Hearing then Doing

James 1:22-24 22But be doers of the Word [obey the message], and not merely listeners to it, betraying yourselves [into deception by reasoning contrary to the Truth].  23For if anyone only listens to the Word without obeying it and being a doer of it, he is like a man who looks carefully at his [own] natural face in a mirror;  24 For he thoughtfully observes himself, and then goes off and promptly forgets what he was like.
We’ve established that the first step to training ourselves to be led by the Spirit of God is to meditate on the Word. The next thing we have to do is to do what the Word says. It doesn’t do a whole lot of good if we just know what it says, yet neglect to obey. My husband once gave this analogy. Let’s say I need to lose 20 pounds. Someone tells me about the treadmill, so I learn what a treadmill is, I study the treadmill, I know the benefits of running on it, and I even go  I go so far as to buy a  treadmill and set it up on my back porch. All of that information and my possession of the treadmill means nothing unless I actually go run on it. Until I put into practice my knowledge that the treadmill works, I am not going to lose any weight. It’s the same way with the Word of God. We might own a Bible, read the word, memorize the word, and even meditate on that word day and night, but unless we put the word into practice in our lives we will never see the results we need. If I read Romans 12:10 which says 10Love one another with brotherly affection [as members of one family], giving precedence and showing honor to one another, and ponder that scripture all day, but when the times comes to put it into practice I choose not to show respect to others I will miss out on the opportunity to be led by God’s Spirit.
Luke 6:46 says 46Why do you call Me, Lord, Lord, and do not [practice] what I tell you?  It’s one thing to say He is the Lord of our lives, it’s another to actually follow His lead. If the Spirit of God speaks to us, but we don’t obey then we will not be led into His perfect plan for our lives. A little further in verses 47-49 it says 47For everyone who comes to Me and listens to My words [in order to heed their teaching] and does them, I will show you what he is like:   48He is like a man building a house, who dug and went down deep and laid a foundation upon the rock; and when a flood arose, the torrent broke against that house and could not shake or move it, because it had been securely built or founded on a rock. 49But he who merely hears and does not practice doing My words is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation, against which the torrent burst, and immediately it collapsed and fell, and the breaking and ruin of that house was great.  I don’t know about you, but I would rather be like the first guy. Building my house on a solid foundation so that no matter what comes my way, I am strong and secure. We have already seen that the Spirit of God is always speaking to us. What will we do when we hear His voice or read His Word? Will we do what we hear, or will we ignore the leading of the Holy Spirit in our lives?

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