Acting on the Word of God is essential to living by faith. Someone once said, “I can’t hear what you are saying because what you are doing is speaking so loudly.” This statement refers to a disparity between actions and words. How can you make sure your actions and words agree so you can walk in faith and inherit a blessing?
The scriptures from James 1:22 and 25 helps to answer this question. (V22), “But be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” (V25), “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.” Yes, James says that we must hear the Word and put it into practice in our daily lives in order to be blessed in what we do. This is critical to faith-filled living! Jesus also taught us the importance of the Word in the parable of the soils where He described 3 hindrances to acting on the Word. We find this parable in Matthew 13:3-23. We do not have the space to reprint it here but you should look these scriptures and meditate upon them during your time with the Lord.
The first hindrance to acting on the Word is a lack of understanding of God’s Word. This is found in Matthew 13:19. Simply put, one does not know what the Word means. This implies that there is a failure on the part of the hearer to obtain adequate teaching. A sermon once a week is not enough to answer your needs. The study of the Word is absolutely necessary to receive understanding. You must value the Word and treasure it by assigning it top priority. Many times during conversations I hear that it is difficult with our busy life styles to find time to study the Word. Yet, at the same time, I hear discussions of the latest movies for rent, of television shows or the latest sale at the store. This is really saying that things have grabbed your attention, and the Word is a lower in priority in your life. These distractions will not give you understanding of the Word. Time is required so that the Holy Spirit can teach you as you are meditating on the scriptures you are seeking to understand. It is impossible to live by the Word of God when you do not understand it. The ministry gifts (pastors, teachers, and evangelists) have been given by the Lord to help you understand the scriptures. Make it a practice to receive good teaching at church and through books and tapes so that you understand how to live by the Word.
The second hindrance to acting on the Word is allowing what others say to influence your behavior and thinking. Who are these others? They can be your family, friends or even yourself as opinion is expressed that does not agree with the Bible. They usually will tell you all the reasons why you will fail or will not obtain God’s promise. Many times this reasoning is based on experience that does not reflect the will of God. How can you stop negative influences from directing your words and actions? The answer to overcoming this hindrance is to discipline your thought life to reflect what the promise God has made to you. Accept your new identity as an over-comer! This means adopting a life-style that allows the truth of the Word to dominate your endeavors not other people’s experiences. Doubt, contradiction and fear will keep you from acting of God’s Word.
The third hindrance to acting on the Word is carnality and worldly treasures. The Bible tells that the carnal mind is enmity against God and cannot receive the things of God. In reality, the hearer is self-centered rather than Christ centered. He lacks the purpose of God; his treasure is here on earth. The self-centered, worldly person will act presumptuously by demanding his own way. Presumption is never fruitful.
There is a reward for hearing and doing the Word. The one who acts on the Word will receive as much as a 100-fold return in his life. In other words the blessing of God will be with him. Who is the sower described in this parable? You are! You are responsible for sowing the Word in your heart. The word that is sown will be used by the Holy Spirit to guide your actions and bring them into unity with the Lord. Get in the Word today!