Fooling Ourselves

Not too long ago I was seeking the Lord for a message for a particular group I was to speak to.  All I heard was, "preach what's on your heart."

I thought about what I had been pondering the previous week or so.  I had been noticing that many times we, as children of God, have a tendency to think we are in good spiritual shape and can handle anything that the enemy brings our way.  In reality when a test or trial comes we find out we are not in as good of shape as we thought.  Why?  The apostle James put it this way: "be ye doers of the word and not hearers only deceiving your own selves."

  One of the problems we have is we are hearers and not doers of the word.  Granted, not everyone is that way, but many of us fall into that category.

 Jesus talked about this in the parable of the sower and the seed.  Read Mark 4:1-19.  The seed was the same in each of the four groups.  The difference was how the seed was planted and what was done after the seed was planted.

 Look at the first group.  The word was just thrown on top of the soil and nothing was done to it.  Jesus said birds of the air ate it up.  The people in this group heard the word but paid no attention to it.

 The next group also heard the word and they were excited about it.  Even though they were excited they didn't do much with the word they heard.  They just knew it sounded good and they wanted the promise but they didn't study the word much and didn't meditate on it.  The bible says when things got tough they were persecuted for the words sake and quit.  They weren't well grounded on the promises and when it got uncomfortable they threw their arms up and quit.

The third group heard the word and acted upon it. They meditated on it and put it to use in their lives.  Then the weeds choked out the word.  The weeds are the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things.  Cares of this world can be anything that we put ahead of God or problems and worries we may have.

 The fourth group heard the word and didn't give up.  Their hearts were full of the word and they kept believing and stuck with it until they saw the harvest. 

We are supposed to be like the fourth group.  Unfortunately, many times we go to church, we hear the word, and only mentally agree with what we heard.  The problem is mental assent isn't the same as faith.  Faith comes by hearing the word over and over again -  pondering the scriptures and allowing the Holy Spirit to give you insight on how they apply to your particular situation. Mental assent is just agreeing with your head that something is so.  We aren't to be head smart in the scriptures but heart smart.

 In James 1:22-4 it says, "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."

 If we only hear the word then we are like a person who looks in the mirror and goes on his merry way, forgetting what he saw in the mirror.  God talks about a natural face in a mirror but he is also trying to get us to understand that there is another mirror we need to look in.  That mirror is the Word of God.  Look at James 1:24-26.   It says, " 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."  God calls this other mirror the perfect law of liberty.

 As I meditated on this passage of scripture I saw that there are indeed two mirrors we can chose to look in.  The first is a natural mirror that shows us what we look like in the natural.  In it we see all of our faults and mistakes.  The second mirror is God's word and it shows us how God sees us from a spiritual standpoint.  He sees us as powerful, healed, joint heirs with Jesus to mention a few.

 When we fail to really meditate on the word and are just mentally agreeing with what we have heard then we are like the man looking in the natural mirror.  We get in a test or trial and listen to the thoughts of defeat that our adversary puts into our minds.  At this point we are like the guy who walked away and forgot what manner of man he was.   He forgot that God always causes us to triumph in Christ Jesus.  He forgot that God gave him a spirit of power and not a spirit of fear. Why?  Because he is trying to do spiritual battle using natural weapons.  Paul said "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds." (2 Corinthians 10:3-4)   Carnal means natural, not spiritual. 

 Paul, in this same passage, went on to tell us how to do spiritual battle: "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." (2 Cor 10:5)  If you look into the "perfect law of liberty" James mentioned you will know what the word of God says and you will be able to cast down imaginations and thoughts that try to exalt themselves above the truth of God's word.  You will be able to bring those thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ.  Remember, Jesus is the word made flesh.  So you could say that we are to bring our thoughts captive and measure them against the truth of God's word.  If they don't line up we cast them down and replace those thoughts with what the word does say about our situation.

 James said something else about those who looked into the perfect law of liberty.  He said "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."  If we look into the word and meditate on it and do it we shall be blessed in our deed.  If we do what the word says we will have the victory.

 I want to encourage all of us to start looking into the mirror of God's word until we have in our spirits the picture of how God truly sees us- as victorious, world overcomers and more than conquerors in Christ.  If we will look into the mirror of God's word until we have that picture in our spirits we won't walk away and forget what manner of man we are.  We will know that we know that is how God has made us and we will be blessed in our deeds.

 Kenneth Hagin has written a mini-book entitled "In Him".  In this book he explains about all the things we have because of Jesus and the fact that as believers we are the Body of Christ.  This book is a blessing, and if you will meditate on all the scriptures he lists in the book it will change your perception of how God sees you and who you are as a child of God. 

Because I feel so strongly about this message, I want to offer this book to you for free.  Simply go to our contact page and tell us you want a copy of “In Him” by Kenneth Hagin. Give us your name, mailing address with the zip code and I will send it to you at no charge. Please allow up to two weeks for delivery.