“The one who looks intently into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but one who does…this person will be blessed in what he does” James 1:25.
We have all done it: signed up for a Bible Study…watched the videos…completed the homework…finished the study--only to find ourselves right back in the same despair, with the same issues and behavior before the study. To what gain were those hours of homework and prayer? We face the same dilemmas with the same heart of stone or heart of suffering. We wonder if we really can take power over our circumstances and live with freedom in Christ.
We should take note that James doesn’t promise freedom in our hearing and studying. He doesn’t boast that the person who has the knowledge will be blessed by the knowledge. He exhorts that it takes doing…persevering in it…working it to death to obtain the blessing. Christ worked it to death!
Every experience with the Word holds up a mirror into which we all peer. We receive revelation from God, and our hearts and minds are temporarily blessed and encouraged. We walk out the door, and something triggers an earthly reality that steals our joy and peace. Instead of persevering in the truths of God, we give in to our emotions and forget everything we heard an hour earlier. We allow our emotions to guide our day instead of what God gave us that morning.
James cautions us that the blessing comes from the doing instead of the hearing. We can hear that a hurricane is coming but the danger is in not doing something about it. We must be moved into action by what we hear from God.
In the spirit of this devotional, I wrote a little poem that most likely describes most of us in certain areas where we have yet to find freedom:
Mirror, mirror in my life
I hear what you say
But I still live in strife.
You boast of freedom, life without pain
But I turn away and push away gain.
I underline Scripture, I highlight each verse
The mirror grows cloudy and I resurrect my curse.
The curse of my circumstances
My lot in life
It’s hard to let go of
Although it cuts like a knife.
I wonder what day will finally be
The day I allow the mirror to take over me.
Its reflection will be beautiful
Its message divine
I will claim it with action, and
Blessedness will be mine.
Christ wants us to experience freedom in all areas. May you claim your freedom in Christ today!