It usually takes three repeat messages for me to realize God is trying to get my attention. On this subject, He sent nine urgent telegrams to me based on James 1:22-24: Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.
The first time I studied this passage intently was in our Wednesday morning James Bible study. The next morning, the same passage happened to be the subject of my morning devotion. I thought, “That’s two times; but for me to know it’s from God, there has to be a third message.” Then the Michael Jackson song, Man in the Mirror immediately re-played in my head. I had just seen the movie, Joyful Noise, with a friend and that was one of the featured songs the church choir sang in the show. While watching the movie, Man in the Mirror transformed from secular to spiritual for me, reminding me of the James verse before I ever studied it. I reflected on the third message from God and recalled the words of the chorus: I’m starting with the man in the mirror. I’m asking him to change his ways, and no message could have been any clearer. If you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and then make a change.
The repeat messages continued loud and clear and it was evident, I was a listener of the word but not a doer! I was the one who was looking at myself in the mirror and forgetting what I looked like! I began to pray that God would reveal to me where I had failed Him. My change began with reestablishing a quiet time with Him in the early morning. I used to get up before anyone was awake and have one-on-one time with the Lord, but then started liking the coziness of my bed way too much, and justified the extra half-hour of sleep because my husband and I read a devotion together after we both got up. God was telling me that in order for me to be a doer of the word, He needed my undivided attention early in the morning.
After that, so many scriptures flooded my head convicting me where I was a listener but not a doer; commandments that I had read numerous times but still didn’t implement in my life. Matthew 6:34 was the first one: Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. 1 Peter 5:7: Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. The old standard, Proverbs 3:5,6: Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Verse after verse flooded my soul; verses I had committed to memory, but I was merely a listener of the word and not a doer. I am now praying in my new found quiet time for the Lord to give me the ability to be a “doer” of the word, to trust him more fully with my day and to reveal to me where I can make changes.
How about you? Have you looked in the mirror lately and forgotten what you looked like? Are you a listener and not a doer?