James 1:22-25 NIV
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
James 1:22-25 – Message
Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like. But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God—the free life!—even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in the action.
Thinking you hear what God is saying is not enough. One can listen with their ears but miss the truth completely because they don’t take what they are hearing and apply it to their lives personally. This type of behaviour actually sets one up for deception. To have the Word transform your life, you must do what it is saying. Failure to apply the truths of God’s word to your life makes you like the person who takes a quick peek in the mirror but does nothing with what he sees. Actually, he doesn’t even remember what he sees a few minutes later. For example, the word can reveal an area of disobedience in your life and you walk away from the word and act like that isn’t really going on. However, the guy who is intentional in his study of the word, and intentional in making this word personal and effective in his own life. The guy who lets this Word go deep and change him. The guy who values the truth found in this Word, and allows the light to be shed upon the dark places of his heart, and then does something about it. This is the guy who will remembers what he sees, and obeys, resulting in a blessed life.
May I be a doer as well as a hearer of the Word. May I be intentional in letting His Word reveal the hidden places in my heart. May I never settle for just hearing, or listening, but to be someone who acts upon truth and is forever changed.
How can I apply this? Be intentional. As I read the Word, I need to stop and ask God for ways to live this word in ways as He intended. Refuse to be someone who is hearer only. It is a living word and can be lived out in my life.