“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” James 1:22
The book of James has become my most recent obsession. I have fallen in love with the study of this book, and I can’t foresee a time in the near future when that infatuation will diminish. If you know me at all, you know that I love to teach. Better yet: I LOVE TO TEACH! Sometimes all caps can just make the point so much better, don’t you think? I’m passionate about teaching God’s Word and equipping others to know it, understand it, and allow it to transform their lives. That’s what I’m all about. There, you have me in a nutshell. But, I’m equally a student. I will forever be a student of God’s Word, always being found in that place of needing its truth and learning from it daily. Simply put, when I choose to stop learning, I cease growing. You sacrifice the latter for the sake of the former. I never want to stop growing. My prayer is that upon Christ’s return, He finds me on my knees, at His feet, in His Word, and passionately pursuing Him with all that I have. My choice is to challenge the evil of complacency in my own life and in yours.
As I find myself on the pages of the book of James daily in this season of my life, my heart has begun to swell with faith…faith to trust that every trial is intended to produce perseverance within me, faith to believe that wisdom is available to all who would ask for it, and faith to act on the truth of God’s Word. That’s where James 1:22 comes into play. Complacency strangles passionate faith, and it stifles obedience. God calls us to be doers of His Word. What does that mean? Well, for starters, it means that regular church attendance on Sundays mornings is just the beginning, not the qualifier. It means that when we hear God’s Word and we’re challenged and convicted by it to change, to do anything less than put it into practice is sin. How many times have we heard John 3:16 proclaimed from the platform? My paraphrase: God loves us, so He sent His Son Jesus to die in our place. If we choose to believe in Him, we have the hope of eternal glory awaiting us. Still, many of us have heard that preached again and again, and we have not taken that crucial step of faith – placing our trust in Jesus Christ as our Lord (authority) and Savior (redeemer). James makes it very clear here when he says that we simply cannot stop at hearing the Word of God. We must do what it says. We must refuse to allow our feelings and emotions to lead us any longer, and we must choose to submit ourselves to the authority of God’s Word in all things. That is where freedom is found. That is when growth occurs. That is how lives are changed.
Challenge the complacency in your life. Is there a disconnect in your own life between the commands of Scripture and your obedience to them? God wrote a book, and His ways are best. We have the instruction manual without our reach. Pick it up, dust it off, and do what it says.