Have you ever looked in the mirror, walked away and then forgot what you looked like?
It sounds a bit silly, doesn’t it?
How can we forget what we look like when we’ve just seen ourselves in a mirror?
However, this is exactly what we do when we listen to what God says about us and then go about our daily activities in a way that reflects a different narrative than the one we just heard.
"If you listen to the Word and don’t live out the message you hear, you become like the person who looks in the mirror of the Word to discover the reflection of his face in the beginning. You perceive how God sees you in the mirror of the Word, but then you go out and forget your divine origin."
– James 1:23 (The Passion Translation)
I had a very real experience of this recently. I’ve been a Christian for most of my life and so truths like “your identity is not found in what you do but in Christ alone” were common to me and verses like “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13) and “You are fearful and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) are passages that I thought I knew and lived.
However, last week I received some negative feedback about my work which put me in a complete tail spin! I began to doubt the skills and talents I had developed over the years, I began to doubt the path that the Lord had led me down, I had thoughts about whether or not I was cut out to be doing the things that God has purposed for me to do…
Honestly, I was in such a negative headspace, I wanted to just walk away from it all, give up then and there.
Perhaps this is what you are experiencing right now – you know the Word but there seems to be some sort of disconnect with how you are living it out.
If you are in that place today, firstly know you are not alone.
The Apostle Paul also struggled with knowing the truth but then doing something completely different.
“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do... For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.” – Romans 7:15, 18b-19 (NIV)
The struggle to be a “doer of the Word” is real because we live in a world and have an enemy that is trying desperately to keep us from fulfilling all God has called us to.
When we are trying to live according to the Word, we should not be surprised if we face opposition from our own flesh, the world or the enemy himself.
How are we then to be “doers of the Word”?
1. RECOGNISE THAT YOU CANNOT DO ANYTHING APART FROM CHRIST
Instead of trying to figure it out on our own, being a doer of the Word fundamentally requires that we trust the Lord with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding. In all our ways, let us acknowledge Him and He will make our paths straight (paraphrase of Proverbs 3:5).
It is very easy to try and use our own strength to do the work of God. To believe (even if it’s on a subconscious level) that we are responsible for “making things happen”. However, what I’ve realised is that I will always come up short when rely on my own strength or wisdom.
Rather, when I realised that apart from God I can do nothing (John 15:5) and I must remain connected to Him in the same way that a branch does from a vine or a tree, that’s where the true strength to do what God has called me to do is found. It also brings a lot of freedom because I don’t have to carry the weight of doing the work of God rather, I just lean completely on Jesus to be the supplier of all my needs. Reliance on Christ alone is the first key to being a doer of the Word.
2. STUDY THE WORD
Once you realise that God is the only one that empowers you to do His work, then it’s important to know what His Word tells us to do. This might be a bit of an obvious one but, if you are feeling like you’ve heard the Word but it’s not translating into action, go back and read it again. And again. And again. Study it. Learn it. Meditate on it. Memorise it. Write it on post-it notes and stick in on your mirror or wherever you will see it first in the morning.
You can never have too much of the Word in you and sometimes it will take many readings of the same passage before it will drop from your head and into your heart. This is how we can equip ourselves against the enemy’s attacks (which will always come when you are doing Kingdom work). If you do not know the Word, how can you be a doer of the Word?
Lately, I’ve been spending a full week on one chapter of the Bible, reading it over and over again in different versions, reading commentary on it to get different perspectives. God’s Word is living so there is always something new you can take away from it and put into your tool box.
3. COMMUNE OVER THE WORD
When we go to God for the empowering and we have the Word in our hearts, then as relational creatures, we need others around us to keep us accountable to putting the Word into action. We were not created to do this life of faith alone.
In this time of COVID isolation, it can be very easy to feel like we are walking this journey by ourselves however, I’d encourage you to find a trusted faith-filled community to share in the Word together. Share what God is speaking to you about, pray and stand in the gap for one another, contend for the dreams and purposes God has called each of you for and love the Word together.
A ready-made community for you to join is the KW Masterclasses where we discuss the Word together and pray for each other. I was so blessed when I joined one of the KW Masterclasses recently and shared my struggles with the group about feeling less than and not enough. The ladies were so kind to encourage me and pray for me, reminding me of the truth over the lies of the enemy.
4. WALK THE WORD
Once we’ve acknowledge that we cannot do anything apart from Christ, we have the Word in our hearts and a community around us to encourage us to live it out, then it’s time to walk out the Word as a response to God’s blessing in our lives.
"Don’t just listen to the Word of Truth and not respond to it, for that is the essence of self-deception. So always let his Word become like poetry written and fulfilled by your life
But those who set their gaze deeply into the perfecting law of liberty are fascinated by and respond to the truth they hear and are strengthened by it—they experience God’s blessing in all that they do."
– James 1:22, 25 (The Passion Translation)
Practical ways we can walk out the Word in honour of God’s love for us may include:
Being a person of integrity in your word and actions (do what you say you will do)
Forgiving someone who has wronged you (in the same way that Christ has forgiven each of us)
Caring for the environment by reducing your plastic waste (humanity was tasked with caring for the earth and its creatures)
Check in on your elderly neighbour who lives alone (serving others in need)
Speaking the truth in love even when it may be costly (it cost Jesus’ own life)
These may seem like simple things but you may never know what a simple act of kindness or love might do for the person you are helping or the people who are watching how you will respond to different situations.
Finally, I hope the prompts below that I’ve used during the day may help you be more mindful of being a doer of the Word:
“How can I glorify God in this day/task?”
“How can I love God and others through what I’m doing right now?”
We are living examples of the love of God so let us love Him and the world around us through what we do and say.
Amy Nhan is a lawyer by day and a creative always. She is a multi-passionate entrepreneur on a journey to find out how to BURN BRIGHT but NOT BURN OUT.
As a workplace relations lawyer based in Melbourne, Australia Amy is passionate about helping employees & employers understand their legal rights and obligations.
In 2016, she discovered that she needed a creative outlet outside of the law. She turned to Instagram, found and fell in love with modern calligraphy.
Fast forward to Aug 2018, Amy officially launched her side business, “Art by Ames” that exists to bring HOPE and JOY through modern calligraphy and watercolour portraits.
Amy’s journey has led her to start her podcast, “LIVE LIFE WELL: The Podcast” in May 2020 where she shares the lessons she’s learnt along the way of failing forward to empower millennials to THRIVE and not just survive so that they can live a life FULL of PURPOSE, JOY and DELIGHT.
You can listen to Amy's LIVE LIFE WELL: The Podcast here:
The Kingdom Women Entrepreneurs is a Sisterhood Community for The Vision Builders, Boundary Breakers, Passion Igniters; Called & Anointed To Shine In Their Uniqueness & God Given - Calling.
Come and join our FREE KWE Facebook Community and join in the conversation!