Following The Instructions
Updated: Apr 1, 2020
Every Christmas, I get at least one gift that says, “Some assembly required.” This means that at some point I will have to find the instructions, usually after trying to make sense of it and a few failed attempts without them. Just before I give up, I pull out the instructions. Reading the instructions is helpful, but following the instructions is the goal. Reading them without following them would be ridiculous, Right? It’s the same with the Bible. As I read through the Bible, I find that too often my mind is preoccupied or not focused and I can’t remember what I read. Even when I do remember it, I fail to pull out the principle that I just read and apply it to my life.
James 1:22 says, “22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” If we don’t actually do what we read, we are lying to ourselves. Doing the Word of God means to apply those profound principles to our own lives and try to be more like Christ. John the Baptist said it best in John 3:30, “30 He (Jesus) must increase, but I must decrease.” John was talking about his ministry and influence being less important than Jesus’ ministry and influence. John had dedicated his life to preparing the way for Jesus to come. When Jesus came, it was time for Him to take over. It is the same in our lives. When Jesus comes into your life it is time for you to let go of the reigns and let God lead you more and more every day.
The Bible has a way of showing us our imperfections like a mirror. James 1:23-24 goes on to explain, “23 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; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.” Have you ever had a hole in your shirt and didn’t realize it until you get where you are going? You didn’t check yourself in the mirror before you left. You saw dozens of people on the way that had to see it, but didn’t tell you. These verses say that if you read your Bible and don’t do what it says, it is like you saw the hole in your shirt in the mirror and left the house anyway.
I am so grateful for my Bible (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth). I want to know more about my God. I want to know what He thinks and says. I hunger to read more and more so that I may be transformed from the inside out into the image of Christ on this earth. The more I learn and apply to my life the more blessed I will be so that I can be more of a blessing to others. James 1:25 says, “25 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.” The application of God’s principles to our own lives results in blessings. These blessings are not to be hoarded, but to flow through us to the world around us so that God gets the honor and glory and some around us might get saved.
The Book of James continues to challenge me. The slower I read it, the more it comes to life. The more I focus on each word, the deeper it goes into my mind. The more I desire to let God lead me, the more I become changed. I can let go of old habits and hang-ups and boldly step outside of my comfort zones and into the wonderful life that God wanted for me all along. Just because we are in the human race, doesn’t mean we have to rush through the life God gives us. Christianity is called a Walk. Read the instructions, let the wisdom sink in, and then follow the instructions so that you can carefully take your next step. Then, take the next step, and another and another. Have a blessed day and a blessed and transformed life.