Jesus for the first time and just marveled at that feeling of my sins being washed away. Unfortunately, for several years after that, I would do the opposite of what the Bible teaches and totally ignored what the preachers preached in church. Disobedience brought me to a low point in my life that I hated.
Notice how the text adds, “and so deceive yourselves.” The worst thing about deception is that you don’t know you are deceived. You can sit in church, love a great sermon, get your “toes stepped on,” and leave with no intention of doing anything about what you just heard. I know because I did it for years. I honestly thought that because I was moved during a church service, that I was alright spiritually . . . I was deceived.
The best things I have in life right now are a direct result of obeying God’s word. I did not want to give up lying and making excuses, those came so easy to my mind and made me feel better about the situations I got myself into. I didn’t want to give up the way I had treated boyfriend/girlfriend relationships, but it is the only reason I have my wife right now. I didn’t want to read through the entire Bible the first time . . . it was tough, and it raised more questions than answers, but it was truly the beginning of a brand-new life in Christ.
Even as I type this before I go to work, I don’t really want to go. Colossians 3:23 says not only to go, but to “work at it with all my heart like I’m working for the Lord.” Therefore, I’m going to do it. He has His reasons, and I want to find out what those reasons are. I hope and pray that something wonderful happens today because I did something I’m only doing because I love God and I trust Him.
How about you? What will you do today simply because the Word says to do it?
Lord, I feel so wiped out. Yet Your word says when I am weak, then You are strong. This means I can go in peace knowing that You are working in my heart, mind, and body. I don’t want to be deceived and justify everything I do that I know goes against Your word. I want to honor You with my life. You have been so good to me. You’re the best teacher I’ve ever met and the best friend I’ve ever had. I love You, Lord. Help me to be a doer of the word for the rest of my life. Amen.