But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (Jam.1:22-25).
Knowledge is not an end in itself, it is a means to an end. Knowledge has a purpose. It is so that we can become responsible. Knowledge confers upon the “knower” a huge responsibility. Knowledge for just knowing sake is not the will of God. It is not a mere accumulation of information but a disciplined practice of the same. Knowledge is not good enough until it becomes functional. When knowledge is accurately received, a commensurate action is born. Apostle James helps us to see this fact in our opening text. He tells us to be doers of the word and not hearers only.
Observe what he did not say. He didn’t say we should not hear the Word. Hearing or reading opens us up to the vast world of knowledge but he tells us that our quest for knowledge must not end at this point, we should press on to act on what we hear. When we don’t do this, guess what he says next, we deceive ourselves. A clearer translation says “…you are merely deluding yourselves..” Knowledge without action is a mere delusion, it is a mirage! You think you have it but you really don’t! The Greek word for “deceiving” is “paralogizomai” Ordinarily, the word “logizomai” means “to pass into one’s account” Now, the prefix “para” suggests “something that is besides or near” The two words together carry an idea of what is meant to be reckoned into your account but it’s not, it is only nearby. You don’t own what you know until you act on what you know.
For instance, when we receive knowledge about prayer, we pray. Some know the different Greek words for prayer yet they don’t pray (Rom. 12:12; Eph. 6:18; Col. 4:2; 1 Thess. 5:17). Prayer is an action word. Exposure to information about prayer should automatically place upon you a burden to pray.
Understanding the importance of the local church leads to identifying one, identifying with one and faithfully attending one! (Heb. 10:25). When you come to know that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, the next thing that happens is to glorify God in/with that same body (1 Cor. 6:18-20; 1 Thess. 4:3-4).
Sometimes, we get carried away by the excitement that knowledge gives and neglect the empowerment it brings. Loving the Word is good but doing the Word is better and more productive! James went further to tells us that a man who refuses to act on what he knows is like a man who looks at himself in the mirror and later forgets what His face looks like as he goes about his activities. The primary way by which we act on the Word is to remember. Do not forget who you are! What you keep always on your mind becomes a force that rules your life. You can only do effortlessly what you remember constantly. Keep the love of God on your mind and you will see how your walk will be full of expressions of that same love. Keep the gospel of Christ on your mind and preaching this Gospel will not be difficult.
Paul praying for the church in Colossae “For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness” (Col. 1:9-11).
The precise knowledge of the will of God causes us to walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, it empowers us to be fruitful in all good works and it leads to an increase in the knowledge of God. It brings stability and strength. Patience is guaranteed and joy becomes overflowing. This is what James refers to as being blessed in your deeds as you continue to look into the perfect law of liberty.
Paul says to Philemon “That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus”( Philemon 6).
As you have precise knowledge of every good thing in you, the communication or sharing or participation in/of your faith becomes more and more effective.
Effective knowledge is the will of God for you. It’s time to act on what you know!