“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” (James 1:22 NKJV).
It is a contradiction in terms to call Jesus “Lord” and yet not obey His words, teachings or commands. It is simply a self-delusion or self-deception to claim to be a follower of Christ but not a doer of the Word of Christ.
The Scripture commands: “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” (Jam. 1:22 NKJV).
Anyone who is only a hearer, preacher or teacher of God’s Word but not a doer of the Word is only deceiving himself. Sadly, many people today who are eager to hear, preach or teach God’s Word are very reluctant to do, obey or practice the Word.
One of the primary proofs or evidences of your submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ is your willingness and eagerness to obey His words, doctrines, commands or instructions. Your disobedience to Jesus’ words, doctrines, commands or instructions is simply a rebellion against His Lordship!
The Lord Jesus chided and queried the multitude following Him about but who were only paying a lip service to Him, saying, “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46 NKJV).
If the Lord Jesus were to walk into our churches today He would certainly chide the multitude of worshippers converging regularly in our churches, posing the same question, “Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do the things which I say?”
Until you begin to do, obey or practice the commands, words or teachings of Christ, you have not truly received, known or acknowledged Him as your Lord or Master.
There is a great difference between a hearer and a doer of God’s Word! It is quite possible to be eager or excited about God’s Word and yet unwilling or reluctant to obey God’s Word.
In the days of prophet Ezekiel, the children of Israel were eager to hear God’s Word but unwilling to obey what they heard.
Although they would gladly gather to Ezekiel to hear God’s Word, yet they had no delight or willingness to obey God’s Word (Eze. 33:30). Even though they were avid or zealous hearers of God’s Word, yet they were rebellious to God’s Word. Sadly, this is also the apt description of the hearts of many worshippers in our churches today.
God testified to their eagerness to hear but unwillingness to obey His Word in Ezekiel 33:
31 “So they come to you as people do, they sit before you as My people, and they hear your words, but they do not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their hearts pursue their own gain.
32 “Indeed you are to them as a very lovely song of one who has a pleasant voice and can play well on an instrument; for they hear your words, but they do not do them. (NKJV).
As it was in the days of Ezekiel when the people of Israel converged to God’s servant only to be cheered up, thrilled, amused or entertained, so it is now in our days.
Many people today attend our church services only to be tickled or thrilled by the charismatic display, eloquence, oratory, Greek or Hebrew vocabularies, fables or stories of the preacher.
Alas, our churches have become like cinema or theatre halls, and preachers like the comedians or entertainers you pay to amuse or entertain you. Although many worshippers today have itching ears to hear new sermons or teachings, yet they have stony hearts and so are mere hearers of God’s Word (2 Tim. 4:3-4).
It is absolutely unprofitable for you to continue to hear God’s Word and yet continue in your disobedience to God’s Word!
It is not the preacher, teacher, speaker, writer, hearer or reader of God’s Word that will receive the inherent blessing in God’s Word, but the keeper, doer or practitioner of God’s Word!
The Scripture plainly states in James 1:
23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror;
24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.
25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. (NKJV).
If there is no willingness, resolution or determination in your mind to keep or obey every word or teaching of Christ, you are certainly not a disciple of Christ.
Jesus said to the Jews who believed in Him, “If you keep my word, then you are truly my disciples.” (John 8:31 BBE).
Any believer can hear or speak God’s Word, but only a true disciple of Christ will seek to do, keep or obey every command, word or teaching of Christ!
It is the eagerness, willingness, mindset or resolution to obey every command, word or teaching of Christ that distinguishes an ardent or disciplined follower of Christ from a mere believer in Christ.
One of the primary reasons why many believers today are only “eager hearers” but “uneager doers” of God’s Word is the unrenewed or carnal mind. Why?
“Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.” (Rom. 8:7 NKJV).
“But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Cor. 2:14 NKJV).
While the carnal mind may delight in hearing or reading God’s Word to acquire some mental or intellectual facts, information or knowledge about God, however, it will not submit to God’s Word or receive revelation knowledge of God. The carnal mind will always reject, rationalize, doubt, or debate the truths of God’s Word!
Beloved, while your born-again spirit or the inward man delights in obeying God’s Word, your natural mind needs to be renewed, sanctified, or reset for you to walk in perpetual obedience to God’s Word (Rom. 7:22-23).
Therefore, if you fail to consciously and diligently put off your former mindsets, values, beliefs, or ambitions and put on that of Christ, you will always struggle to obey Christ’s commands or teachings (Eph. 4:17-24).
Your natural mind has been heavily seeded, cultivated, or programmed by your former sinful and selfish old man to doubt, rationalize and reject God’s Word!
Therefore, it is a must for you to pull down and clear off all the strongholds, imaginations, imprints or impressions of the old man in your natural mind, and then cultivate or develop the mindset of Christ by prayerfully and constantly imbibing, meditating upon and obeying Christ’s word or teaching.
The Scripture commands you to: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” (Col. 3:16 NKJV).
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, I pledge today not just to be a mere speaker, teacher, reader or hearer of Your word, but to be a diligent doer of Your word. So, help me Holy Spirit, in Jesus’ name. Amen.