Be doers of the Word
Today we had a drive down to the big town, Carrhaix Plouger to get some provisions for the week. Saturdays are my ‘day off’ from studying the Word. I still do some light reading and today I had chosen a Joyce Meyer book out of my collection of books about the Word. I have respect for Joyce Meyer for many things. One of them was something that she had said in sheer honesty. It was about understanding Romans 6. She had literally read this specific Chapter ‘thousands of times’ and she still couldn’t get a full angle on it! The fact that after this the Holy Spirit revealed to her something that changed her understanding to much clearer was of little importance to me.
It wasn’t the surprise of the Holy Spirit revealing something clearer to Joyce that impressed me. That is expected. No it was the honesty about the amount of groundwork that she had put in to this particular Chapter. Read it ‘thousands of times!’ Well, that really impresses me. Not that I am a yardstick for Joyce Meyer, I think it smacks of great inspiration.
Anyway, after the shopping trip and on our way back, it is my intention to go for a walk around the local lake. It’s a beautiful day. Bertie can go for a sniff and a run about and I can have a light read of Mrs Meyer’s book ‘Me and my big mouth.’ So we are walking around nice and peaceful. It’s a wonderful spot here. So tranquil and I am praying softly about something that I have been lead to. As we get nearly halfway around, Bertie is trotting along by my side. I quite unusually am walking with my head down as I am listening intently to the Holy Spirit who seems to be whispering to me “get ready”. As I try to press in closer “be ready for evasive action”. Yes! I will, my eyes barely open, looking down at my feet, stepping forward as I try to concentrate deeper!
And then from nowhere it seemed, the dog is nigh on upon us! A snarling, angry dog is trying to get to Bertie. I have shot my arm forward to fend it off. Bertie is startled but not a fighter. Once again I find myself fending off some potential attack against my dog. I keep my arm outstretched and low to keep a barrier between this nasty canine. It’s owner, a female jogger appears running from the opposite way shouting her dogs name. There is no harm done and the lady is apologetic and we carry on our way.
As we continue, I consider that actually, I heard, though faintly, what I didn’t do until it was nearly too late, was ‘do!’ I had heard and took it in, but I didn’t actually put it in place at the right time. If I had “Got ready” I would have lifted my head. If I was ready for evasive action, I would have BEEN ready, I would have put it in place.
In James 1:22 we read; “But be doers of the word, and not just hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”
When we hear the Word of God, it is for us to apply it, whenever the situation arises. It is pointless attending a church, week in week out, hearing the Word and then not applying it to our lives. We are to receive the word with meekness, (verse 21) and the key to this is in (verse 25). In that if we want the blessing then we have to be obedient to the command. Hearing AND doing = blessing. Hearing and not doing = deceiving yourselves. James gives an example in verse 23 & 24, of being like a man that looks at himself in a mirror and goes away and forgets what kind of man he was. This is not a man with poor memory, no, it is a man of ignorance, a man who turns from what he sees is necessary and carries on with something else to distract from the reality of his choice of what he prioritises.
Matthew Henry in his excellent concise commentary records it as thus, “If we heard a sermon every day of the week, and an angel from heaven were the preacher, yet, if we rested in doing only, it would never bring us to heaven. Mere hearers are self-deceivers and self-deceit will be found the worst deceit at last. If we flatter ourselves, it is our own fault; the truth, as it is in Jesus, flatters no man.”
It’s a powerful message from a potent little verse, but it is certainly one that I will endeavour to balance accordingly.