"Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me." Jonah 1:1,2
"But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." (James 1:22) There is more to it than just hearing the word of God. God requires, and desires, that we are doers of what His word says-- after all, there is a reason why He has given us His written word and speaks His word to us by His Spirit.
A lot of people hear God's word. They hear it on Sunday mornings sitting in church services. They hear it if they watch Christian television or listen to Christian radio. They hear it through devotional emails and books. There are many avenues through which they hear it, but hearing it is only half of it. We have to apply it to our lives, and do what it says.
The story of Jonah is a very familiar story to us all. Jonah's problem wasn't that he hadn't heard God's word. His problem was that he had heard it but decided not to do it. God spoke His word clearly to Jonah but instead of being a doer (obeying God's instruction) he disobeyed it. The result was that he wound up in a terrible storm and then in the belly of a whale for three days.
We can't just hear the word and comment about what a good sermon the pastor preached or how it gave us "goose bumps". We have to put it into practice. There is safety in following its instructions. We would be saved from so many grieves and heartaches if we would submit to it-- just ask Jonah.
Perhaps you are saying, "I am not like Jonah, I am not running from doing God's word". If you are hearing it but aren't doing it, then yes you are. It's all the same. Jonah ignored it and did what he wanted to do- which was not go to Nineveh. The reason we ignore and don't apply the teachings of God's word to our lives is because we would rather do what we want to do instead of what God wants us to do. There is no difference.
Have a great day. Hearing the word of God and not doing it is the same thing as running from it.
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Coffee Break is a morning devotional written by Lorraine Ezell
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