Be hearers and willing doers
I am inspired by the following quote today:
“I used to ask God to help me. Then I asked if I might help Him. I ended up by asking Him to do His work through me.” – Hudson Taylor
How do we move from asking God to help us to those who ask God to do His work through us? I believe God shows us in the book of James.
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 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. 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.
26 If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. 27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. – James 1:22-25
To be a good doer, you first need to become a good hearer. When we hear, we can choose to either act on what we hear or do nothing.
The word of God is described as a mirror. Only when we take a look into a mirror, can we see what others see when they look at us face to face. Looking into mirror often prompts us to change something about our appearance.
In the same way, when the word of God shows us something which needs to change, then we must act on it.
The hearer often forgets and doesn’t persevere in the perfect law of liberty, but the doer perseveres and remains in the word and will find the word of God changing us and guiding us, informing every move and decision.
We don’t become doers by simply doing. We must first become hearers and those who look and linger in the perfect law of liberty. Then we are transformed and become those who obey.
I’m also reminded that we live with the expectation that God will hear us when we pray and that He will act on what He hears and answer our prayer. We don’t want God to be a hearer only.
Many times in the bible we see God’s people crying out for Him to hear and answer their prayers. One of many places in Daniel 9 as he prays for God to do something about the desolated city. He closes his prayer with these words.
“O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act! Do not delay for Your own sake, my God, for Your city and Your people are called by Your name.” – Daniel 9:19
We want God to listen, forgive, hear and act. As God’s representatives on earth, we should be compelled to do the same. We have a God who not only hears, but answers prayer, we should be those who not only hear but take action.
Today, if you are asking God to help you, then perhaps you could become those who ask God to do His work through you and give your time and actions to that great work. I encourage you to be those who look and linger in the word of God until we are changed and encouraged to listen, forgive, hear and act on all God is telling you.