James 1:21, 22 (NKJV)
What would happen if you needed to wash some clothes and you put the clothing into the washing machine but did not use any laundry detergent? The results would not be what you intended because you wanted clean clothes not just wet clothes. What if you instead put the detergent into the machine and even turned the machine on but never put in your dirty clothes? Again, you would have a problem. Many times we have failed to succeed in something because while we may have taken one step or done one thing we have neglected something else.
In James we see two things, we must receive the Word and we must put it into practice; first you take in God's Word and then you do something with it. That is simple enough, but there are also two potential problem areas. The first is if we don't know what the Bible says and the second is if we don't act on what we know. You can't use what you don't have and you can't do something that you don't know about. James talks about receiving the Word of God but he first mentions laying aside something else. To receive the Word we often also have to reject things that are not in line with God's Word.
We must receive the Word and do the Word; we need to learn more about Who God is and who we are in Christ. We need to find out what belongs to us in Christ and what God's plan is for our life. When we learn these things and then put that knowledge and understanding into action it will change our life! This is how we can make an impact for God in the world and help people around us. Wherever we are in our walk with God we need to do what we know to do and continue to grow in our relationship with God and our knowledge of His Word.