[x_custom_headline type=”left” level=”h4″ looks_like=”h4″]In the book of James we find a group of believers who had stored up the Word of God in their hearts and minds but had not allowed it to take control of the lives. Here is what the Holy Spirit inspired James to write to them:[/x_custom_headline]
[x_blockquote cite=”James 1:22-25 NASU” type=”left”]“22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; 24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. 25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.”[/x_blockquote]
These believers were just like many Christians are today; they were hearers of the Word, but not doers. James then illustrates this subject of hearing the Word of God but not doing it by comparing it to someone looking in the mirror, and then ignoring what they see.
For example, if you look in the mirror in the restroom after lunch and discover that your face is dirty, you would be foolish to just ignore it and go on about your day. In other words, the mirror just gave you some instructions that will require you to take action. Refusing to take action is actually a sign of immaturity. Because looking in the mirror is only the first step. Once the mirror gives you its instructions, actions are required.
Yet any man who doesn’t conform to what is revealed in the natural mirror is the same as a believer who will not apply the Word of God that they have heard. And any man who does not do the Word they have heard, is a man who will not walk in, and enjoy the blessing of the Lord.
The blessing of the Lord comes into the lives of those believers who will saturate their hearts and minds with the Word of God, and then do the Word they have received.
The truth of the mirror of the Word of God is communicated to believers in three primary ways. First, Truth is communicated through the teaching and preaching of the Word, and mostly by the ministry gift office of the pastor. We must hear the Word of God continually. Secondly, Truth is communicated as we look into the mirror of the Word on a daily basis through our private time of Bible reading. And then thirdly, Truth is communicated to believers through the example that is set by their pastor, and other ministers and church leaders. In other words, their lifestyle is a mirror to the local church family.
So then, we must hear it, read it, and see it put into action.
If you only looked in the mirror at your home once a week, you would be shocked at just how little your actual appearance resembled what you thought you looked like in your own mind. Sadly, far too many Christians are only looking into the mirror of the Word once a week, which is why their lifestyle rarely resembles what is written in God’s Word.
Here is another reason that the Bible is so much different than your average mirror: The average mirror only shows you what you are like at this very moment. It cannot show you what you looked like yesterday, or what you will look like in the future.
However, the mirror of the Word can show you what you look like right now as well as what you are going to look like in the future. The mirror of the Word shows you the life you can have, and provide you with a dream and a vision for your future, based upon the plan and purposes of God found in your Bible.
The Bible, throughout its pages, will show you what you can be like, what your family can be like, what your health can be like, what your finances can be like, and so on.
It is really sad today that so many Christians don’t take the time to hear the Word or read their Bible. And even far fewer set out to apply the Word they do hear or read. And that is why, according to the Word of God, these people are actually going backward and not forward, when they avoid spending time looking into the mirror.
[x_blockquote cite=”Jeremiah 7:23-24 NASU” type=”left”]23 “But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you will be My people; and you will walk in all the way which I command you, that it may be well with you.’ 24 “Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but walked in their own counsels and in the stubbornness of their evil heart, and went backward and not forward.”[/x_blockquote]
When I was a child I was deceived into thinking that wearing a bath towel like a cape, attached to my shirt with clothespins made me a superhero, like the superheroes I had seen on TV. It didn’t of course. But in the same way, a lot of people have deceived themselves into thinking that they are advancing spiritually, when in fact just the opposite is true. They are going backwards and not forward.
These people constantly make excuses for why they don’t need time in the mirror of the Word, not realizing how silly a statement like that sounds to mature Christians. It is just as silly as watching a young boy jump from the arm of the couch in his living room with a bath towel attached to his shirt, claiming that he is Superman.
And while we are on the subject of the actions of children, did you ever notice that children spend very little time looking into a mirror? Instead, they are going full-speed ahead in whatever activity that presents itself, never giving a second thought to a mirror. But once they grow up a bit more, it will begin to matter how they appear to others for example, and they will spend a lot more time looking into the mirror.
In the same way, a true sign of spiritual maturity is that you are spending much time looking into the mirror of the Word and acting upon what you see there continually. Maturity and spiritual growth in your life will never occur until you spend a lot more time looking into the mirror of the Word of God, and then putting into action the instructions the mirror provides to you. I hope that you will spend some time looking into God’s mirror today.