If you’ve opened your heart to God and His plan for your life, know that God wants to lead you by His Spirit. We may experience His leading in different ways, but there are times when we feel compelled to take certain actions that we probably wouldn’t otherwise desire. God has a way of moving us to action, especially when we read or hear His word.
James discussed this truth at length when he presented the difference between “hearers” and “doers.” “Be doers of the word, and not hearers only,” he implored (James 1:22, NKJV). “He who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does” (James 1:25).
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the last part of that verse: “… a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” There are several lessons we can learn from that statement. For one, Christians are supposed to be doers. It’s one thing to read a scripture or hear a sermon and say, “Amen!” But it’s another thing to follow that ‘amen’ with action. Notice that James refers to acting on the word of God as “work.” Yes, it can be hard work doing the will of God, but the benefit is always worth the cost.
Now, we should understand that we don’t earn salvation through works; however the Bible is very clear that our works should show our faith. “Faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (James 2:17). You see, a hearer of the word should turn into a doer of the work.
Another lesson we can learn is that when we are acting in obedience to the word of God, we can expect to be blessed. To be blessed means to have our natural actions touched by God’s supernatural power. Being blessed doesn’t mean that our plans will always turn out like we think, but it does mean that God’s hand is on our life, causing things to work together for our good and His purpose.
We can also learn from this verse that God doesn’t bless just anything. I think there is a common misconception in the world today that implies people can live any way they want and still expect God to bless them. That might sound nice, but it’s not truth. God won’t bless everything, but He will bless obedience to His word and faithfulness to His work.
As we try to listen for God’s direction, we may not always know exactly what to do. We may not always be completely sure that we are hearing the voice of God. But I believe that when we step out in faith with pure motives and try to follow Him to the best of our ability, we can expect to be blessed. God will honor your obedience and faith.
So, move forward with the plans and ideas God has placed in your heart. Know that you don’t have to be perfect, but you do need to be obedient. God’s blessing is bigger than your imperfections! He will accomplish things through your work that are far beyond what you could ever comprehend. Indeed, God “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20, NIV).
Remember, don’t just say “Amen,” but respond to His word with action. Let your faith be shown through your works, and God will bless what you do.