But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But 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.
When we hear the Word of God and choose to not do what the Holy Spirit teaches, we don’t deceive God or anyone else. We deceive ourselves. We rob ourselves of the abundant life Christ wishes to reveal in us. Each time we choose to not live the truths the Holy Spirit reveals, we harden our hearts to Him. Our faith is dead without works (James 2:20). If we only hear the Word and don’t allow it to change us, we are like a man who looks in a mirror and forgets who he is. Our minds are not renewed by God’s truth and we cannot remember who we are in Christ.
When you look into the Word of God, it is like looking into a spiritual mirror. To see what your physical face looks like, you have to look into a physical mirror. You can’t see what you look like without a mirror. You see a reflection of what you look like in a mirror, but you never look directly at your face. It is impossible. When you need to change something you see in the image you see in the mirror, you make the adjustment.
You also can’t see your spiritual self, but you can look into the mirror of God’s Word and see who you are in Christ. God’s Word is spirit, and is it life (John 6:63). It reveals who you are spiritually. You need to be as sure of your spiritual image as you are of your physical image. You cannot directly see your spiritual image just like you cannot directly see your physical image. You must look directly into something else to see yourself. You have to take by faith the physical image you see in the mirror. You also have to take by faith the spiritual image the Holy Spirit reveals to you in the Word.
A person who doesn’t do what he hears in God’s Word is like someone who looks in the mirror and doesn’t change anything. He doesn’t allow the truth of who he is in Christ to change him. He goes the way he chooses and forgets what he has seen. We need to know the spiritual image God’s Word reveals, and we have to allow it to change us—to mold us into the spiritual image that the Holy Spirit declares is true.
When we hold to the image that God’s Word reveals and act upon its truth, we live by faith who we are in Christ. We live out of our identity in Christ. What we do is birthed out of our faith. We do not keep a set of rules became we have to keep them. We keep His Word because we love to keep them. We know we shall be blessed in what we do (James 1:24).
It is important to understand that “the perfect law of liberty” James refers to is the New Covenant and the freedom brought to us through the perfect sacrifice of Jesus. We have free choice. We are free to live God’s truth. But when we don’t know who we are in Christ, we live His truth out of fear of retribution instead of faith in His redeeming love.
My friend, it is only through the grace given by His death and resurrection that you can truly see the new person you are in Jesus and be blessed by His truth. Grace sets you free to follow Him. When you have a spiritual revelation of His love for you, you follow him. “Being a doer of the Word” flows from hearing and knowing His love—not from trying to earn it.
Look into the spiritual mirror of the “perfect law of liberty,” and learn who you are in Christ.
© 2023 Lynn Lacher