James 1:22 (NKJV)
22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
Churches across the globe are full of hearers of the Word. At first glance, a statement like that looks really good. But when we dig deeper, we get a better understanding of what that actually means and why we want to avoid it. Anyone can sit through service once a week and call it good. But, we are being called to far more than that! We must be believers that not only hear what the Lord is saying to us, be we must receive that message as well.
2 Timothy 3:16 reminds us… All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness… If we serve an all-knowing God, it would be well worth our time to actually understand and receive His instruction!
What is the difference between a doer of the word and a hearer only? A hearer of the word is a person that goes, listens to the sermon and then that message quickly dissipates. While the hearer of the word may truly be moved by the message, it is a surface understanding at best and there are no signs of change in that person because it has not sunk in deep.
Doers of the word, on the other hand, allow the message to permeate the flesh, allow it to really sink in, and then tries to gain an even deeper understanding of that message. Through study and meditation, the doer of the word is truly transformed by it. If we are studying the word, we should have a better understanding of it. We should be believers that then take that scriptural knowledge and apply it in a meaningful way to our lives. Doers are continually seeking a deeper and deeper relationship with the Lord. That deeper relationship should lead us to look more and more like Christ.
Hearers of the word often deceive themselves. Hearers will often go to church over and over again thinking they have a close relationship with God. What would a relationship look like with your spouse if you only saw them for an hour and a half once a week? For a relationship to grow, there must be togetherness. Our relationship with Christ cannot develop any further if we are only seeing Him once a week.
Really examine where you are at right now. Are you a true disciple of Jesus Christ? Are you only a hearer of the word? Or are you somewhere in between? We must strive to understand God’s word more and more each day. We must then take that understanding and apply it in a meaningful, life-changing way!
Psalm 27:11 (NIV)
11 Teach me your way, Lord;
lead me in a straight path
because of my oppressors.