“But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.”James 1:22-25 NLT
Straightened my hair one day (as much as I could…) and while the style itself was a complete and epic fail, I got to see where my hair was at. I could have just walked away from the mirror and marveled at my growth, ignoring the issues like splitting and dryness and sun damage. Instead, I took out the shears, checked where the growth was, where my problems were, and clipped my ends effectively. Afterwards I made sure that I looked at what I needed to change to better retain moisture moving forward to avoid the same kind of damage.
The Holy Spirit does that for your life–he straightens you out, showing you where you’ve grown as a Christian, showing you areas you need to work on and flat out cutting off anything that doesn’t match the will of God. In the New Testament gospel, Holy Spirit operates as the Rod of Correction, bringing order, discipline, restraint, and the power to stay submitted according to the will of the Father in Christ. He carries the authority of our lord to chin check us and teach us what we need to know to grow, bringing back to our remembrance what we’ve been given in the word of truth.
Howsoinever. If you never open up the mirror of the word, you won’t see what the Spirit says needs to be adjusted. I know I sound like a broken record on here but you gotta read the word if you truly tryna be transformed by it. You can’t get lasting transformation off what other people said—even though those sermons and Bible studies are absolutely necessary for your Kingdom care. The word must dwell richly in you for you to be established.
What’s worse though? Looking at the word, actually seeing it…then walking off like what you saw will do. That’s not how this works! Transformation happens as a result of revelation plus your activation. This means that you take what is revealed to you and act on it. Acting can look like many things, but the order given hadn’t really changed: once you have been notified through the word of God (by his Spirit) of an area that God wants to process out of you, then here’s your responsibility:
- Agree with the word.
- Humble yourself and repent.
- Pray for Gods will to be made manifest and the steps be made clear.
- Follow the subsequent (often flesh infuriating) instructions.
That’s it. That’s how you be a doer and not just a hearer. You make a decision to do what the Spirit of the Lord is telling you you need to do with a heart of repentance and desire to honor the Father through Christ. We know we can’t ever live right enough to become righteous, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take the perfecting work of sanctification on with aplomb. It’s an honor to be perfected. It’s a privilege to be chosen by God to be ready to be made even more into Christ’s image.
This week, look at your soul through the mirror of the Holy Ghost and ask God to reshape your life using the word. Submit yourself to the pruning, shaping, and life giving correction of the word of God.