James 1:25 KJV
25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
Last time we discussed looking into a mirror and making no changes being similar to hearing the word of God and not doing anything about what God is saying to you. Now James turns His attention to those who are doer of the Word, those who act upon what they have heard. I love the contrast between these two types of people. When we get right down to it, these are pictures of all of us – we either fall into one category or the other.
There are those who just exist to please themselves and do what they want to do. They may love to read, send time with other people, go to church, be upheld in the community, and appear to live a good life. Many look up to them and think they have it made. They have good jobs, a good lifestyle, good families and enjoy good times. But when it comes to God, they live halfheartedly. The words they hear in the Sunday morning sermon are just window decorations to their life – they don’t need to change anything. Their bibles gather dust on shelves at home and rarely do you see them helping out with functions at the church – they attend all the time, but doing work for the church has never been appealing. Life is all about them and what they can get out if it. These are those who look into the mirror of the Word and walk away unchanged.
Then there are those who desire to please God, not necessarily themselves. They may have all the attributes of the first man, but when the Word of Good is spoken, they take notice and do something about it. Whether it’s a conviction about something in their lies that displeases God or it is some charitable work they can do to help the church or others, they go out of their way to please God at the expense of their own success. They love to serve and help others. putting themselves in the lower seat. They would prefer to be unnoticed, working behind the scenes to please the Father, not everyone else. They do now look for man’s applause, but for God’s favor. They would be called servants of the most High God.
As you look at these two descriptions, which would appear to the world to be more free? Of course, the first man would be the example most would strive for. We see in this verse an interesting description of God’s word. it is the “perfect law of liberty”. James realizes that when we work for our heavenly Father, it s the highest calling we can achieve, and it sets us free form the burdens of this earth. It’s not that we do not have problems, trials and tests. It’s that now we have the peace, joy and hope that help us make it through those hard times. That’s the blessing!
This world would look at the first man and say he was blessed. He is confident and well-off. He goes through hard times but usually rises again. But in those hard times, he is crying out to God just like the second man. And God hears him – He hears all our prayers. Bit many times God has been trying to get this man’s attention for years, and the man’s ears are turned away from God’s voice. Now, when the man needs God, he still does not hear God’s voice clearly and has a tough time knowing what to do. He does all he can to fix the problem himself. Many times this causes him to miss the lesson he was supposed to learn, one that had been taught at his church so many times, and he may just have to go through it again. God is always trying to draw us closer to Himself. he loves us and wants a close relationship with every one of us. The man becomes so entangled in this world he does not see his way to God, nor does he hear God’s voice. There is no freedom there, although from the outside it sure looks like it.
The second man has peace at every turn, When tough times come, he does not lose his joy because he knows that there is a God who will pull him out. His hope is always alive, eternal and strong. He knows the voice of God, and sees every test and trial as a means for God to draw him closer. He is free from the burdens of this life, living in a heavenly realm instead. He is blessed in ways the first man will never understand until he yields to the Master’s plan. He is a doer of the word, living the full life God has planned for Him.
Which man/woman are you? I strive to be the second, but so often find myself like the first. I want that worldly look of making it, and I certainly don’t want the trials. But I find myself more and more wanting to please God instead of pleasing myself. His word os sinking deeper into my spirit, and His voice is easier to hear. This is where I want to live – in constant communion with Him. Pray without ceasing. Rejoice in the Lord always. In everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving letting my requests be made known unto God. Trusting in the Lord with all my heart. Not leaning to my own understanding of things, but to His. Acknowledging that He is intricately involved in everything that comes into my life. Knowing that He will work all things for my good because I love Him, and He has called me according to His purpose, not mine. He knows the plans He has for me, plans to prosper and bring me to an expected end..
So many blessings to those who do His Word!