Read: James 1:19-27

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only . . . (v. 22)

Some say that obedience is the repression of the human will. Scripture describes it much differently, including Jesus’ statement in John 14:21 that obeying him is the ultimate expression of love. Here, obedience is described in two parts: listening and doing. Churches that thrive are filled with people who obey God.

Listening is a lost art. We want to be heard and understood. Are we quick to listen in our prayers? How much time do we spend listening to God as we read his Word and listen as our day goes on? Are we so busy telling God what’s on our agendas (which he already knows) that we aren’t listening? Doing without listening will cause us to do the wrong things.

Doing is the fruit of effective listening. Not doing shows that we haven’t listened. Once we receive God’s leading, we can be confident of his empowerment to complete what we’re called to do. There are very talented people who are busy doing a lot of things and yet accomplish nothing significant because they are doing their work and not God’s. There are also very average people by human standards who are eternally significant because they are listening for and doing what God is calling.

As a pastor, I want people who obey God because they will have the wisdom and courage to show me my faults and correct me in my mistakes. After all, Christ is the head of the church. The church needs you! —Joel Plantinga

As you pray, listen and do!

About the Author

Rev. Joel Plantinga has now been in full-time pastoral ministry for more than 20 years. He serves as the Lead Pastor of Desert Winds Community Church (RCA) in Palmdale, California, and is married to Teresa with children Noah, Eden, and Rachel.